We’re a few weeks into January and by now many of you have set goals, implemented development plans for you and your team, and taken steps forward. I asked a poll question recently about goals and someone responded that they are great at creating goals and plans but then life and work get in the way. We must manage day to day, right? And once reality creeps in, maybe like me you’ve even thought, am I doing this right? Is this right goal or plan for me? What if I’m not cut out to achieve this? And a hundred other questions that leave you feeling uncertain about the goal, plan, and possibly yourself. Candidly. Me too. It happens to all of us. So how do you slay that dragon when it’s not something you can say out loud to others?
Photo: Kyle Glenn, Unsplash
Maybe, you don’t. Instead, maybe you learn to truly listen to yourself. I mean, if we can’t be fully honest with ourselves, who else can we be that transparent with? I have gotten in the habit of having conversations with myself – via journaling and mind maps about where I am. I will write down what I’m really thinking about. But instead of listening with judgement, I listen with compassion – the same way I would to others. If you had a friend who wasn’t meeting an objective, would you speak to them the way you talk to yourself? Probably not. It takes practice, but it is possible to listen and respond to yourself differently.
Consider why. I am working on creating a coaching program for rising leaders. I’ve been at this for a while now. I can see the idea and the outcomes and impact this will make. I’ve changed it, gotten feedback, changed again, and I began to wonder, am I doing this right? This is taking way too long. I am certain that it will be powerful. But can I convey it well? I should have launched it by now. Hint – the fact that I was “shoulding” myself indicates how much I am judging myself.
Photo: Emily Morter, Unsplash
Then someone asked me, why am I doing this?... Coaching, creating workshops, building offerings? Because! I want rising leaders to really see the unique gifts and perspectives that they bring to their organization, teams, and those around them. Especially in those moments when it feels like you’re going uphill, one way, in the snow, for miles. I want you, if you’re reading this, to know what that feels like because you can create exponential impact, a ripple in the pond for which impact continues, for you, your team, and this world, when you lead and live from that place. I feel that when I say it. Once I connected what I wanted and why, to what I was doing, everything began to click.
Photo: Ran Berkovich, Unsplash
Create a vision for it. That may feel big. Vision can feel that way. But it can be as simple as picturing yourself achieving what you aim for, even if you don’t know how you’ll get there. In the book The Choice Point, elite athlete Martina Navratilova summarizes this process. She imagined everything from hitting the shots, winning the match, getting, and kissing the trophy and celebrating overall. (Queue the crowd going wild here)! Then she created a practice that supported that image. She described loving the practice because she knew the vision. (Grover, J., LCSW, & Rhodes, J., PhD (2023). The Choice Point (1st ed., p. Forward). Hachette Book Group.)
So, what does that look like for you? How can you create a vision for your goals? How do you portray that for your team? Yes, your company may have a vision, but you can also create that for you and the team around what you want to achieve.
You may not be as far as you expected. And you may not see the path forward exactly as you’d hoped. But keep going. Listen, ask and see what’s possible. And, if you want some support for that, keep an eye out for my newest program launch. It begins with a free workshop that will help you get started. I look forward to celebrating the wins throughout 2024!