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Friday, October 10, 2008

Flying detached from the outcome

I have had many conversations lately about expectations and getting disappointed when those expectations are not met. A dear sistergirlfriend told me to detach from the outcome. She assured me that if I did that I would no longer be disappointed because my focus would be on the journey or the process and not the end result. She said that I have no control over the result.

She is right. I have absolutely positively no control on how my actions influence the result of whatever it is. I do have limited control on how I attempt to achieve the result. So, I should enjoy the journey and not allow the outcome to rattle me.

Here is a little snippet of how detaching from the outcome works from:

You're going in for a job interview, and you really want to be hired. Should you commit to the outcome? In that case, your focus is on impressing the interviewer and trying to do so well in the interview that he can't help but hire you. In fact, however, you have no control over his hiring decision. Maybe he is going to hire his nephew for the position no matter how great a candidate you are. Maybe he will be irrationally prejudiced against you, or will just be in a bad mood on the day you see him. You cannot control him. And at some level you know this. But you feel that you must control him - somehow. You must find a way to attain the outcome you desire.

Result? You are agitated, self-conscious, under tremendous inner pressure. Your nervousness and desperation come across. You try to hide it, and end up only seeming that much more desperate. When you leave the interview, worn out and feeling sick to your stomach from stress, you know you didn't handle the interview well. You were too wound up to relax and be yourself.

But suppose you commit to the process and detach from the outcome ...
Then you go into the interview knowing that there is nothing you can do to compel anyone to hire you. It is out of your hands. If you are hired, fine. If not, then that's the way it goes. Whatever will be, will be. Your only priority is to do the best you can, without worrying about the result, which you can't control, anyway.

You focus on the meeting itself, not on the prospect of a hiring decision to be made later. You are in the moment. Because you have let go of your need to control and impress the other person, you can be at ease, relaxed and confident and articulate. When the meeting ends, you leave feeling fine, and put the interview out of your mind, knowing that you can do nothing further to affect the course of events.

Committing to the process and not the outcome still means that we should do our best to get our desired outcome. We must just realize that we are not in control and the outcome may have very little to so with our performance.


Amethyst Clouds said...

Hi, Just wanted to stop by and say I really enjoy your reading your blog and that I picked your blog as one of my 7 favorite blogs that deserves a "Honest Weblog" Award.

Keep up the great work!

doretha said...

Thank you very much. It is an honor to be one of your 7 favorite blogs and to receive a Honest Weblog award!