Introduction to Becoming Process Oriented
In this day and age, our world is driven by results and outcomes. It is really easy to get caught up in the pursuit of goals, however it’s important to not let it be the only thing that brings you joy in life. As we know, some goals can take much longer than others, and some may not result in a tangible outcome. It could be something like losing weight, taking steps to be more positive, installing security gates, or improving a relationship. In these cases, you may not ever see an end result. That is why it is important to become more process oriented in the pursuit of your goals.
Process vs Outcome
I’d like to show you some examples of how being outcome oriented can be problematic, but first we must understand the difference between the two orientations. Being outcome oriented means having a strong fixation on the end result. You only have that feeling of success when the specific goal has been achieved. With a process oriented mindset, you are more focused on the journey and optimizing the steps to reach the end goal. It’s all about finding joy, purpose, and growth in the steps leading to your end goal.
Cons of Being Outcome-Oriented
An outcome oriented mindset can often lead to 3 big problems.
- Stress and anxiety: Typically, a person with this type of mindset has a relentless focus on their end goal. With this kind of thinking, you end up putting an immense amount of pressure on yourself. Any set back, big or small, than feels like a huge catastrophe. This leads to large amounts of stress and anxiety.
- Short-term thinking: With the end result, or outcome at the forefront of your mind, you tend to make decisions based on immediate gains. You then sacrifice the long term sustainability that could come from making smarter choices.
- Discouragement and Fear: When you are fixated on outcomes, you generally can feel discouraged when things don’t pan out the way you planned. Failures or setbacks can make you fear trying new things or taking risks. That type of inaction can be extremely damaging to your self-confidence and long term goals.
Pros of Becoming Process Oriented
- Reduced stress and anxiety: Stress and anxiety levels are much more manageable with a process-oriented mindset. It is much easier to focus on the things you can control and work on those versus worrying about the end result which you cannot control.
- Continuous improvement: Improvements come more frequently when you focus on making the process more efficient and effective. This helps give you the feeling of forward momentum as you accomplish small goals.
- Enhanced growth and learning: Process oriented individuals tend to be more open to feedback and have an easier time adapting to change. This can lead to significant personal growth and professional development.
- Resilience: In the face of setbacks, people with process oriented mindsets tend to be more resilient and use failures as an opportunity to learn and grow.
- Sustainable motivation: When you receive that sense of accomplishment from the process, it builds a sustainable source of motivation up, enabling you to make more progress.
- Enjoying the journey: A process oriented mindset enables you to enjoy the journey, rather than fixating on the destination.
- Creativity and Innovation: Focusing on the process can foster more creative ways to tackle problems. You likely will think outside of the box to accomplish some short term goals.
The Importance of Balance
Becoming more process oriented can be a very positive experience for those that are struggling with their goal setting system. However, it is essential to do your best to strike a balance with outcomes, goals and the process. Goals and outcomes can give you the direction and motivation needed to make progress. This works best with an appreciation of the process. With these two things working together, you can celebrate the progress you make along the way and fully appreciate reaching your goals when it all comes to fruition.
Tips for Transitioning Your Mindset
- Set process oriented goals: Set smaller, short term goals leading up to the larger goals. Try to highlight the specific actions required to achieve the outcomes you desire.
- Mindfulness and living in the present: Practice using mindfulness and being aware of living in the present. When you are fully engaged in what you are doing, your quality of work will improve, as well as your personal experiences.
- Embrace failure as a learning opportunity: Things aren’t always going to work out the way you plan them to. That’s OK. Take these mistakes or failures as a chance to refine your process and learn how to do better next time.
In today’s world, the outcomes are glorified everywhere. We often see everyone’s end destinations, and none of the work it took for them to get there. This will make it difficult to not be outcome oriented, but the balance between outcome and process is necessary. Becoming process oriented can reduce stress, increase resilience, and help with your personal growth. When you shift your focus to the journey at hand, you can find greater fulfillment out of your goals. Learn to love the process, and let the outcomes take care of themselves.