March Series: Uncovering Your Authentic Self
Becoming the Wise and Powerful You
Last week, we created the lists below. If you didn’t do the exercises, then take some time now to get to know yourself better.
- Things I enjoy doing
- Things I do not like to do
- My superpowers
- Characteristics I want to minimize
- Values my ideal self holds dear
- My ideal self’s priorities right now
- Beliefs that support my ideal self
- Beliefs that I hold now for which my ideal self has no use
- One category on the Wheel of Life that I want to improve in order to help me become my ideal self
- Possible careers/jobs that my ideal self would love
Let’s start with a visualization. Keeping everything in mind that you have learned about yourself, picture your Ideal Self going through a day. What time do you get up? What’s the first thing that you do? What sort of clothes are you wearing? What does your house look like? Who are the people that you talk with on a normal day? Include all five senses in your visualization. What smells surround you?
If you would like to listen to a guided visualization, I have one under the “Free Stuff” tab on my website. (http://www.tapferconsulting.com/free-stuff/) It’s called “Future Self Visualization.”
Now, we are searching for gaps between your Now Self and your Ideal Self. The Wheel of Life gives us a good structure for analysis. (If you haven’t already, you can download the Wheel of Life here: http://www.tapferconsulting.com/free-stuff/) There are eight categories to consider: Family, Physical Environment, Fun and Friends, Personal Growth, Money, Health, Significant Other/Romance, and Career. In which category is the biggest gap between your Now Self and your Ideal Self? Where could you get the biggest bang for your buck if you invested some time and energy in improving an area?
It could be that you are really bothered by your physical environment at home. The solution to your annoyance could be simplifying and organizing. However, if you live in a tiny apartment and want to up-size, then that requires more money. Would it be best to focus on the Money category or the Career category?
Your analysis is going to be highly individualized, but let’s follow through with this example. Let’s say that my family and I are very crowded in our current house, and we want to move into a bigger place. Bigger places are more expensive, and we can’t afford it right now.
Would it be best for me to focus on money or career? If I focus on money, then I could learn how to invest or get a second job. Maybe we could all reduce spending so that we could put more towards a bigger place. That’s one option.
Perhaps a better option is to focus on my career. What could I do to get a promotion? Is a career change in order? If I learn how to write computer code, would I earn more money and get to work from home some of the time?
Now, it’s time to check those options against my vision of my Ideal Self. What would my Ideal Self do? How would she handle the situation? What actions will help me move toward my ultimate life goals at retirement or end-of-work?
Now, I want to look at the options in terms of values and priorities. Which options are in alignment with my stated goals and priorities? If family was my top priority, then it might not make sense to get a second job and spend less time with them.
I also want to look at how I can best use my superpowers. Where do I have an advantage because of a superpower? How can use what I am naturally good at to my advantage. I learn things quickly and am very logical in my thinking. I’m also good at staying on track and finishing things. Learning to code computer software is looking like a good option.
Now, I want to look at my beliefs about the world and myself. Which ones will support me and which ones will hinder me? What new ones can I create to help me? We can change our habitual thinking by replacing one thought with another. We can also create new beliefs. One way is to put sticky notes with the new belief in prominent places. Another way is to practice my game of “Cancel That Order.” I wrote about it for Day 9 of my 53 Leadership Challenges, and I’ve put a pdf that you can download here: http://www.tapferconsulting.com/free-stuff/
Use the same steps to analyze your Wheel of Life and create goals. Maybe you feel lonely and want to focus on the category of Fun and Friends – or maybe Significant Other/Romance! Perhaps you feel a spiritual emptiness and want grow your faith. Your path could be through the Personal Growth category or finding a spiritual community in Fun and Friends. Find the gap between your Now Self and Ideal Self and then dig down to the root.
Here is a step-by-step guide:
- Look at your Wheel of Life. Dig down to the root cause of the gap. For example, I am not happy with my Physical Environment, but I need to focus on Career to change it.
- Ask yourself which options and actions are most aligned with your values and priorities.
- Which options allow you to leverage your superpowers? We don’t call them superpowers for nothing! Your superpowers are things that you naturally do well. They are things you do better than most other people. Use them to your advantage!
- Determine what beliefs will support you and which ones are holding you back. If you hear yourself saying something like, “Oh, I will never be able to do that,” then you’ve got a limiting belief lurking somewhere. Pick a belief that will help you and post it everywhere. It could be a simple as “God has a plan for me” or “Everything will turn out for the highest good of all.” In my example, I would use “I am a fabulous coder!”
Analyzing yourself and your life is a difficult thing. Creating goals is another challenge. The behavior change required to reach your goals is one of the hardest things to do. Get help! Hire a coach, create a group with supportive friends, or enlist your family’s help.
You are solving the unique puzzle of you. There aren’t any right or wrong answers. Give something a try! If it doesn’t work out, then try something else! Unfortunately, none of us come with an owner’s manual that tells us exactly what to do. In truth, that’s a good thing. Life is about discovery, change, and growth. Some of the best moments come from the revelation of ourselves to ourselves.
For a little bit of fun leadership development, join 53 Leadership Challenges at KathyStoddardTorrey.com.
Want to go further with your professional development? Check out the courses offered at PositiveEffectLeadership.com.
If you are interested in taking your career to the next level quickly, contact me for a sample coaching session at KSTorrey@tapferconsulting.com.