Twice in the same two weeks, from two different sources, I learned about the term/concept of Competing Goals and have found it to be an important tool in working with my clients.

How often do you set a goal that you are really committed to achieving, only to find that for “some reason” you are not following through on your commitment? 

What if you actually are?

On the opposite side of one commitment may be an opposing one that is stronger.  THAT is the commitment you are following through on!  Here is an example of how that could look

New Commitment/Goal – I will be make new connections – personal and professional to build my network

Competing Commitment/Goal – I prefer to stay comfortable with the people I already know

Behavior – If I show up at a networking event, I wind up talking to only those I know, or not going at all

Big Assumptions – Talking to new people is uncomfortable because they will not welcome me or worse, they may think I am not good enough.

In this example, you will notice that the behaviors that you exhibit most often may be those that support the “competing commitment” and not the new commitment.

Contributing to those behaviors are “big assumptions” we make about the commitment we are working with.  These assumptions are created by us!

So, what to do about this?

Step one – notice a NEW goal you have that you are not following through on (at all or to the degree you would like)

Step two – notice what behaviors you have that may be competing with that NEW goal

Step three – determine what big assumptions you have about the goal you want to achieve

Step four – understand the goal you are actually following through on – the one that fits your behaviors, that is your competing goal.

Step five – challenge those big assumptions!  Determine what NEW assumptions you need to have that better fit the NEW goal you actually want to achieve

Step six – “try on” the behaviors that fit that NEW assumption/goal.

What might be some of your competing goals?


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