Commit to A Better You For Yourself and Those You Love
In today’s fast paced and competitive world, many of the trainings I see organizational and individual customers prioritize — for themselves and their teams — are focused on keeping up with the latest industry trends. It’s important to increase knowledge, maintain professional certifications and stay at the forefront of the latest trends and in-demand skills. This is key in industries from technology to healthcare to art and design and often feels like a full time job in and of itself. On top of the actual work of your specialty, it can feel like a stretch to even think of finding the time or the money for much else.
But if you want to improve your overall day-to-day experience, it’s important to prioritize your personal and professional development. You are, after all, one person: one human. Like it or not, what happens at work impacts who you are outside of work and your experiences outside of work impact who you are at work.
Personal development is a lifelong process. While it takes into account your skills and abilities, it’s also an opportunity to consider your aims in life and how or where you need to adjust to reach those goals that are most important to you. It helps improve your own awareness, develop your talents and express your unique strengths. Perhaps most importantly, the time and energy you invest in yourself enhances the quality of your life on the journey to realizing your most important dreams and aspirations.
This improvement to the quality of your day-to-day experience filters into all areas: enjoyment of your work and your overall life. And focusing on your own development has a positive impact that goes well beyond you. When you commit to your growth, to doing your own work and taking full responsibility for your life, even small positive changes have a ripple effect. There is a positive impact on your relationships with family and loved ones, your health, and the quality of your overall contributions.
When you ignore your personal development, even if your professional career seems to be on track, you risk more than losing the enjoyment of the fruits of your labor. It’s easy to find yourself working hard and long hours without making the impact you’d like. Other areas of your life suffer or you may even feel like you’re stuck in a rut when it comes to life outside of work. It’s easy to look up, find yourself 10 years down the road and realize you’re not much closer to those things that are most important to you personally and professionally — despite years of hard work.
Consider for a moment: what would a better, more empowered, less stressed, happier, more creative and focused YOU mean for your day-to-day experience? What might it mean to your partner? Your closest professional peers and colleagues? Your children? Your customers? Your friends and social networks? Your community? Your creativity?
With this in mind, here are a few ways that you can focus on you this holiday season so that you bring your best self to bear — whether you’re running a staff meeting or attending the neighborhood holiday party.
Take care of yourself. As much as you may see vast room for improvement in your workplace, your business, your community or the country, your key area of influence and control lies within you. By taking care of your physical needs – getting regular exercise, drinking plenty of water, eating well, and getting sufficient sleep – you can show up as a better version of you for those you care about the most.
This can be especially challenging during the busy holiday season. In taking basic but sometimes elusive steps to care for yourself, you empower yourself to become a more effective leader, spouse, parent and member of your community. And that is powerful not just during the holiday season but throughout the year.
Be present. Take a few deep breaths and tune in to where you are in this moment. Think of someone in your life who has presence… are they more dynamic, influential, authentic? What being present really comes down to is your ability to connect with and to inspire others. The more of your presence you bring to any situation – whether it be a staff meeting or a conversation with your significant other – the more power you have to impact positive change. This is about your inner game. What is your intention? How are you unique? How do you take what’s within and inspire others?
By looking inside you will discover untapped wisdom and knowledge you may not have realized was there. You may also begin to recognize some limiting beliefs or ideas that you may want to clear and release.
Challenge your thoughts and beliefs. Notice the narrative that’s running in your head. We all have one. I see this all the time in my coaching work. A client will say “I’m just not funny” or “You seem organized but that’s just not who I am, I’m always disorganized” or “I’m not a planner.” Whatever this repetitive dialogue is, ask yourself: How does it serve you? How does it limit you? And how do you want to show up in the future? How might you show up if you let this old story go?
Challenge those thoughts and beliefs that are no longer serving you and become more intentional about how you want to show up. Start noticing what’s in your head and from there, experiment with shifting it to what you WANT to be in your head. With practice, you’ll notice how your outcomes change as you shift your intentions and deliberately practice showing up as the person you WANT to be in any situation.
Be aware of your feelings. You may have heard of or even explored the idea of emotional intelligence or emotional courage. It’s been promoted as the single most important key to personal as well as professional success. The Harvard Business Review has hailed emotional intelligence as “a ground-breaking, paradigm-shattering idea,” one of the most influential business ideas of the decade. But what exactly does this mean?
Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to recognize your own and other people’s emotions and to discriminate between different feelings so you can use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior. This enables you to manage or adjust in order to adapt to environments or achieve your goals. It’s not just about your own feelings, but how do you want those that you interact with every day to feel? Do you want to inspire and uplift? Do you want them to feel happier, even in the face of obstacles? If you ask this of others, are you willing to go there first?
Let go of the outcome. For many of us, this is the hardest bit. If you are overly attached to how something has to happen or to a particular outcome, your anxiousness and focus on it can actually increase the likelihood of it NOT occurring. At the very least, holding on too tightly creates a lot of unnecessary tension and stress at work and at home.
Instead, practice setting a clear intention, follow it with action and then let go of the outcome. Worrying and micromanaging are excellent ways to drive clients, connections and positive results out the door. Spending too much time or attention fixed on a desire can ultimately keep you from having much bigger results.
These are just a few ways you can give the gift of a better, more present self to those you care about this holiday – your customers, your colleagues, your staff, your family and friends.
Remember that when you focus on your own development, you are growing in ways that impact how you show up every day. This not only changes and can improve the quality of your own day-to-day experience and enjoyment, but also how you interact in all of your relationships – with your staff, with your boss, with your spouse, your friends, your children.
And anyone that is important enough in your life for you to give a gift to this holiday – yourself included – will care about you enough to appreciate the gift of a new version of you. As you move into the holidays and look ahead to a new year around the corner, what does the gift of a better you look like for you and for those you care about?
If you enjoyed this post and want support in transforming to your better self, contact me directly to see if you qualify for a complimentary strategy session.
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