We all have to-do lists, project objectives, metrics and planners to help keep us on track in our daily lives. Each year we set high expectations and even with these tools we find ourselves frustrated because we don’t have the structure, systems, or accountability in place to achieve our goals. Couple that with doubt and indecision and you have a perfect recipe for anxiety. In the worst case this leads to action paralysis.
Let’s talk about the best case. Most people know what they need to do to be happy, effective and thrive just not how to do it or what to do with doubt and fear. We spend enough time telling ourselves how we are not equipped to succeed and armoring up against failure by being risk averse. We wallow proficiently on what it is we need to do but spend less time feeling what it would be like to actually live the dream and executing a plan to get there. Guarding against danger is how we have evolved as a species and not become extinct.
We are Jedis at searching the environment for danger. We are not innately good at promoting ourselves into opportunity. Opportunity isn’t essential to stay alive. Staying safe is. Let’s reverse the pattern.
The purpose of creating this list is: 1) to give you definition around the areas where you thrive so that you can spend more time there especially when challenged, and 2) to build self-awareness around opportunities for growth that increase your executive presence and effectiveness.
THE BEST LIST YOU’LL EVER MAKE TO BE MORE EFFECTIVE
Create two columns, side by side, on a sheet of paper numbered one to 10. A word document is good for this exercise so that you may modify it as time goes on.
The list on the left is who you truly are at your core. This list on the right is what happens to you when you don’t feel that way. Knowledge is power so be honest when you create the list. Now when you feel one of the negative feelings or exhibit one of the negative behaviors from the second column revisit the first column to see precisely what you need to focus on to get back to a position of strength. For more career strategies get the FREE report: 31 Success Practices for Leaders in the High Stakes Corporate World.
Challenging situations occur in everyone’s lives that often impart feelings of despair. Fear can set in followed by repeated defensive behaviors that draw you away from your ability to thrive in your career, goals and relationships with confidence. Post this list where will you will see it every day to remind yourself of where your strengths lie and what to focus on when negative feelings or behaviors surface.
Next time you are feeling anxious look at this list and the corelating positive word that is at your core. That is the very thing you want to reflect on, meditate on, create a plan around. Now you have an actionable strategy to reverse the negativity!
If mindful practices, career planning and good goal setting are important to you, check out my video where I walk you through how to get a new job or promotion >>> Three Ways to Move to the Next Level in Your Career Right Now.
P.S. Feel free to forward this link to someone who could benefit from it. We are all walking down the same road in life.
Mary Lee Gannon, ACC, CAE is an executive coach and 18-year corporate CEO who helps leaders have more effective careers, happier lives and better relationships. Get her FREE Career and Life Planning Tool to be more effective, the leader everyone wants to work for and have a better connection with the people who matter while it still matters. If you don't know where you will be at the end of the year, you are already there.
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