After spending some time on the beach or in the outdoors over the summer break, away from the pressures of everyday life and routines, we can often find ourselves reflecting on a what a new direction or change in our life might look like for us.
When we feel stirred to consider a life change it’s worth taking some time to reflect and challenge ourselves to look ‘outside the box’. Our brain likes to put ‘perceived’ barriers in our way and say “I can’t do that because of ____“ or “I can’t do that because if it doesn’t work then ____ will happen.“
Next time you find yourself saying “I can’t” or find yourself focusing on it not working or being possible, turn it around and ask yourself:
“But what if it did work?” or “What would happen if I did do ____?”
This simple change in questioning can remove the barriers in your brain, allowing you to visualise success and think ‘outside the box’.
If you are feeling curious in considering new pathways for yourself in your career this year, I invite you to sit down with a cup of coffee (or a glass of wine), put some relaxing music on, grab a pen + paper and answer the following questions.
These five questions personally helped lead me to a life-changing decision to re-train and become a Coach – a job that I love immensely! I hope you find these questions just as empowering for making your own change.
Question 1 – When have you felt most fulfilled in the past?
Think back to times in your past when you felt most energised, re-charged, happy and content. When was it that you felt you were in the ‘zone’ and doing something that was fulfilling, meaningful, enjoyable and fun?
Was it a past job, a role within a certain environment or team? Or was it whilst you were coaching a team? Organising an event? Was it when you were at school in a leadership position? Or was it when you were doing volunteer work?
Question 2 – What made those times so enjoyable?
Now, consider what it was about the above times which made it so enjoyable. Was it the people involved? The action itself? The qualities needed, e.g. leadership? Was it the challenge for you personally?
The more you can extract from the above times, the more helpful it will be when looking into your future. Write down as many things as you can think of that made these times so enjoyable for you.
Question 3 – What careers/jobs have those attributes?
Next, write down as many possible future careers/jobs which have the attributes in your answers for Q2. Have fun with this, writing down as many as you can which involve the things you enjoy.
Question 4 – What criteria does your future job need to suit you and your lifestyle?
Now, ask yourself what are the ‘absolute must haves’ that a future job needs to have for you to be interested? e.g. flexible working hours, or it must involve working with people, or it must be mentally stimulating or interesting (that is doing something new each day or vice versa – some people need routine and don’t cope with change). What does your future job need to have to align with you and your lifestyle?
Question 5 – Which has the strongest alignment with your values?
Finally, circle or highlight the jobs above in Q3 which have the criteria you have you stipulated in Q4. Write them down and open your mind up to being curious on each of them. Research them all. Speak to people you know who are in these areas to determine which has the strongest alignment with your values. When all areas of our life are in alignment with our values we are at our happiest and strongest self.
If you haven’t connected to your values for the year ahead, I strongly recommend doing this. Keep an eye out for an upcoming blog where I’ll share how to do this.
Ready to make a change in 2019?
Written by Anna Gibbons, Intepeople Executive Coach.