Do you remember the story of The Tortoise and The Hare? In a nutshell, the fable tells us that slow and steady wins the race. And while many of us grew up with this belief, I’m here to tell you that slow and steady isn’t always how you’ll get the result you want.
See, sometimes steady progress isn’t what you need.
Sometimes you need big bold transformative action.
The key is knowing what approach will work best to create the results you want.
Because the truth is, different approaches have different success rates, depending on what you want to achieve and your circumstances.
So if you’re a go-getter who wants to create lasting results, keep reading to understand which approach is right for you so you’re set up for success.
The 2 approaches for how to get results
There are 2 key approaches to take in order to get results. These are:
1. The progressive approach – This is the commitment to consistent improvement by embracing incremental or habitual changes to create long-term results. This is slow and steady, easy to implement and doesn’t require any major upheaval or specific circumstances; and
2. The transformative approach – This is bold, decisive action and is often associated with:
- A catalyst – This is a transformative moment or situation that provokes significant change. Once this shift occurs, it’s like the lights have suddenly been switched on and there is no going back to your old ways. It may come as an epiphany and is often connected to a major life event such as a health prognosis or a spiritual awakening. Or it may be the result of a deliberate and conscious decision you’ve made to change direction and create change in your life; or
- A new environment – Moving cities or starting a new job provides the perfect circumstance to create change as you have the abiltiy it establish entirely new ways of being in an unfamiliar environment. In other words, you can start from scratch, unencumbered by old habits, triggers or expectation and instead you can live into an entirely new future.
Regardless of the approach you take, in order to successfully creating lasting results, you need to have:
- The desire to change
- Clarity to know what you want
- A plan; and
- Take consistent action
So, here’s what you need to know about the differing approaches to help you pick the right one to support you to create the results you want.
The progressive approach
The progressive approach is slow and steady and is all about making small changes consistently. This is the tortoise in the fable.
This change is easy to action, allows for imperfection and doesn’t require any major life changes or declarations.
In other words, this approach allows us to keep working within our comfort zone using incremental changes and growth.
And this approach does yield amazing results over time. Because simple improvements repeated consistently, lead to compounded progress. Plus it entrenches your habit for personal development and growth, as your brain responds to regular dopamine hits, providing you with positive reinforcement.
But the slow and steady approach does have its shortcomings.
Firstly, results take a long time because progress happens gradually. You need to be engaged and constantly review and tweak your actions so that you continue to improve and get results.
Secondly, because this approach allows us to remain comfortable, we can miss opportunities for growth that may sit outside our comfort zone.
And finally, it can be easy to fall into the trap of working towards a goal that no longer aligns with what you want. Therefore, it’s important to regularly check-in and make sure your goals still meaningful and relevant.
An easy way to think of this is as training for a marathon. You wouldn’t wake up one and decide to immediately go run 42km. Instead, it takes months of consistent training, starting with short jogs and building to longer runs as your technique and fitness improve. By following a plan and completing hundreds of runs, over time your ability and stamina improve until you are able to bounce out of bed and run the marathon.
The transformative approach
The counter to the progressive approach is the transformative approach, which allows you to start afresh and create entirely new results for yourself.
This requires you to be crystal clear on what you do and don’t want, as you have the ability to recreate or reinvent yourself from the ground up.
It means burning the bridges and walking away from what’s not working in your life.
It catapults you out of your comfort zone and requires you to figure it out.
Now for this approach to work you need to be 100% committed to achieving the results.
Simply put, there is no pussy-footing around here.
The key benefit of this approach is that it creates radical change quickly.
It also builds resilience and encourages bold actions, which supports you to create more ‘big results’ down the track.
On the flip side though, it’s very confronting and can be emotionally exhausting as you figure it out. You are also more likely to experience far greater peaks and troughs as you go through transformative change.
Transformation in its nature is significant and is usually very noticeable not only to you but also to people around you. And for some, this visibility can be confronting as it leads to judgement from others and may have consequences, so you should consider these ahead of time to avoid these pitfalls and barriers.
Also, bear in mind that bold transformative actions not sustainable for long term growth. It is a tool to be used to create a step-change in your life, so use it as such.
So what approach is right for you?
Well, it depends on what you want to achieve, your ability, circumstances and commitment level.
A good way to think about it is a sprint versus a marathon.
A sprint (the transformation approach) requires a burst of high-intensity effort and commitment, which in exchange will yield fast results. But it’s not sustainable as your only approach to creating results. In most cases, after the transformation, there will also need to be a progressive approach to imbed the change and ensure lasting results.
The marathon (or progressive approach) on the other hand will take time to complete. But it will foster lasting habits through training and practice and allows more grace in the process.
So consider, what is the goal you are working towards?
Will constant improvements on what you’re currently doing lead to the result you want?
Or do you need to change direction completely?
For example, you may be focused on constantly improving your performance at work which may result in the promotion you are after, in which case progress works. But if you want to change careers, the promotion won’t lead you any closer to your dream job. Instead, you need to bite the bullet and change industries or jobs and go for a transformation.
In other words, go for a transformation when you’re looking to change course or want fast results and are 100% committed. And use a progressive approach to keep improving day-to-day and to ensure you stay on track with your long-term goals.
Regardless, be thoughtful and take a considered action that suits your circumstances and ambition.
Set yourself up for success by investing in the right support and pre-empt potential barriers or challenges to your progress.
This guidance will allow you to achieve the results you want sooner and avoid unnecessary pitfalls, stress and heartache, which is what we all ultimately want.
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