Updated: Nov 1
It never fails.
I see it everywhere.
If I could place bets on it, I'd win every time.
What is it?
It is the "shoulds". We all suffer from the "shoulds" and carry "shoulds" around with us everywhere we go.
The "shoulds" are expectations and obligations that we put on ourselves. Whether they stem from societal norms, our parents and family members, or simply the vision that we have for ourselves - shoulds get in our way and keep us from being the best possible version of ourselves.
As my coaching trainer Lesley Picchietti says:
Put a little more clearly - don't let other people or others' expectations dictate the way that you live your life. Let YOU dictate how you live your life.
Let's be clear, I am not proposing anarchy or blatant disregard for others here...my point is that only you know what is right for you. If you live your life based on what other people think or what you believe others think is right for you, then you may be missing out on some really great opportunities to shine - both personally and professionally.
So when thinking about your future, and the growth in front of you (because we grow every day) here are a few key questions to answer.
Who are you?
What do you really want?
While these are pretty basic questions, they are not always easy ones to answer. So let me help you:
Who are you? This is important to ask yourself from time to time because as we grow, things shift. To answer this question, make an inventory list of what makes you special and unique. This can include (but is not limited to) the following:
Your gifts and talents
What do you really want? Now that you have this great list of what makes you YOU, it's time to figure out what you want to do with it. Keep in mind, just because you are good at something doesn't mean that it fills you up or that you want to do it. Take a hard look at your inventory list, especially the aspirational area, and consider what you want to do with that information. This inventory might tell you that you want more of X in your professional life, or less of Y; it might tell you that you aren't using your gifts to their fullest capacity or that you have a deep desire to grow in a specific way. As you analyze this list consider the following:
What is it that makes you happy, satisfied, or gives you more energy?
What zaps your energy or is depleting or frustrating?
How can you get more of the good and less of the draining areas in your life?
What would you like your life to look like in 1 year? In 5 years? (or whatever timeframe you have in mind)
Why? This is the truth-telling, gut-checking, and motivation-setting question. Your "why" is how you connect deep down inside to that future and put the wheels into motion. Your "why" is what will keep you going when the growth gets hard or fears creep in. Your "why" is what will help you to get the support and encouragement you need from those around you to succeed (vs them putting their expectations on you). Ask yourself:
Why do you REALLY want this?
Ask why again
Ask why again
Ask why again (and again till you really get to the heart of the matter)
This exercise is powerful in not only releasing the power that other people have over us (whether it's from them or our assumptions of them) - and in giving you the ability to create and lead the life that you really want to live. The more in line with that vision, the happier you'll be, the easier your life will be, and the greater positive impact that you can make on everyone around you, too.
Let me summarize...you are the master of your universe, the owner of your life, and the one who is making the choices*. By knowing yourself and what future you really want for yourself, you'll be able to define your growth plan the right way...your way.
*Disclaimer: this is not intended to be in conflict with your spirituality or your environment as there are great benefits of alignment to bigger things around us. This is intended to give you the power that you need to make your life work as best as possible for yourself.
When you are ready to step into that fullest and best version of yourself, know that the entire team at WeInspireWe is here for you. Whether it is to help you sort through the questions, put your action plan together, or simply to cheer you on along the way. Schedule your free strategy session for your growth and success today.
Tami Chapek is the CEO, Founder and Head Coach at WeInspireWe. Tami believes in community and positive change and has dedicated her life to bringing these concepts together. By empowering one, we empower many - and she believes that answer starts within. Click here to book a free strategy session with Tami today.