Since this is the month of new beginnings, it seems fitting to get clear on what a new beginning might require. When we approach a new goal, we often do not understand how to gain new information that will help with making progress towards that goal. We seem to think we have all the information we need for why we want to change, or what we want to change.
BUT: Here’s What You Forget…
We often forget to figure out the HOW to change aspect. When this requires new information seeking, anything new feels like we are doing something new towards our goal. Wrong! You must be intentional as to why seeking the new information matters and what you want to do with it. This will guide what information you seek.
When we want to make a change, we are notorious for grabbing new journals, new how-to books, jumping into new trainings. All hoping for a magic idea that will clear the path for a new change! While many of these things do provide new ideas and new energy, they often fall short if you do not know how to apply them to you and your specific change goals.
What do I want to change?
What are the results that I want that are different?
Why does this matter?
How will my life be better once this change occurs?
Dr. Jon Warner offers a great blog on why specific goals work better than ‘soft’ goals. I challenge you to get as specific as you can about what will be better once that goal is achieved. There is a difference between achieving a goal and having the results be sustainable. If you plan for the results that happen once you’ve reached your goal, you will be more motivated to actually achieve it. As a plus, you’ll be prepared for what to do next.
Focus On the Right New Information
I hear people struggle to know what information to seek when they are thinking about new employment opportunities. They are often consumed with the pay, benefits, and location requirements as well as the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for each resume submission. I caution them to first know what they want from their job. I often am met with a confused look, thinking that it is self-explanatory: they need to work to get paid.
When I ask them what type of environment or leadership provides them the best work culture, they have no idea or reach back to an earlier idea or experience. Some have never experienced it.
This is when I recommend using data and science to open the door to greater self-awareness through assessments. They provide a great starting point to use we discuss how we work and how we communicate with others. We also learn how to value others who have different strengths.
Learn more about the amazing online course I teach!
Why Does This Matter?
Knowing yourself helps you understand and recognize the right jobs, the right opportunities, and the right environments that will help you be your best. Knowing what you are naturally good at, and not good at, and understanding how to embrace both, is a big step in elevating your self-awareness.
While knowing these elements can help you feel more defined, it also helps you recognize how to thrive in your career. It can even help you determine the direction of your career, and adjust your path if need be.
For example: When I share with clients their results from a Clifton Strengths Finder assessment, it’s all roses and chocolate for 20 -30 minutes. Then we get down into the weeds of how this shows up at work or in their relationships, and the lights start to come on.
When we discuss what may be in their blind spots due to their natural strengths, the look of true realization of how other people perceive them sometimes causes panic. And then we talk about how to handle that; how to turn it all into positives now that they understand their uniqueness.
This Creates An Awakening Of Sorts!
Along with this is a realization that there are elements in relationships, leadership, and environments that, when present, allow them to naturally be their best.
While knowing yourself is not always THE magic nugget, it’s an amazing place to start, especially as you are looking for a change to make a difference!