Recently, at one of the mentoring events, I had an interesting conversation with a lady who was stuck in her career and asked me ‘How do you start and know that you are going in the right direction?’ I’m not reinventing the wheel but seeing so many people out there struggling I got stimulated to write this piece.
Have you ever wondered why some people seem to be able to shift their professional or personal life quite quickly and in the direction they really want? Unfortunately, for a lot of us, it seems to be really hard but yet possible!
I was wondering for a long time what the key, the right starting point is. How do people change and just start walking in the “right” direction? Break the habits that don’t serve them well and build new, positive ones! We all try to find these external factors and validation on who good we are to be able to move on but it’s not the right strategy! Believe me! The answer sounds quite simple: it is all about awareness Hm, you could say, and that’s all?
Well, yes, it is just the starting point. Let me be more specific:
it is the awareness of yourself. Your behaviour. Your patterns. Your habits.
And this is where it becomes rather complicated. As we tend to be rather blind towards ourselves. Let me give you an example: I had this (super annoying 🙂 habit of putting “You know” in almost all my sentences. Not once, not twice, but almost all the time! And it sounded really weird. Even one lady in the workshop I recently held gave me this constructive feedback 🙂 I did not notice. I did not really listen to myself thoroughly..as most of us! And using certain words is simply a habit.
So, I started giving it some thought, how I could increase my awareness for myself – not just for what I say, how I behave, interact and react to people and situations. But also for what I do. And believe me, it worked – and it did not only reveal to me what I would like to change, but it also made me aware of my great attributes! So, here are some, I hope, valuable tips for you to start with:
* Listen to yourself and slow down. We all know that words have huge power. Listening to what you think and say will reveal patterns and I’m pretty sure you will be surprised when you start doing that! If you run through your life, living by to-do lists, you simply don’t have any time and space to observe anything. Definitely not with yourself nor with others. So, taking some time and seeing and hearing what you do and say is absolutely a great start.
* Find a partner who will be with you in it! Why? Because others see much more in us. And while you practise becoming more aware, you can find yourself someone who is willing to give you feedback and reflect back what they see (even this negative, read: constructive feedback:).
* Write a daily journal. And it’s my favourite! A day without it is a wasted day! I’ve been doing that for quite some years now. And I noticed that I repeated thoughts, behaviours and situations. I would have not noticed without being able to go back to that every other week on Sunday! Sometimes it helps to do that for a month. Sometimes those patterns are much further apart…depends on what it is. Be conscious and willing to face it!
That is how you can start changing. As you can only change what you know (and often it is the subconscious barrier, things you are simply not aware of standing in our way!) that keep you away from building a career and life you really want.
Personal development legend Jim Rohn says the most valuable lessons lie not in the destination, but the journey.. So, start with being aware of who you are, what you would like to pursue and enjoy the journey! It really pays off!
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Have a great week!