Kick-start your career progress here. De-clutter your busy mind. Then focus on acting into your future success — today.
What have you not achieved professionally in 2015 that you wish you had?
There’s always something. In answering this question, most of us will think of something small, pretty insignificant. We’ll pass this off as an answer to an uncomfortable question. We’ll do this unconsciously. It’s the way the mind works. It allows us go back to feeling good about ourselves momentarily, without changing anything. We get to stay in the comfort zone.
But then that feeling of unease returns. Doesn’t it? There’s a niggling voice inside you mumbling incoherently. Something about the bigger picture…..career ambitions……it’s not a clear dialogue. You’re not entirely sure what it is. It’s just something……it’s just there. Lingering. You discard it in a different way this time. Unconsciously. Again. It’s the way the mind works. The sequence continues.
Unless you are highly skilled in asking the type of exploratory questions that make you think into a subject, rather than think about it — you won’t get under the skin. And even if you are highly skilled at that line of questioning, it’s hard to see the picture when you’re in the frame. So you might not be able to ask them of yourself.
Why does this matter to you?
The consequence of the ‘niggling voice vs short-term solution/avoidance’ tennis match going on in your head is distraction. It’s an odd kind of distraction that hovers in and around your awareness. It’s there, but you’re not focusing on it. And that causes frustration.
That frustration may be around a lack of understanding about what is actually bugging you. Or maybe you’re quite clear on your personal challenges and you’re frustrated by the fact that you’re simply not doing enough to move yourself forward.
Whatever way the distraction and frustration manifest themselves — they’re highly unproductive. You begin to stagnate.
The good news is stagnation is easily rectified. Let’s use an analogy of a stalled car. If you take the handbrake off, you can move it. That handbrake is you. Just make an irreversible decision to change things now. To change things in a way that serves you for the long-term. Not some short-term fix that ticks a box.
The handbrake is off. Pretty simple really. Kind of refreshing isn’t it? With that comes momentum. You’ve got the car moving. Give yourself a sense check here. Are you willing to have demanding questions asked of you that make you think differently? Questions that help you evaluate your behaviour and see how it can be changed to deliver the results you want. Pump the legs now, get some speed up.
If you are, then you just need a structure or a framework to maintain momentum. I’m going to provide you with access to that framework. Perfect pace now, hop in the seat and get ready to turn the key!
Here’s the point where most people stall again. When they need to take action. You can avoid that. If you’re not in a position to start answering the questions below now, then put non-negotiable time in your diary to work through them over the next 48 hours. But now is better, and you know exactly why, don’t you? Control. The engine is running again, you’re driving the car.
What can you do about it today?
Listen to that part of you that tells you — “there is more in you”. Why? Because there is. Accessing it requires your commitment, but the rewards are endless. Here’s how you can start.
- Review what went well for you in 2015.
This process is about de-cluttering your mind of all the competing noises. So begin with those outcomes which you deem to have been a success. Write them all down. Then choose the most meaningful one (you can go back to the others later).
- What was important to you about this matter?
- Describe the sequence of events in stages?
- Who else was involved?
- Looking back, what are you most proud of in terms of how you ‘showed up’?
- What, if anything, would you do differently next time?
- What do you wish you had achieved in 2015 that didn’t materialise?
This isn’t an excuse to start beating yourself up. It’s an opportunity to be brutally honest with yourself. You’ll think into a source of frustration and distraction so that you can rectify it moving forward. This is about progression.
- What do your existing results tell you about yourself?
- In what way has your mindset impacted on the areas you’re keen to improve?
- Where is your professional performance suffering?
- What is it about your attitude that’s contributes to this?
- Your focus for 2016
Combining the findings of 1 & 2 above, think about what you now want to focus on achieving in 2016. Not so much business objectives. Focus on yourself — in terms of your professional performance and career — what really matters to you?
- Articulate clearly that which you want to achieve before Christmas 2016.
- What needs to happen between now and then in order for you to achieve this outcome? Make a list of all everything, including but not limited to….
- Activities — how do they contribute to the outcome?
- Support — who exactly?
- Skills development — are they essential?
- Resources — where can they be found quickly and easily?
- Planning the steps to success
If you’re a visual person, map it out. If you’re more interactive, chat to someone about your ideas and these questions. But make sure your conversation has a focus to it, that you’re intent on it delivering value to help you progress the matter. Then you can use the simple model below to bring your focus area into reality.
Timeline your list above. Initially into the four quarters of the year.
- What has to happen by the end of Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4?
- Focusing the Q1, timeline the months involved.
- Focusing on January, timeline the weeks
- What specific action do you need to take between now and then?
Going back to your answers from part 2:
- How might you get in your own way of success here?
- What will you do to mitigate that risk?
- What support do you need and where can you find it?
If you’re like my clients, you don’t want your hand held. You’re successful in your own right. And you’re hungry for more. But you recognise that which brought about your current success won’t be enough to necessarily deliver the success you crave. A different perspective is required. A different way of thinking.
You’ve already started. You’re in control. That’s how easy it is to get momentum going! Make sure you keep the engine running so that you keep moving forward.
If you found this post useful, then you’ll be tickled pink with the following.
Click here to gain complimentary access 6 Steps to Your Career Success. I’m happy to give you an entire framework for your future success, for free. It includes:
- 6 brief videos
- Personalised tools and exercises
- Tips and strategies on maximising your career performance
*This article was first published on LinkedIn through my profile