The uncomfortable actions you need to take to achieve your goals

Earl Nightingale said, “People with goals succeed because they know where they're going”. But according to Pancho Mehrotra whether or not you achieve them is all about how well you respond to pressure.

Most people think that goal achievement is just about writing a set of actions and targets, whereas it is actually about taking actions to achieve your desired goal.

Goals provide a purpose for our actions, be they personal or career-related. They can broadly be categorised into outcome goals, performance goals and process goals.

  • Outcome goals are macro-view goals: the big picture, focusing on the final desired outcome. Often there is little control over these outcome goals because achieving these depends on how your contemporaries are doing. For example, ‘I want to be the highest GCI (Gross Commissionable Income) salesperson in XYZ company’.
  • Performance goals are more specific. ‘I want to sell a portfolio worth $xx in the first quarter’.
  • Process goals, as the name suggests, are small processes which help achieve the performance goals. For example, ‘I will make xx number of calls and get xx number of market appraisals every week’.

People are different in their motivations. The challenge is to understand what works for you, because each type of goal brings with it a unique pressure point. Successful goal achievement depends on how well you handle pressure – internal and external.

Let’s consider those who prefer outcome goals rather than process goals or performance goals. Unfortunately, many salespeople who operate this way don’t handle failure well, especially within their work environment, because they fixate on the big picture and feel that they are not progressing, which creates anxiety.

Your brain does not like discomfort or change and it will give you instructions to avoid that as much as possible.

On the other hand, the salesperson who focuses more on the process tends to be internally motivated and can often handle pressure better, because the outcome they are looking foris easier to achieve in the short term. They can see the progress, which fuels their motivation. The major benefit of having process goals is that it removes the anxiety around goals; the focus is achieved faster, therefore results are also achieved faster.

Successful sports teams tend to be strictly focused on process rather than just the outcome. This may sound simple, but it requires a significant amount of internal work to change from an outcome focus to a process focus. In fact, it is one of the keys to success. Strategic behavioural change leads to process change, which in turn gives the outcome you desire.

Goal setting is all about developing yourself as a person, your capabilities, becoming better than you are. This is often called the growth mindset. What most people don’t realise is the growth mindset embraces change, especially moving out of your comfort zones.

Going after goals – financial, personal, relationship, learning or health – requires embracing discomfort or pressure to a certain extent. The challenge is your brain does not like discomfort or change and it will give you instructions to avoid that as much as possible. At this time you need the awareness to embrace this pain, deal with it and think about what you are wanting to achieve.

To attain your goals you must also value learning, as this will help you to make the right choices in business and in life.

Show More

Pancho Mehrotra

Pancho Mehrota is the CEO of Frontier Performance and a recognised leading expert in the area of communication, influence and the psychology of selling.