One of the most important things to understand when you are working towards achieving an important goal is the concept of the plateau.
Many people expect there to be a direct relationship between the amount of effort they put into achieving their goal and the progress they make. This ideal situation is illustrated in the following diagram:
It would be nice if things worked like this, but in the real world, the relationship between effort and progress usually looks more like this:
When you start working towards achieving a goal you are usually very motivated and make good progress. However, if you’re like most people, after a while your initial enthusiasm wavers and although you continue to work hard, it begins to feel like you are getting nowhere. This feeling is a good indication that you have reached a plateau as shown in the above picture.
It is VERY important to understand how to approach this situation because most people who give up on their dream, do so when they are in the middle of a plateau. They become tired of working hard and making little progress, so they give up before achieving their objective.
Successful people on the other hand expect to encounter plateaus on the way to achieving their goal and they know that the secret to pushing through a plateau is to:
focus on the process rather than your progress.
Here’s an example that illustrates what I mean:
Ann’s dream was to write and self publish her own book. When she started writing she was very motivated and made great progress, but after a few weeks she began to feel as though she was getting nowhere and was very tempted to give up – She had reached a plateau.
In order to push through this plateau, Ann decided to focus on the process rather than her progress and committed herself to write for four hours a day come what may. After four weeks of this routine, Ann realised that she had completed the first draft of her first chapter and felt as though she suddenly jumped to a whole new level.
In the months that followed, Ann repeated this pattern of progress, plateau, progress until the incredible day when she finally held her printed book in her hand.
Today I’d like to encourage you to approach your goals with an awareness of the plateaus that you will encounter on your way to success. If you are currently in the middle of a plateau, make the decision to focus on the process rather than your progress and continue to push forward.
If you adopt this approach you will soon come to the end of your plateau and feel yourself make the leap to a new level of achievement. This in turn will give you the momentum and belief you need to overcome future plateaus until you reach that magical day when your dream becomes your reality.
Until next time,
Dare to Dream!