• Fern Lee

Taking responsibility for yourself



It seems like a strange concept that as an adult you might not take responsibility for yourself.

But have you thought that procrastinating is a form of not taking responsibility for yourself?


I recently attended a workshop by a colleague, Eddie Shieh, on goals and outcomes. It was fascinating because his definition of goals was not the same as mine. And that little shift in mindset helped me reframe the way I worked on what I wanted.


He defined outcomes as the things we want. For example, if you want to be able to make partner at the law firm, or if you want to achieve a pay raise.


For most of us, these are goals. Tangible, concrete, quantifiable. Yet, these kinds of goals cause all kinds of stress and anxiety for us. Because we can't control them. We can't guarantee that we are going to achieve a raise or a promotion.


However, if you were to look upon them as outcomes rather than goals and shift your focus on actions that you can control, that would lessen our frustrations and shame that you would feel if you didn't attain the outcomes that were outside of your reach.


So let's see what kinds of goals we could be looking at.


Instead of defining a raise as a goal, define it as an outcome. We cannot guarantee it. It is outside of your control so it is an outcome you desire.


However, your GOAL(s) will be the steps you need to take to make that outcome a reality. So one of your goals could be to speak to the partner in charge of raises about getting one. Or to find out what you need to do to qualify for a raise. Another goal could be to get started on getting your first client or increasing your book of business if that what it takes to show willing to the powers-that-be.


If your outcome is to make partner at the law firm, maybe one of the goals you have to work on is speaking to your boss to learn what you can do to become a partner. Then another goal could be to work on those criteria


Shifting from goals to outcomes helps us acknowledge that we aren't able to control a lot of what we want. What we can control are our actions. This eliminates our self-doubt, shame, and frustrations which we put upon ourselves when we don't achieve "goals" that are outside of our control.


What are some outcomes you would like? And what kinds of goals can you set today to help you achieve your outcomes?



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