A Coaching Power Tool Created by Judith Lowe
(Life Coach, UNITED KINGDOM)
Perhaps it was the day you graduated from college, landed your first job, received your MBA or became a Mother. With each milestone you felt you had achieved your goals, yet something was missing.
Probably the energy going through your body was in high gear, you were excited, and your heart was beating so loud you could swear people could hear it! You wanted to scream, shout and dance all at the same time! You were in disbelief you had actually done it! It was something tangible. You had the certificate in your hand, you felt worthy, a person of value. Achieving these goals was something to be proud of! Your smile could have lit up a room and you were on top of the world! You wanted to pick up the phone and call any one that would listen .You were bursting with pride. You were feeling happy.
Was this an Achievement?
Now think about the days that followed those milestones you had just achieved in your life. You have the same energy, but some how it is different. You have achieved your goals but the emotion has changed to one of uncertainty and doubt.
Did you start to question yourself?
- Is this really going to improve my life?
- Am I really clever or do I just think I am?
- What if I fail?
- Will I embarrass myself?
- Who am I trying to kid?
- I am not sure I will measure up to the rest of the people in my management training class
- OMG I have to do a presentation…What if people judge me?
Your heart probably started beating fast again, but this time you felt dizzy and nauseas at the same time and your palms were sweating. You felt inadequate among your peers. A feeling of fear and panic set in that was almost paralyzing and you wanted to run and hide.
Had you really achieved something that as a person you could count on and feel that you would be valued? If so, then why were you petrified that somehow people would not accept you or acknowledge your accomplishments?
Now let’s wind the clock forward 5 years. You felt you had achieved several goals; you sailed through management training school, you were fast tracked and promoted within 6 months! You even managed 7 field offices and 27 sales agents. Was your hard work and all the extra hours you put into achieving a life long dream finally paying off? You left the corporate world and became an entrepreneur opening 3 successful businesses. You even owned 2 homes plus you had no worries about finances, you were finally “Living the good Life”
At last you were probably feeling financially secure. Experiencing life at it’s fullest; you probably had a sense of wellbeing and satisfaction like never before. You were probably comfortable with who you were; which helped your self -image and improved your overall confidence, you finally had some value and the vision you had for yourself had come true.
Would you say this was Success?
Your future success is closely related to the hopes, dreams and images that you create in your mind. If you believe in a successful future and create a clear picture of what you want, you’re much more likely to succeed.
That’s not to say that envisioning your success is a magic potion – being successful takes a lot of hard work too. However, that work is much more effective when it starts with a vision www.mindtools.com
Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t… you’re right. Henry Ford
How many other times have you experienced the sense of Achievement?
- Fund raising for Cancer Research
- Completing a biathlon
- Being brave enough to move to a foreign country
- Having the freedom to make my own choices
- Having discovered what it was like to have direction in life for the first time and being in control
- Letting go of past disempowering events in life
It can be quite challenging to make the shift from Achievement to Success because they both are similar, yet have different meanings for each and every one of us.
A great example of Achievement vs. Success is Sir Edmond Hillary. The first attempts to reach the summit of Mount Everest began in the early 1920’s with the opening of the Tibetan route. Over the next thirty years he tired several times making 8 attempts. Each attempt was an Achievement, but it wasn’t until 1953 on May 28th that he reached the top of Mt. Everest that was when he had finally achieved Success!
According to Miriam Webster’s Dictionary Achievement is defined as a noun.
- Something that has been done or achieved through effort: a result of hard work
- The act of achieving something: the state or condition of having achieved or accomplished something.
Achievement refers to an individual’s desire for significant accomplishment, mastering of skills, control, or high standards. The term was first used by Henry Murray, (1) and associated with a range of actions. These include: “intense, prolonged and repeated efforts to accomplish something difficult. To work with singleness of purpose towards a high and distant goal. To have the determination to win”. This personality trait is characterized by an enduring and consistent concern with setting and meeting high standards of achievement. This need is influenced by internal drive for action (intrinsic motivation), and the pressure exerted by the expectations of others (extrinsic motivation). Achievement motivates an individual to succeed in competition, and to excel in activities important to him or her.
The need for Achievement is related to the difficulty of tasks people choose to undertake. Some may choose very easy tasks, in order to minimize risk of failure, or highly difficult tasks, such that a failure would not be embarrassing while others tend to choose moderately difficult tasks, feeling that they are challenging, but within reach.
*People who are high achievers are characterized by a tendency to seek challenges and a high degree of independence. Their most satisfying reward is the recognition of their achievements.
Parents who encourage independence inchildhood
- Praise and rewards for success
- Association of achievement with positive feelings
- Association of achievement with one’s own competence and effort, not luck
- A desire to be effective or challenged
- Intrapersonal Strength
8. Goal Setting Abilities
According to Merriam-Webster’s on line dictionary Success is defined as:
suc·cess noun \sək-ˈses\
- The fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame
- The correct or desired result of an attempt
- Someone or something that is successful: a person or thing that succeeds.
*Success can be a rather abstract term and it can mean very different things to different people. Trying to define success is not easy.