As a coach, there’s nothing I like better than seeing a new client come into my office with energy, enthusiasm, and real motivation. These clients are my favorites—first, because that kind of outlook is contagious, and second, because a motivated client is sure to succeed.
Right? Well, no, not always.
It’s a funny thing about enthusiasm. It’s like love. They say the opposite of love isn’t hate, but indifference. Similarly, the opposite of enthusiasm isn’t negativity, but disappointment. Discouragement. Creeping inertia. Some of the clients who come to me full of fire stay motivated no matter what. But others? Others succumb to a very human frustration when the thing they envision so clearly in their minds turns out to be a hard thing to achieve. Many of the clients who come to me with the most fervency wind up being the ones who fall short of their goals.
It’s natural, once you’ve made the decision to change something in your life and business, to want it to happen immediately. We do, after all, live in a world where instant gratification is increasingly the norm. Most of my clients assume their goals will be more easily achieved than they ever really could be. Any client to who musters the energy and focus to walk into my office is to be commended. But that doesn’t change the basic fact that these things have their own timetables.
Changing your professional reality is a little like the losing weight. Losing weight slowly is not only healthier, it’s also more achievable. Better, people who lose weight slowly tend to keep it off. Lose it quickly and it’s much more likely that your weight will come right back. Remember this when it comes time to change how you do things in your professional life. Patiently, strategically, and carefully implementing changes and new habits is the sure way to make them an integrated part of your work life and to ensure they habits remain.