Live and Lead for Impact with Kirsten E. Ross

Do you set goals and fall short of meeting them?

Do you make promises to co-workers or volunteers and then fail to follow through?

Are daily choices inconsistent with the outcomes you say you’d like to create in your work or life?

You are not alone. Whether it’s a New Year’s resolution to get to the gym 4 times per week or a commitment to an employee that you’ll be better at delegating tasks with a reasonable amount of lead time, we humans have a tough time breaking bad habits and implementing the new and improved.

We have great intentions. We just get stuck. And before we know it 5 months have passed without any noticeable change or personal growth.

So, based on the title of this episode you might be thinking, “oh yay! She’s going to tell me it’s okay. Everyone does it anyway. Move on and just be okay with how things are.”

Sorry. That’s not the emphasis today.

Yes, I will still encourage you to stop beating yourself up when you fail to meet a goal or a deadline. However, the reasoning is different. If you’ve been listening for a while or have worked with me you know that I’m all about defeating drama. Beating yourself up is just a waste of time. And it shifts your focus away from meeting your objective.

You see, when you are calling yourself names and mentally berating yourself, where is your focus? On you and how bad you are.

Is this motivating? No.

Is this time spent on creating a new plan that DOES move you towards your goals? NO.

Beating yourself up is just self-induced drama. It shifts your focus away from where it needs to be; on making the plan you must implement to meet your objectives.

And, too often our berating tends to lend the opportunity to give ourselves a pass.  Do any of these sound familiar?

  • I do this every time. I’m just not cut out to be successful.”
  • Why bother even trying? I’m just setting myself up for failure.
  • I have no will power.
  • I’m a complete loser!
  • I suck

Our mental beat down can become an excuse, a long term justification.

And how motivated do you feel while engaging in this kind of negative self talk?   Get over yourself and get on with it!

Now, I don’t want you to completely skip over the feeling of disappointment or the loss of what could have been. Experience the pain to motivate you to new momentum. So, notice it quickly but don’t park there. Don’t let a disappointment become a long term beat down.

When a client shares their story of a missed deadline or failed commitment my first question is always, “how does it feel?”

If it’s a failed commitment to another person I also want them to think how that person might feel or what their team might be saying to each other. I also ask them to think about how they might feel if someone failed to follow through for them in the same way.

This helps build the motivation for change. The goal is to reignite the commitment.

From there we move quickly to, “Now, what do you want to do about it?”

  • What did you learn? This is an important question. Perhaps you can glean some additional information about structure required to pull off the change. Are there ways to build in hourly, daily or weekly accountability? Do you need a tracking system? A notorious strategy for dieting is to keep a food journal so that dieters are conscious fo what’s going in their mouths. A tally of calories can be an eye opening experience. Information and facts are so helpful to maintain motivation.
  • Is there any clean up you must do as a result? Any apologies or acknowledgements to make? Is trust eroding or disappointment building between you and others? Acknowledgement and an apology go a long way to rebuilding trust and igniting hope.
  • How will you reaffirm your commitment to yourself or others to create accountability?
  • What actions will you take to keep your commitment?
  • What do you need to create logistically to succeed?
  • What progress, if any, did you make? Was there any forward momentum? Any positive steps? If so, take a moment to celebrate.


If you’re like most of my clients you have big dreams and a hearty list of goals to tackle. You have a vision for the difference you want to make. Don’t get in your own way. Break those goals into manageable stepping stones and create the positive mindset that you WILL make them happen one daily choice at a time.

And, if a bump in the road happens caused by you or something out of your control you’ll keep on keeping on. Your plans are too important to give up on!

Remember, the world needs your unique impact!  Go do it!

Direct download: Episode_132_Stop_Beating_Yourself_Up.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT