The Paradox of Progress

Posted on 6th April 2022

The paradox of Progress. 
Progress and achievement are widely praised in society. The upward trajectory is what we all applaud.  We all aspire to have businesses careers and lives that progress from one remarkable milestone to another. The language of development can appear to support the idea that there is a seamless journey upwards and that all successful business and people simply glide from one success to another until all their goals are achieved. The truth is progress can be messy and  more complicated than imagined.

Here are 3 typical realities on the road to achieving success:

1.     You will feel like quitting

The disconnect between how the glittery glory of success is perceived and the reality of dealing with obstacles for a protracted period – will create a confidence crisis. Whether you’re an individual or a business, you will at times question if the goal is achievable.

2.     Doubt will creep in

The attributes that led to the desire to change to take a particular path will take a knock when the problems appear. It is natural to question whether the skills, vision or dream you have, or the perspective of those spearheading change is worthwhile or valid.

3.     Failure will feel real and final

Not getting to where you planned will feel like a failure. Failing is like the death knell to any project. It comes with so many negative feelings that trying to be positive about it can feel counterintuitive.  If the failure had been accompanied by financial losses or loss of face, there can be pain and a huge psychological hit.

There is a pervasive myth that we’re not expected to encounter failure or delay on the journey to success. According to this myth only failures fail, this is not true. Consider the lives of anyone that is successful, and failure will be a major part. In part 2 of this series, we look at lives of those generally regarded as successes and see how they ‘failed’ on the path to progress.

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