Episode 9 - How To Drive The Career Results You Want Every Time
Not getting the results from your career? Tune into today’s episode to not only get the results you want but learn what might be stopping you from getting those desired results.
Your thoughts have a lot to do with your results, so your first step is to be aware of what you’re thinking about on a daily basis.
Your results are driven by your actions, which are driven by your feelings, which are driven by your thoughts. If you want different results, you’ve got to change your mind.
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Hello. It is great to have you here.
Today, we’re talking about something that you do every second of every minute of your life and that is having a result.
Results are all around us. It’s what we’re focused on in life. It’s the outcome of every single thing we do. Today, I want to talk about how to drive the results that you want every single time. Wouldn’t that be great if you could just refocus on things a little bit, tweak a little bit of your approach, and actually get the results that you’re looking for every single time?
It’s going to take a little bit of practice, but let me tell you, once you get used to it, once you get practicing, getting the results, or driving towards the results that you want, it’s going to be life-changing. You are going to get such a great return on your hustle because our results, as I said before, are all around us.
There are the things that we’re focused on at work. What did we do? How did we do it? What does this mean? What do I do now? How we feel about ourselves, how we judge ourselves, how we judge other people. That whole fear of failure is based on fearing the kinds of results that we’re going to get, and while you don’t have to fear failure, you can decide what you make failure mean. You can also take more control of the kind of results that you’re driving for.
Our results impact how we show up and how we live our lives. Every result we get is a new piece of data. A new piece of data that our brains assess. What led up to it, what did we do, what happened, and then we tuck away that information in our brains.
Most of the time when we think about the results that we’re getting, we don’t think through ahead of time how we can impact those results. We are just unconsciously working through our day. We’re reacting to the things that come up around us. What I’m going to suggest today is to start practicing getting purposeful about the results that you want.
You don’t have to do this for every single thing. You have to decide where you want to invest your time, where you want to start investing your effort, and what’s really important to you. But once you learn this process, it’s a cognitive process that I use with my clients right now, and it’s also the foundation of all the work I do in my membership.
Once you learn this cognitive process, you can start to apply it. You can start to practice it and you can start to see how it’s going to help you get the results that you want more and more often. When I talk about results, I’m talking about the big things and all the little small things. Everything you do every single day has a result attached to it.
The big things can be things like performance reviews and big project outcomes. Those are the kinds of things that we tend to focus on in terms of the results. But it can be anything. How things went in a meeting, how you presented something, how a negotiation turned out, how a critical conversation went with a report or with a colleague, with a spouse, and how you handled your relationship with your boss. Those are more tangible results.
But it can also be how what someone said made you feel. That’s also a result. How you reacted to what someone said to you because of how you felt, is a result. How many people out there have heard something someone said about them and it spiraled them out for a bit? it made you feel bad. Maybe you lost your focus for an hour, a day, or a week, depending on what it was.
How many people had not been able to manage their reactions and it impacted their results, and how they showed up? Everyone has done it. I’ve done it. So every one of those things I mentioned and so many more things have a result that can impact your next result and the one after that and the one after that, depending on how you handle it.
Like I said, most of the time we’re not thinking it through. We’re just moving forward and making decisions on the fly. When you get good at this cognitive process, I’m going to take you through, you will be able to make more thoughtful, purposeful decisions on the fly. But right now that’s not how we’re doing it. Right now, we’re just reacting to how we feel and those reactions are driving feelings and actions that maybe weren’t the best for the kinds of results that we wanted to get.
I’ve quoted Tony Robbins before and he says that success is 80% mindset and 20% strategy and community. I totally buy into that. When your head is in the game, when you’re totally focused, when your mind is so focused on what you’re trying to do in a really constructive way, you get better results.
When it comes to the results that you want, a huge part of it is mindset. Our mindset impacts our results through every stage of our career management, meaning, what do I believe about myself? What do I believe I can achieve in my career? What do I want to do? How do I create my vision? How do I build my career plan and how do I go after it? Your mind is integrally involved in all of those things.
What I try to work on with my one-on-one clients and the clients in my membership program is to practice getting really purposeful and thoughtful about how they want to show up in their minds to get the results that they want. You might think that this sounds a bit woo-woo, it sounds weird using your mind to get the results that you want. This is not woo-woo. This is basic stuff, basic cognitive stuff that totally works. It’s not the secret, it’s nothing like that.
It’s just getting purposeful about how you’re using your mind to get the results you want. The results we experience in our lives are essentially what happens as a result of two things – circumstances, and our own actions. Circumstances are the things that are outside of our control and our own actions are the things that are within our control.
I can’t control that my husband brought carrot cake into the house, but it is my decision whether or not to eat it. That I can control, even though it feels like sometimes I can’t control it. Actually, the decision whether or not to eat it is actually in my control. As much as I nag my husband to not buy carrot cake and not bring junk into the house, I can’t actually control what he does. So circumstances are things outside of our control and the things we can control are our own actions.
Even though I just said a big part of your results is based on your own actions, if you actually want to change your result, it doesn’t start with changing your actions. It starts with changing your mindset. It starts with changing your thoughts. If you want to get different results, then you have to change your mind.
I know some of you don’t want to talk about mindset. You’re like, ‘Just give me the list of what goes into my resume. Just give me the to-do checklist of the things I need to put in my career plan and I’m going to take those off and it’s going to be awesome.’ And I know that you will, but that’s only 20% of your success. 80% of your success comes from your mindset.
So you can do yourself a really big favor by opening yourself up and thinking, ‘This is something I’m going to try. I’m going to slowly start to take steps to start to manage the things that are going on in my head.’ I always say that if you did nothing else but work exclusively on your mindset, you would be so much more successful than you ever dreamed possible.
Today, I want to give you the process for taking control of your results. Even if you only practice this once every day for the next month, you’re going to see a huge difference in how you show up. It is so easy to just start, just start with something really, really small. Like I said, for all your productivity lovers out there, by doing this, you are going to waste so much less time and you are going to get a much better return on your hustle.
I talk a lot about return on hustle and this isn’t about money. It means that you work hard and you want to get the maximum return on the effort that you’re putting in. Ultimately, the better your return on the hustle and the better your results, the more time you’re going to have to invest in whatever you want to invest that time into. So there are so many great reasons just to try this.
Because one, 80% of your success comes from your mindset. Two, you’re going to get a much better return on your hustle. Three, you’re going to get better results, and four, it’s super easy to start. You don’t have to show up tomorrow and be perfect at this. Start with something really, really small. So let’s get into the process.
Step one for getting the results you want every time is first, to let go of the things you can’t control. As I said before, there are two things that can impact your results – circumstances, and you and your actions. You can control you, but you can’t control circumstances. What are circumstances? Circumstances are things like other people. So what other people think, feel, or do.
Circumstances are the past. You can’t control the past, so there’s no reason to belabor it and you can’t control events. All that crap that’s happening around you, all those random events. It’s raining, the delivery guy was late, the stock market tanks, your kid gets sick, your boss says something in the meeting, that derails something that you’ve been working on, how your direct reports think and like to work. You cannot control this stuff. Your husband buying carrot cake, you cannot control this stuff.
As much as I like to control all that stuff, it’s not a good use of your time and it very rarely ever works out in your favor. You end up investing a lot of time trying to control things that you can’t like other people’s events in the past. I get why because I’m a recovering control freak. You do it because you’re trying to make sure nothing goes wrong. You think the more you try and control everything, the less likely it’s going to be that you fail or are you going to be found out as some kind of impostor.
But guess what? When it comes to people, sadly they don’t like to be controlled. They don’t want to be told what to do. It’s unfortunate, but it’s true. And eventually, if you’re a controlling boss or a manager or a team member, eventually, people aren’t going to want to work with you or have you on their team or on their task force or whatever.
So if you are someone who is trying to control other people to get the result that you want, you’re not getting a good return on your effort. It’s actually going to work against you so don’t go down this rabbit hole. If you’re doing it, try to stop doing it right now because it’s a big waste of your time and you very rarely get the result that you’re looking for.
Let’s talk about the past. The past is also a circumstance, and the past is something that you cannot change. It’s done. Why spend your time lamenting, trying to place blame, figuring out who did what wrong, or reliving the whole thing? It’s not a good use of your energy. In fact, what ends up happening a lot of the time is that people use the past as a limiter for their future. I’ve never been able to do this before, so why should I be able to do it now?
You’re using the past as context for why you’re going to fail, why you can’t achieve something, or why it’s not even worth your time to try. But really, the only good reason to consider the past is to look at it for context for your next successful step. Instead of saying to yourself, I have never been able to do blank before, why would it work for me this time? Say instead, I’ve never been able to do this before, how can I make it work this time?
Always ask yourself that question. How can I do this? How can I make it work this time? If you’re not asking yourself how you can learn from the past to move successfully forward, then you’re just wasting your time in the past. The only good reason to even consider the past is to use it as context for your next successful step. Then there are those random events. All the crap that happens that is outside of your control. That’s also circumstances.
Like I said before, the weather, late deliveries, and tech blew up right before the meeting, even though you tested it 50 times. It’s a bummer. I get the disappointment, not within your control.
I always think of the movie, Dangerous Liaisons, and that scene with John Malkovich and Michelle Pfeiffer. He’s going in there and he’s going to dump Michelle Pfeiffer for Glen Close and John Malkovich is constantly repeating the words, ‘It’s beyond my control. It’s beyond my control.’ It’s such a powerful scene. I know that John Malkovich is being an uber-jerk in that scene, even though he redeemed himself later.
Whenever I catch myself getting caught up in circumstances, I say to myself, ‘It’s beyond my control.’ Sometimes I have to say it a few times and actually, even the creepiness of John Malkovich in that scene, which actually I’ll link to that scene in the show notes because it’s a really good scene. You should watch it. That creepiness of John Malkovich in that scene actually feeds that feeling in me that trying to control circumstances is not effective.
That it’s wrong. I hate to use the word wrong, but it’s just not going to work for me. Because one, it’s not possible to control all those things – people, events the past. I mean, if you can control the weather, let me know because I live in Canada and that could be extremely lucrative up here. You can’t control the past, you can’t control circumstances.
Two, you’re investing all this energy into stress and worry and planning and backup planning and all that return on hustle is getting really, really low. You’re not getting the return on all that stress and worry and planning and backup planning. So the very first step you can take even for the rest of today, even just for the rest of the week, is just to challenge yourself to catch yourself when you’re trying to control circumstances.
Try to notice how much time and energy you’re investing and worrying and stressing out and judging people or judging yourself about circumstances. Just start with awareness. You don’t even have to change your behavior yet. Just start with catching yourself, watching yourself, and noticing when you’re doing it.
Once you start doing that, then you can go all John Malkovich. You can start going, ‘It’s beyond my control.’ Even if you take nothing else away from this, take that. Don’t waste your time trying to control things that can’t be controlled.
Now we know what we can’t control. The second half of the results equation is what you can control. Step two is focusing 100% of your efforts on what you can control. So control freaks everywhere, rejoice because there is something for you. There is something that you can control that will give you a much higher return on your effort. And that’s about controlling how you show up.
How you show up is made of three things. Your thoughts, your feelings, and your actions. You might be like, ‘That is so boring. I don’t want to think about my thoughts, feelings, and actions. That sounds so lame.’ But you have to try. You have to trust me on this. I have become, and so many people I know, so many of my clients have become such a happier person by just thinking through thoughts, feelings, and actions.
If you have a chance, just give it a try on something small. It’s not going to hurt you. And I’m promising you it is going to rock your world a little bit when you start getting good at it. So let’s work through this a little bit. Let’s start with thoughts. Everything you think is 100% in your control. We forget this all the time and we often blame what we think on someone else. You said this, so I acted this way or you did this, so I had to do that.
You blame your actions, your thoughts, and the things that come out of your mouth on the actions of someone else. It doesn’t really matter how awful that other person was. It doesn’t really matter what your husband or your spouse says to you. We are 100% in control of our thoughts and what comes out of our mouths. We are accountable.
In fact, most of us don’t even really stop to analyze or think about what’s going through our heads. We just react to our thoughts, which is pretty freaking dangerous because our thoughts are not just based on what’s going on with us at the moment, but it could be a reaction that comes from something that happened last week or earlier in the day or 20 years ago in your childhood.
So not knowing what your thoughts are and not really choosing your thoughts, but just getting reactive or unconscious to whatever thoughts pop into your head is like letting a bunch of two-year-old kids loose in your house, giving them scissors and black Sharpies and letting them run around your house unsupervised. It’s a bad idea. Things are going to get ruined if you do that and it’s not going to be smart.
Someone could even hurt themselves So you don’t want to do that. And that’s what happens when you’re letting all these thoughts randomly run your life. It’s going to get messy. Things are going to get ruined. Thoughts are really super powerful things and they are so powerful because they are the driver for everything. Our thoughts drive how we feel, what we do, what we think is scary, our dreams, what we think we’re capable of, and what we believe about ourselves.
It’s like this massively powerful thing that we don’t take time to harness and make work for us because it takes practice. Not always easy. Instead, what we do is spend exorbitant amounts of money and energy trying to control things that are not controllable or that are uncontrollable.
Whereas, if you spent half the energy that you would spend controlling something else, if you spent half of that energy trying to pay attention and guide your own thoughts to where you want them, it would be a much bigger return on your hustle and it would make you so super powerful. You would be unstoppable.
Like I said before, you don’t have to do it 100% of the time. Just start with once a day. Start with something small or you start by getting really aware of how you think about something work-related.
How you think about your commute to work, how you think about a project you’ve been procrastinating on, how you think about where your desk is in the office, how you think about a meeting that you might have with someone that day. Just start with awareness. Like circumstances, I’m not even asking you to change anything. Just start by noticing what’s going on with you. Just being aware of how you think about things is going to help you.
So start with your thoughts. And then the next thing I mentioned is that your thoughts drive your feelings. How you think creates a feeling. So if you think a certain project is going to be hard, the feeling you generate might be apprehension, intimidation, or fear. If you’re looking forward to a certain project because you think this is going to be a challenge or this is a great opportunity for you to prove yourself or learn something, what kind of feeling might that generate? Excitement, anticipation, determination.
The feelings you generate from those thoughts are really important. Because here’s something I want you to pay extra attention to. Every single thing you do in your life is because you want to feel a certain way. I’m going to say that again because it’s a really, really, really key piece of information. Every single thing you do in your life is because you want to feel a certain way. Your feelings drive everything you do, and that’s also a fact.
Everything you do and everything you don’t do is driven by how you feel or want to feel or want to avoid feeling about something or someone in a moment. If you want to avoid feeling bad about yourself, you might avoid doing something. You want to feel great about yourself on a specific day, you want to feel confident when you go up to the podium to do that big presentation, maybe you put on your power suit.
Everything we do is because we want to feel or want to avoid feeling something at a given moment. I did not invent this model. It is a basic cognitive model of how your brain works. Ask any guru, psychologist, famous coach, Tony Robbins, Oprah, anybody, Brenay Brown, they’ll all tell you the same thing. Everything you do in your life is because you want to feel a certain way.
So ask yourself, why would you work extra hard on a project at work because you want to feel successful? Maybe it’s because you want to feel appreciated or maybe you want to feel like you belong to the team or confident in yourself or maybe you work really hard because you’re trying to avoid feeling something, avoid feeling less than. Maybe you have a fear of something. You want to avoid feeling afraid. There are lots of reasons why you do something.
Everything you do is based on a feeling. That being said, if everything we do is based on how we feel and everything we feel is based on what we’re thinking, don’t you think it’s going to be super important for us to learn to think on purpose? To exert some kind of control over what we choose to think? Of course, it would. It would save us so much misery and suffering and all aspects of our lives, including our careers.
When you think about your career, when you stop and ask yourself, ‘Why am I taking action here? Why am I not taking action here? Why did I show up this way in this meeting? Why do I act this way to my boss?’ Or whatever. It all comes from what you’re thinking.
So let’s take that bad boss as an example. We’ve all had them. I’ve had my share. I’d like to think I’ve had more than my fair share of difficult bosses. When you think about a ‘bad boss,’ what are you thinking? There are so many thoughts, right? They don’t like me. I’m not good enough. They don’t want me here. They’re a bully. They’re toxic. They don’t know what they’re doing. They can’t make a decision. They want to make all the decisions.
Even calling your boss a ‘bad boss’ is generating a specific thought about your boss. Calling your boss a ‘bad boss’ is a thought and all of the thoughts that I just mentioned generally lead to destructive feelings. Feeling threatened or angry or avoiding or feeling inferior or some kind of fear or frustration. No one is going around thinking, ‘My boss hates me. I’m not good enough.’ And then feels motivated or excited by that. Those two things don’t go together.
If you’re thinking your boss hates you and that you’re not good enough, you’re probably not going to be excited about it. But let’s say, you did have a boss that you weren’t sure how to handle or that you were having trouble handling, but you decided to think of it as a challenge or as an opportunity to be a stronger leader or as an opportunity to demonstrate that you can handle any type of person and still do your job effectively, or you decided to focus on the things your boss was really good at versus the things that they have some skill gaps where they have some skill gaps. Maybe you want to think that this is an opportunity for you to fill in those gaps.
If those were the kinds of thoughts you were having about a boss that you were having a hard time with, what kind of feelings might that generate? Excitement, curiosity, determination, confidence, maybe a calmer sense of being. You’re not stressed out all the time.
Let’s say you have a boss who doesn’t think through how they say things. Maybe they say things and are really threatening or bullish or rude way. You can’t control that person. You can’t control how they say things, but you can absolutely control how you choose to feel about it. You don’t have to take it personally. You don’t have to feel threatened. You don’t have to feel inferior.
You can choose to feel empathetic. It’s too bad that he or she feels they have to be that way. It’s too bad that that’s how they feel like they need to lead, but I’m going to go through my day doing X, Y, or Zed. I’m not going to let it affect what I think about myself and who I am. And I know that’s hard and I know that it takes an incredible amount of willpower and self-confidence to do something like that.
But again, you don’t have to get it all sorted tomorrow. Just start, start knowing that you can do that. Start thinking, choosing to think differently about those kinds of situations. And again, I’m also not saying that you have to tolerate or overlook bad behavior from your boss. That’s a whole different dialogue we can have in terms of what’s acceptable in the workplace. But what I’m saying is you can decide how you want to feel about it and what you want to think about it.
And there’s a lot of value in doing that because every feeling you have drives an action, and actions drive results. So if you go into a meeting angry and frustrated or you go into a meeting thinking, ‘This meeting is a massive waste of my time. Why am I even here?’ What kind of actions are you going to take in that meeting? What kind of results do you think you’re going to get out of that meeting?
But if you go into a meeting excited or even slightly anxious, but a good adrenaline kind of anxious or happy or open-minded or curious or whatever, what kind of actions will you take in that meeting? What kind of results you’re going to get from feeling happy, open-minded, and curious when you go into a meeting? Even just calm or neutral is better than being angry and frustrated, and saying, ‘This is a waste of my time. Who put me in this? Who put this on my agenda?’ And all that energy that goes into that.
Believe me, I’ve been there. I’ve wasted all that energy. I know that what I’m saying is not something you can do overnight, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be doing it. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t start doing it. It’s like saying, ‘I can’t run a 5K right now, so I’m never going to try.’ That doesn’t make any sense. You just have to start by running a minute and sooner or later, you’re running 5K.
So think about some results that you achieved recently. It could be anything big or small. And I want you to think about the actions that you took that drove those results. Not the circumstances, not what other people did, not the events beyond your control, all that stuff. But what did you do? What was your part? What actions did you take that led to those results? And maybe you keep it small just so you can practice this.
And based on those actions that you took, what thoughts and feelings are you having that drove those actions? Just think about it for a minute. Pick one thing and think about it and then come into the show notes and share it. Share it in the comments in the show notes at thecareerreset.com/09. I really would love to hear how your thought process works, your thoughts that led to your feelings that led to actions that drove a specific result.
So let’s summarize this. Your thoughts drive your feelings, your feelings drive your actions and your actions lead to results. Just practicing awareness is going to change how you show up. You are in control. I know a lot of people brush off this whole thing. They’re like, ‘This is a bunch of bull.’ And the reason that they do that is because they don’t like the idea that they are fully accountable for how they show up.
For some reason, we are more open to apologizing for things outside of our control. You know when tech doesn’t work in a meeting, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry that it’s not working.’ We take accountability for that so we’re more open to apologizing and taking accountability for things outside of our control. Then the things we actually control, like how we show up, the things that we do, the things that we think, the things that we say, how we react to other people.
We like saying things like, ‘I did this because you did that. I yelled at you because you yelled at me first. I complained to my colleague about my boss because my boss was being a douche.’ So no matter who yells at you or tries to treat you disrespectfully, you get to decide what you do next, and whatever you do is on you. Just like whatever they did is on them. So that’s the tough part.
That’s the part that people don’t like, getting used to the idea that they are fully accountable for themselves and you can, again, it’s on you. You can choose to be afraid of that accountability or you can choose to embrace it and own it and practice using it to your advantage.
I know that when I first really grasped this whole think, feel, do results concept, I felt like honestly, all the handcuffs had come off. I felt like the clouds parted and it was like all these things came to light. I felt like I felt free. Now I could control things. Now I could let go of other things. Tech blowing up was not my fault. Other people’s actions were not my fault. That was a huge relief.
Now I just had to focus on me and the fact that I was investing my energy in something that was actually within my control, I thought immediately was a win. I thought how huge this is. That this is going to change my life. And it really, really did. You can actually decide on the results you want. So choose a result or a goal that you can be in control of.
So let’s try this out for a second. I want you to pick a goal. Decide on a goal, a result that you want and it has to be a result or a goal that you can be in control of. Saying something like you want everyone in the room to think you’re brilliant is not a goal you can control because you can’t control what everyone else thinks. But you can say you’re going to go into that room and do your absolute best. You’re going to go into that room with an open mind, present the work we’ve done so far, and be completely open to all the feedback.
So pick a goal you can control and then decide what actions you need to take to get that result. Decide what you need to feel to take those actions and what you need to think to generate those feelings. Like I said, just try a little bit at a time. Do one thing. Focus on it once a week, once a day. Start with awareness and then start with small things like how many coffees you drank in the morning, being nicer to people, or saying hello.
What kind of result do you want? I want to smile at three people every day. That’s your result. What actions are you going to take to make that happen? What are you going to think? What are you going to feel? So about now, you’re saying, ‘I got it. I’m starting to pick up what you’re putting down. How do I explore my thoughts? How do I really get underneath my thoughts? Where can I even start?’
So let’s summarize some of the key takeaways in this episode because I know I covered a lot of territory. I have six key takeaways here. One, you can get better results by controlling the things that you can control. Two, practice letting go of circumstances, which are the past, other people, and any kind of random event. Number three, focus your effort on what you can control and how you show up. Four, everything you do is because you want to feel a certain way. Five, your results are driven by your actions, which are driven by your feelings, which are driven by your thoughts. And if you want different results, you have to change your mind. You have to change how you’re thinking. And number six, start small, and practice often.
Thank you so much for joining me this week.
Next week I am talking to a lady named Tracy Roesch Williams, also known as Alaska Tracy. She lives up in Alaska, so if you want to get any great pics of Alaska, you should follow her on Facebook. She is such an amazing lady and when she’s not taking pictures of Alaska, Tracy is helping entrepreneurs create a clear vision for their success. She’s got a unique process that she uses, which is called the Vision Mapping Process. She’s a wonderful lady. She has a lot of inspirational insight, so make sure you tune in next week. We’re talking all about visioning for your success.
In the meantime, think about the kind of results you want this week and think about what you need to think to get those results. Bye for now.