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Ideal self

March Series: Uncovering Your Authentic Self

Who do I want to be?

Let’s review. We looked at our values, priorities, experiences, and beliefs to get a view of our life’s foundation. We also determined what we like to do and what our superpowers are. We are beginning to get a good grasp of who we are right now. We’ve been trying to uncover information in the Blind and Unknown quadrants of the Johari Window to reveal our authentic selves to ourselves.

“Who am I?” is one question. “Who do I want to be?” is another question entirely! We’ve figured out who we are, now let’s decide who we want to be.

Let’s start by looking at values. Are you happy with your list? Are those the values of your ideal self? Do they support you in being the person that you want to be? If the answer is yes, then great! If not, what values do you want to embody in your life? Write down the most important values to your ideal self.

Next, look at your list of priorities. Do your top three priorities truly reflect what you want to spend your time on right now? Priorities can be a tricky thing. When my children were small, “family” was a top priority. I spent most of my time on the kids and the house. The challenge for me was that I loved doing things with the kids, but I didn’t like some of the jobs that went along with it. I liked a functioning house, but I didn’t like to clean or straighten. The family wanted to eat, and I don’t like to cook. Everyone needed clean clothes to wear, and I loathed laundry.

I wouldn’t say that I loved everything I did, but I was clear about the decision to make “family” a top priority; so, I did the parts I liked and the parts that I didn’t like. Liking actions or being excited about doing them isn’t always a good guide to whether or not they have value to me.

Remember, priorities change and life is a series of phases. We want to define the priorities for our ideal self for this phase, and make sure that we are working towards our ideal self in 20 years.

Now, let’s look at the beliefs that we discovered. Would your ideal self hold those beliefs? Remember, we are talking about beliefs that we’ve created based on our experiences. Does your ideal self feel that he or she will never be good enough? Of course not! Let’s dump that belief and any others that aren’t supporting us in becoming our ideal self.

Letting go of beliefs that we have held for decades can be difficult. It’s hard to identify them, and letting them go can be even harder. A coach or therapist can help. We will talk about some techniques next week when we make plans, but know that letting go of long-held beliefs is hard to do on your own.

Let’s look back at the personality assessments for a moment. Most of the assessments that I’ve taken listed possible weaknesses and things to watch out for. I recognized most of the worst tendencies and made note of them. Look at your assessments, and do the same. Next week, we will talk about doing something about it. For now, we are just collecting information about who we want to be and who we don’t want to be.  My goal was to be a heroic, magnanimous, inspiring leader! I did not want to be overbearing, negative, or controlling, which are qualities I have a tendency to display.

Now, look at the Wheel of Life that you completed. Complete the third page of the packet that includes goals and commitments for each of the eight categories. These are goals and commitments that will help you to be your ideal self. Next week, we will talk about ways to achieve those goals and commitments. For now, we are just creating as clear of a picture as possible of our ideal self.

Now, let’s figure out what your ideal self is doing. Look back at the personality assessments again. Each one will recommend professions based on type. Those suggestions can help us decide what our ideal self does for a living.

I found that the recommended jobs for me were consistent. The list included CEO, lawyer, public relations executive, etc. Now that was a problem! I was in my 40’s and had been a stay-at-home mom for more than a decade. I was a military spouse who moved every few years. It’s hard to jump in at CEO-level or even reach executive-level anything when you start late and move a lot.

However, all was not lost. On almost every list was “entrepreneur.” I decided that I could do that one. Leadership was my game, and I enjoyed facilitating in front of groups; so, I was going to become a leadership trainer and coach. Eureka! I found work for my ideal self!

You will now be able to create these lists:

  1. Things I enjoy doing
  2. Things I do not like to do
  3. My superpowers
  4. Characteristics I want to minimize
  5. Values my ideal self holds dear
  6. My ideal self’s priorities right now
  7. Beliefs that support my ideal self
  8. Beliefs that I hold now for which my ideal self has no use
  9. One category on the Wheel of Life that I want to improve to help me become my ideal self
  10. Possible careers/jobs that my ideal self would love

Next week we are going to compare our Now Self to our Ideal Self and create a plan. I love making plans! When the plan helps me become a better me, I love it even more.

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.