Stop the Shadow Work

Stop the Shadow Work

Diving into inspiring goals for 2022? The first month of 2022 is almost in the books & all of those new goals look exciting right now but take a moment to prevent the biggest pitfall to completing annual goals.
 
Set yourself up for success by saying NO to shadow work. Shadow work is the ghost of Goals Past with a little aspiration thrown in for spice. I am talking about all of those initiatives that you got mostly done…the ones you started but then fell through the cracks, and all of those ideas and tweaks for continuous improvement that you haven’t even started yet. Shadow work is full of distraction, confusion, lack of commitment, and ego. It is the opposite of effectiveness and teamwork.

Disagree? If you’re feeling protective or defensive, you probably think those are good and important ideas. 

You are right- there is nothing wrong with the old initiative and ideas. 
They are not bad nor evil. 
 
The problem comes when you prioritize them.
Goals are already competing with your day job for your resources and attention and the balance is wobbly.

If those initiatives are still important, scrap the new goals until you wrap up the old. If your new goals are more important, then take action so the shadows don’t take over.

When you spend time and energy working on shadow work instead of completing for your new goals, you are out of alignment, you are breaking your word, and you are letting people down (including yourself). Don’t forget: You deserve to reach your goals. Your team deserves success. Your company deserves the excellence only you can deliver.

Easier said than done, right? Those ideas are so tempting that they will haunt you and taunt you until you deal with them. To succeed at your new goals, you need to focus and finish. Here are some way thwart Shadow Work: 

  • Acknowledge the shadows. Document them in your favorite way- long list, mind map, sticky notes, Whatever works for you, just don’t make them more attractive than your goals. If each idea is like a car, stick them in a virtual parking lot you so you can come back and add to them as you identify more…which you will.
  • Review them. Literally give yourself a rating out 5 stars or a grade from 100%. How complete are they? How successful were you? Did you plan well? Give it great effort?
  • Get closure. You are done. Auto makers don’t keep making the 2020 and 2021 models while they are making the 2022. Commit to your new goals and retool your factory
  • Celebrate the wins, deal with the disappointments and move on…Remember, you have new goals to get over the finish line.

    When it is time to create new goals, go back to the “parking lot”. Maybe it’s time to take one of those for a drive.

 

Want support so shadow work doesn’t hijack your 2022 goals? I am here. Send a DM and we can talk. At Thrive with 4C, we focus on helping our clients At Thrive with 4C, we focus on helping our clients level-up and bring their highest and best selves to their personal and professional lives each and every day. We have solutions for individuals, teams, and organizations that will unlock your potential. Set up a Free Clarity Call today to get started. and bring their highest and best selves to their personal and professional lives each and every day. We have solutions for individuals, teams, and organizations that will unlock your potential. Set up a Clarity Call today to get started.