We tend to start any journey to accomplish a goal with passion and optimism. We’re overflowing with excitement to get going on our new objective. However, this enthusiasm can quickly melt to apathy when we face setbacks and obstacles that impede our path to success. However, we can overcome these challenges as we focus on progress instead of the difficulties.

“Because of some changes, things may not be as easy as they once were. New difficulties can either defeat you or reveal new strengths. Your body’s muscles always get stronger from working against resistance. The same is true for the ‘muscles’ in your mind, your spirit, and your character. Treat this whole period of challenge as a time when you can make your greatest progress as a human being.”

– Dan Sullivan, Strategic Coach
Graphic: Why focus on progress - Forget about your difficulties, focus on your progress.

Why Focus On Progress

Concentrating on making progress, instead of the potential obstacles that lie ahead, can make it much easier and satisfying. Below are three benefits of focusing on progress.

Empowers You To Keep Going

There are few things that are more empowering than looking back and examining the feats you’ve accomplished despite the challenges you faced. This reflection on success often provides a reinvigorated mind and the motivation to continue pushing forward. Let this self-belief fuel your desire to keep going.

Your achievements also becomes a source of power that you can draw from when faced with difficulties in the future. As you remember your progress, you can remind yourself that you’ve overcome hard things on the path to achieving your goals. There is no expiration date for how long you can reflect on your accomplishments, use them to sustain you during tough times until you have new successes that eventually replace them.

Encourages the mindset of learning, not failing

The word “failure” is one that people tend to avoid at all costs. We don’t want to say it, we don’t want to hear it and we want to do all that we can to distance ourselves from it. However, failure is a part of life and actually promotes growth. Instead of thinking of failures as a defeat or loss, consider them to be learning opportunities. These experiences allow you to learn from what went wrong. You likely have many learning opportunities on your path to achieving your goals. Use these experiences to help you overcome the challenges you’re facing.

Focusing on progress and not being afraid of failure should take a lot of pressure off. As you accept that bumps in the road are part of the journey, you feel more comfortable with pushing yourself to keep going and won’t experience detrimental blows when things don’t go as planned. 

Makes the journey more enjoyable

No one wants to be miserable. However, this is exactly what you’ll end up being if you constantly let all the difficulties you’re faced with engulf your mind. By focusing on progress, you’re paying attention to each achievement and victory. This makes it possible to celebrate even the smallest of milestones. You’ll find yourself more positive as you enjoy the journey more and be more motivated to continue to succeed.

More strategies…

Inspired by The “Scary Times” Manual by Dan Sullivan and Strategic Coach, this is the fifth installment of the Strategies for Success Amid COVID-19 blog series focused on 10 strategies to help support growth and positive thinking during uncertain times.

We hope that you use this series as a resource to continue to progress during times of uncertainty. Follow Alexander’s on LinkedIn and Instagram as we feature five more strategies to progress and remain positive in negative situations during COVID-19.

Strategies For Success Amid COVID-19:
Strategies For Success Amid COVID-19:
1. Forget about yourself, focus on others
2. Developing client and work relationships
3. How to create value for clients
4. Focus on your opportunities
5. Why you should focus on your progress, not your challenges
6. Forget about the future, focus on today
7. Six ways to focus on your future self
8. How to respond to unexpected events
9. Focus on your available resources
10. How to be more grateful



Alexander's is a full-service print and fulfillment and marketing communication firm in Lindon, Utah.

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