Tuesday, June 28, 2016

When Your Best Isn't Good Enough

Hello Everyone!

I recently had a rare event in my life. Prior to this recent experience I had conquered almost any dream or goal I had set out to do. From working my first dream job as a Division One Strength and Conditioning Coach, to running my own department, to achieving a fitness goal... my drive, passion, and work ethic have allowed me to get most of my goals.

Recently this was not the case, and while I want to be professional and keep the details personal, I will say that in regarded my future with a company. And even though I hit all my assigned targets, went above and beyond where I could, and was highly rated by my superiors, I did not get what I had set out to do. My superiors sadly informed me there wasn't capacity to award me my goal.

It made me think of all the athletes that have set out to accomplish a personal goal. They worked hard for their goal, and in the process, they put in the extra time, did everything that was asked of them, and were well received by the coaching staff, only to be told that "there wasn't capacity for their goal." (Example: not making the team, not getting playing time, etc.) 

How does this happen? What can we do about it?

First, let's address how does this happen? Especially when the athlete or individual does everything within their control to accomplish his/her goal? The first point I want to make is sadly, even though we can control our personal actions, when our personal goal includes working with a team, whether a sports team or a corporate team, decisions are affected and made with factors that are not in our control.

This was initially the hardest part for me with my recent experience. Knowing I had done everything within my power, but my best wasn't good enough to sway the other factors that were not in my control. After a brief time a grieving (this may be a strong word to use here, but when you want something bad enough I believe it is normal and healthy to acknowledge the grief of a lost goal), I soon found comfort and strength knowing I had given it my all and had no regrets when it came to my actions and efforts.

TIP: When your best isn't good enough, make sure you can rest easy knowing you gave it everything you had. Don't couple a lost goal with the regret of not doing all that you were capable of. 

Second, what do we do about it? While the next action we take largely varies on what are goal was, don't underestimate the power of using the loss as fuel for an even greater future. (The popular concept of failing forward rings true here.) I've avoided dwelling on what could have been and instead have focused on the belief that something even greater than my goal is out there for me. But what is it? This required me to sit down and reevaluate what I wanted out of life. What was most important to me? If I could have anything, what would it be? Once I wrote these down for my professional and personal life I then wrote down my non-negotiables. The things that were not up for discussion and that I did not want in my future.

TIP: Knowing, acknowledging, and writing down your non-negotiables makes knowing what you do want much clearer.

Having my non-negotiables laid out helped me focus on opportunities and goals that are in-line with my dream life. And isn't that why we have goals to begin with? To help us create our dream life?

When your best isn't good enough, remember:
  • Give your dreams and goals everything that you have, but understand that sometimes your best won't be enough. 
  • While you can't control every outcome, you can control how much regret you have.
  • When failing forward, know both the things you want AND the things you don't want in your future to have the clearest picture on what to do next.

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart