Don’t look so sad, there is always something you can do to start achieving again.
Everyone wants to achieve
Many businesses who have good products and services and good people working for them continue to fail. When the going gets tough, the tough get up and get going
Some are underachieving because have never been exposed to achievers and how they go about making things happen. Others cannot focus because of undetected or uncontrolled health issues. Underachievement is a symptom and it can be a symptom with multiple causes.
The first step is to diagnose the problem and if you have a problem doing this, seek immediately some practical help to at least get you focused on the opportunities ahead. Whatever you do don’t let yourself become a chronic underachiever.
Is your shopping out of control? Find yourself covering up your spending? Drinking excessively, smoking, or binge eating? For some who are underachieving, it is not uncommon for bad habits to emerge to serve as a distraction or self-esteem booster. But they are only a short-lived relief because it doesn’t address underlying causes of your problems.
What exactly do you see as the problems
You will obviously have quite a number of problems both from internal and external sources. Once you have compiled your list organise them according to their severity and impact on your organisation.
- Fear of failure.
- Fear of success.
- Lost interest in the business and its products.
- Low risk-taking abilities, too risk adverse.
- Boredom coupled with a lack of ambition.
- There is a recession or low level of economic activity.
- Low self-esteem or self-confidence.
- You have lost from key customers.
- A new competitor has arrived on the scene.
- Negative and debilitating perfectionism.
- Lack of basic skills and learning habits.
- Poor time management.
- Too many external activities taking up limited time.
- Carrying too much debt.
- Lack of opportunity in the chosen market.
- Expectation levels poorly set.
- Low frustration tolerance.
- Lack of impulse control, can’t stay focused.
- Undetected learning disabilities.
- Lack of competitiveness.
- Guilt from past mistakes and failures.
- Fear of lack of acceptance by the peer
- Too busy trying to assign blame for your circumstances.
Now you are in a position to do something about each problem. Don’t lose heart each problem will have a solution even though you might not be able to see it yet.
If this task has been overwhelming, don’t fret, seek help from a practical advisor who has experienced low achieving businesses.
“I used to hear a lot that all I could do was serve. I couldn’t volley, I can’t hit a backhand, I don’t return well, and then people would turn around and tell me I’m underachieving”. Andy Roddick
Lack of action
With an action, there is a corresponding reaction. Therefore it makes sense that if you become action orientated and take more actions the outcomes will become better.
Underachieving is one of those popular ‘catch-all’ terms that means something different to nearly everyone who hears it. In one sense, we are all underachievers.
Studies have been done which show that all humans use only a small percentage of their total brain capacity. Additionally, most of us could pinpoint projects or activities, where we could have put in more effort than we actually did. Almost everyone can recall something in which they could have done a better job.
One short definition of underachieving could be ‘performance below potential’ which is something we can easily do something about by taking more daily actions to rectify our problems. Never let your problems overwhelm you, just action them one at a time and do it well.
But if you don’t have a purpose, vision and objectives your actions could become quite meaningless and the struggles will continue.
Goal setting is one way to start focusing your direction for the future. There are great reasons to set yourself short, medium and long-term goals.
Ensure the goals you set to have real meaning for you. Goals that you feel you must achieve as if your life depends on it. One problem you might struggle with in setting goals and the process of working toward their achievement is a lack of ongoing enthusiasm and motivation.
Setting goals that have real meaning will add the vital ingredient that is often missing. If there is a lack of real meaning, the goal process will likely falter.
Once you have set some real life and business goals you are in a position to do some positive planning. Perhaps start with the one-page business plan. If you are not starting to feel some excitement about your future then it’s time to engage and advisor.
Problem-solving and decision-making
Identifying problems and making decisions is not easy when you are struggling and under pressure. This is when an external advisor, facilitator, coach or mentor can become a catalyst to stopping the underachieving and put your organisation back in the rails.
Many have not carefully thought out how they will go about problem-solving and decision-making, they have a mistaken belief that they can solve all their problems in their head. Fortunately, there is a better way as there are simple problem-solving and decision-making processes that will change your whole approach to underachieving.
This can make a huge difference to your performance, as costly mistakes cease to drain away your money and your energy.
Creativity and innovation
Do you really know the amount of hidden information, knowledge, and intellectual capital, that is available to your organisation from both internal and external sources? You should find out because if you have people on your payroll who are not given a chance to contribute to the organisation’s innovation of new processes, new products and services, you are just wasting their talent and your investment in them.
The idea that only a few special people can be creative enough to be initiate innovation is a myth. All your stakeholders can contribute many different ideas to reverse your underachieving. Innovation demands novel ideas.
Progress happens because people want to find ways of solving problems. People from different cultures, traditions, and countries may well be able to approach a production or design problem with just the right idea that sparks the development of a highly profitable innovation and you and your organisation are propelled into a better future.
If your staff is underachieving maybe your problem lies in not keeping up with the new market environment. Globalisation and technology have created much to change everybody’ outlook on the future. Such things as the Internet of Things (IoT), big data, social media, mobility, robotics, 3D printing, analytics and a whole raft of new productivity tools.
If you or your staff are underachieving, don’t accept the situation start to change it. Self-awareness encourages people to seek ways to change behaviour that brings negative outcomes while applying creative solutions to any given problem.
Thought mapping sessions provide a non-judgmental and safe environment for any problems to be discussed openly. This is vital to the success of any business because if problems are not shared they cannot be resolved. Problem-solving strategies can be introduced into the general workplace through brain-based education applications. Employees appreciate this for the improvement it brings in their working atmosphere, and subsequently, morale goes up.
Avoid negativity and negative people
You are probably struggling enough with your own problems, so until you have started achieving again refocus the people you associate with and the negative things that have been impacting your life and your business.
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When I feel that I am not achieving the outcomes I want, I do the following:
- I stop what I am doing and find a nice quite place that causes me to relax
- I take a pen and paper and start to think, writing down any thoughts.
- I reflect on the thoughts and continue to take notes about the good and the bad.
- I then take these notes and create a plan of action.
It’s a simple formula that will stand the test of time; relax, think, reflect and plan. As you apply this simple formula for turning things back in your favour, you will be pulled in many directions. Therefore it is important to stick to the process until you have an outcome and a plan of action to work with.
At the very least stick to the formula until your negativity has been soundly defeated by some positive actions you can work on to start achieving again. Underachieving should start to become a thing of the past for you.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. I have seen many who were overly self-critical, not utilising more of their talents who have turned everything around by simply stopping procrastination and started to take action again.