A Coaching Power Tool Created by Doña Moleka
(Life Design & Personal Development Coach, CONGO)
Attached To Outcome
We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us- Joseph Campbell
People who are attached to the outcome tend to want to control everything. They are often identified as perfectionists who want things to happen their way, as imagined and planned. Always thinking of what is to come, preoccupied about the future, they rarely live in and enjoy the present. They struggle with accepting “what is” and are rather focused on “what might be”. Indeed, people who are attached to outcomes have expectations and set ideas on how things should be and turn out. Hence, they like to plan everything in detail and try to stay in control as much as possible. The underlying fear of missing out, fear of failure, fear of scarcity, and/or fear of unmet expectations is what triggers the attachment to a specific outcome, which seems “safer” to have. Holding on to expectations is a disempowering perspective that limits our vision on what is available, closing our heart and mind to new opportunities that life have to offer. In fact, when we are attached to an outcome, we fixate our mind on one solution, we fantasize about the expected result so much that we discard other possibilities. Attachment to outcome robs us of the joy of present moments. We are so focused on what might be that we do not see the beauty and the potential in what already is.
Enjoying The Journey
Enjoy the journey, because the destination is a mirage.- Steven Furtick
Enjoying the journey occurs when we learn to let go of control and release our attachment to outcomes and expectations. It is an empowering perspective that shifts our minds and heart from fear of not achieving what we expected to trust life, accepting what happens in the journey, and learning from it. In fact, releasing expectations does not mean forget about your goal or give up your dream, but rather be intentional and present in the journey toward that goal. Letting go of the attachment implies acknowledging that the outcome is not totally within our control, that it could be completely different from what we’d planned, and that many other outcomes could be good or even better than what we initially hoped for. This kind of mindset brings freedom and confidence to act on our current realities while being fully present and mindful in our doing and being. This is more likely to bring a feeling of gratitude for what we already have, appreciation for how far we’ve come, love, and devotion for what we do without fear of the future.
Take pride in how far you’ve come. Have faith in how far you can go. But don’t forget to enjoy the journey.- Michael Josephson
Focusing on the journey rather than the anticipated result leaves room for exploration, experimentation and opens up endless possibilities and pathways waiting to be seized.
When you notice that your client seems to be attached to a specific outcome, concerned about the future, and worrying about not getting what they want and exactly how they want it, ask questions that first bring them back to the present, their current truth. This approach will help the client focus on the moment and pay attention to what is needed NOW as well as what is possible and within their control. You can also ask questions that will challenge the client to think of other options, opening their mind to other possibilities but above all, realize what they could be missing by having their mindset on things that may or may never happen.
Here are few sample questions that we could ask to shift a client’s perspective from attachment to outcome to enjoying the journey:
- What is within your control?
- What is true right now?
- What is it costing you to hold on to this specific outcome when it may or may not happen?
- What could you be missing by holding on to this chosen outcome?
- What else could be possible?
- What if many different outcomes could be great for you?
- If you let go of that outcome, how could things change?
- What would enjoying the moment look like to you? What would that give you?
- What could you focus on instead of the outcome?
- What would be different without the fear of not achieving this outcome?
- What if things don’t happen as you planned them? What’s the worst that could happen?
Franklin, M 2019, The Heart of Laser-Focused Coaching, Thomas Noble Books, Wilmington.