The concept is to focus on a Be Outcome instead of an Action Outcome.
An Action outcome is when we set a goal and then take the actions to achieve the outcome. This is what most of us do. We take action for an outcome.
In contrast, a Be Outcome is where we take action for a new state of being, a new identity which will lead us towards achieving the goal.
So to give an example of this, say you want to lose weight you set an Action Outcome of losing 14 pounds. You then think of actions you need to take such as cutting back on chocolate and biscuits and you start going increasing your exercise. You start the week off really well. But your motivation wanes and your subconscious kicks in (your subconscious part of your brain likes to conserve energy and seeks pleasure and is basically very lazy) so you lose willpower, you self-sabotage and go back to your old state of being which Is the weight you started with.
Here is where the Be Outcome comes into play
Instead of just setting an Action Outcome, which is the end goal, you need to set a Be Outcome so here you can think about what person you need to be to lose 14 pounds. What sort of person successfully loses weight? What is the identity of someone who loses weight successfully? What is their lifestyle like? Do you think you are an overweight woman who needs to lose weight or a slim woman who has put on a few pounds. It makes all the difference.
You then take small actions to support and confirm that new identity or state of being.
I coach many small business owners and I once met a client who had set up a business which was a hobby initially, but she started earning money in her spare time during lockdown. Sales were good so she decided to leave work and focus her time on the business. Her Action Outcome was to be a successful business owner and to earn £50k but she was frustrated at her progress and still felt it was her hobby.
Her Identity was that she was an amateur, doing her hobby as a business and nobody was taking her seriously. She thought that when she earns more money, she would be more successful and feel confident in her business.
The problem was that her current identify was conflicting with what she wanted so she was trying to create an outcome without creating the new identity. Without a new identity you will always revert to your baseline identity.
We had to work on her Be Outcome and who she wants to be now in order to achieve the outcome in the future. Otherwise she could earn £100k but still feel the same if she carried on in this way. We asked who she needed to be to be a successful business women, what she needed think, feel and how she should act.
It was the same for me. I ran a PR business for 18 years and when I decided my passion was in coaching, I started to retrain alongside running the business. When I decided the time was right to change careers and coach full time, I started going to networking events but found all the actions of launching my website and putting myself out their on social media were conflicting with my identity. I needed to work on my Be Outcome ie who do I need to be to be a coach and then take actions to confirm it.
So if what I’ve been saying about Action Outcomes and Be Outcomes resonates with you, here are the steps for you try.
- Firstly decide which outcome you would like whether that’s to make money, drink less alcohol, start a business, lose weight, write a book, expand your business a book or run a half marathon.
- Decide who you need to be to achieve this outcome. What does that person do every day, how do they think, what habits do they have in place?
- Take action to confirm your new identity. The more small actions or wins you take the more it reinforces your new identity. Not taking any actions is not going to reinforce your identity. The actions support who you want to be.
- Change your language to I am the sort of person who, I am becoming this person who. The way we talk to ourselves is so important in creating a new identity.
- Think of and visualise yourself as being the person you want to be now whether that’s 14 pounds slimmer or a successful business owner or taking part in a triathlon. Embody that person and copy that person’s behaviour and thoughts
When you do this, you are creating new neural pathways to create an identity of who you are.
When you change your identity you change your outcomes, not the other way around.
Also When you change your identity, your outcomes become easier, like cleaning your teeth, you’re the type of person that cleans their teeth in the morning and that’s what you do. You don’t have to think about it.
When you work on your goals with Be Outcomes it is also easier to sustain once you have achieved them as all the hard work has been done.
Have you noticed that once people lose weight with their Action Outcome and willpower, they often put the weight back on? That is because their identity hasn’t caught up with your action.
Focus on the Be Outcome first and this will enable you to keep up the motivation and give you better resilience and staying power to achieve your goal.
This isn’t a new concept and has been discussed for many years. Author Steven Covey first wrote about BE, DO HAVE model in his book the 7 Habits of Highly Successful People and this has been used by companies to improve the performance of leaders. So Be the person you need to be to influence others, Do the actions in order to become that person and Have the influence you desire.
The concept however can be used in any area of your life.
So can you think of something you’d like to have or do at the moment? Can you imagine who you’d need to be to get there. I’d love you to try this Be Outcome concept and see if it works for you and let me know.
If you’d like to work on your Be Outcomes with me as your coach so you can achieve your goals and to be accountable, please get in touch. Research shows that when you set a goal and update a coach regularly on your progress you are 95% more likely to achieve your goal. I offer personal and virtual 1-1 coaching sessions to help you.