With a big race coming up on my personal calendar, I’ve been thinking a lot about the significance of outcome vs process. I’m someone who tends to put a lot of pressure on myself to achieve particular outcomes. But, the other day I had a freeing realization while I was driving with my toddler asleep in the back seat.
As I glanced at his face in the rearview mirror, I realized he wouldn’t love me any less if I were to fail. That, while it’s meaningful to me, the outcome of this race doesn’t actually change much in the trajectory of my life.
I am still whole, worthy, and loved. I care about the outcome, otherwise I wouldn’t have committed to the process. But if I were to fall short? Nothing implodes. My family, my friends, and my coach still love and support me. The worst that can happen is that I try again. Which is kind of a given because I already know this marathon won’t be my last.
I think we tend to look at achieving outcomes as something external we can point to as proof that we are becoming a better version of ourselves. But what I realized is that the magic of becoming doesn’t happen as the result of achieving a particular outcome. It happens as the result of committing to the process. There is no magic wand.
The outcome is only important because of the degree to which it influences your process to get there. Setting high expectations, necessarily, requires a certain level of daily commitment to a process that reflects the desired level of achievement. And it is in committing to and carrying out that process where the actual transformation occurs.
"Transformation is not a future event, it's a present activity." Jillian Michaels
I love this quote by Jillian Michaels: “Transformation is not a future event, it’s a present activity.” It’s about turning the dreaming into doing - moment by moment, step by step, day by day. Your transformation begins with a decision - the moment you start believing in yourself enough to set a big, audacious goal in the first place - and it continues with every action you take toward achieving it.
This quote by Gretchen Rubin sums it up nicely: “What I do every day matters more than what I do every once in a while.” Every day we are in the process of becoming. It’s not the achievement of a particular goal that instantaneously flips a switch. If I want proof of who I am becoming, I should be more concerned with my direction than my destination.
If I show up every day with intention, repeatedly putting one foot in front of the other on the path I am interested in traveling, I will reach the ultimate destination of becoming the kind of person I want to be. For me, that person is one who believes in themselves enough to dream big, commits to and finds joy in the process, digs deep when it gets hard, and sees failure as an opportunity for growth and perseverance.
Who are you in the process of becoming?
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