Who are you? What are you most passionate about? What are your unique characteristics? What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken and what did you learn from it? What do you most want to be remembered for? In what ways are you sometimes misunderstood? What childhood beliefs still impact you today? What is unfinished in your life? Answering these and other thought-provoking questions require you to engage in a process called self-discovery.
The Journey of Self-Discovery
Self-discovery is a journey or pilgrimage in which we seek to heighten our awareness of self. It takes courage to examine the innermost parts of our being; but we must be willing to work through any pain and discomfort to create change and experience life more fully.
If you want to manifest the best of who you are destined to be, self-discovery is key. The following aspects of self-discovery can help you to explore, understand and navigate your values, beliefs, attitudes, emotions, assumptions and overall worldview.
Aspects of Self-Discovery
1. Self-reflection. This involves our capacity to engage in introspection to learn more about our fundamental nature and purpose. Use the following questions to promote self-reflection:
- Who am I?
- Who am I listening to and why?
- What am I tolerating?
- How and where am I committing my time and energy?
- If I could change one thing about myself, what would it be?
- What am I doing today to help improve my life tomorrow?
2. Self-trust. This refers to the confidence we have in ourselves. Our personal integrity depends upon our ability to trust ourselves. To develop self-trust, stay connected and maintain a good relationship with yourself by: (1) clarifying your values; (2) identifying and embracing your unique qualities; (3) listening with your heart; (4) seeing yourself from others’ point of view; (5) setting realistic goals and achieving them; (6) learning from your mistakes; and (7) making time for regular self-renewal.
3. Self-sacrifice. This is the ability to forego personal interests for the greater good and is one of the most important traits of influential leadership. Excessive giving can create internal resentment, so self-sacrifice does not mean scrapping all of your interests. It means balancing your interests in ways that will positively impact humankind (e.g., volunteerism, charitable giving, random acts of kindness or any other altruistic behaviors).
4. Self-fulfillment. Becoming self-actualized can be a lengthy process in terms of unlocking your greatest potential. If you feel stagnant, overworked and under-appreciated, you can employ techniques to overcome challenges and put yourself on the path to self-fulfillment by: (1) becoming more self-aware; (2) creating a mantra to foster inner motivation; (3) identifying an aspect of yourself that you would like to enhance; (4) visualizing yourself reaching your fullest potential; and (5) building a strong community of support.
5. Self-transformation. This evolution of consciousness is achieved when we question our very existence and quality of life. It involves getting clear about and setting intentions around how we choose to think, feel and behave. In doing so, we create change by manifesting our lives according to what feels most authentic to ourselves.
The process of self-discovery is a powerful continuous improvement exercise. Use it as an opportunity to understand your past, appreciate your present, and create your future.
Until Next Time,
When clients ask me how they can differentiate themselves from the competition and add increased value, I like to use the “birds of a feather” axiom. If you want to make a fresh start and revolutionize your future, read on.
As you consider ways to differentiate yourself, consider the differences between the chicken and the eagle. Chickens cluster in flocks at ground level, and among their population a pecking order exists. This pecking order seldom changes because weaker chickens lack the courage to confront stronger ones. While chickens have sophisticated social skills, they’re fearful of the unfamiliar, so play it safe and stick with what they know. Chickens produce for a few years, then they either become unproductive, or die.
Eagles, on the other hand, are spectacular birds that represent power and success. Their eyes are keen and always alert for opportunities. Unlike chickens, eagles build their nests on high. They continue to build year after year until their nests are as much as nine feet high. From this vantage point, they’re able to see the big picture. Eagles soar on the currents of the wind, reaching great heights above the earth in peaceful solitude.
The chicken and the eagle are both birds, but they approach life differently. Like the majestic eagle, you must rise above ground level to sharpen your vision, so you’re not influenced by negativity and impossibility. So what are you going to do… hang with the chickens, or soar with the eagles?
Until Next Time,
In the midst of difficult times, it’s easy to become disenchanted or overcome by fear to the point of stagnation. Maybe you’re wondering if you will have a job tomorrow. Maybe you’re feeling uninspired and unmotivated after being in the same rut for a long time. Maybe you’re standing at a crossroads pondering what to do with the rest of your life. Whatever your circumstances, it’s important to understand that during uncertain economic times you are compensated for the value that you bring to the organization. To deliver that value, you must create the conditions that will evoke greater possibilities.
Repositioning for Greater Success
If you do not have a measurable response to the question, “Why should we hire you, or keep you employed?” perhaps it’s time to distinguish yourself from the rest of the pack by increasing your market value. Here are five ways to strategically position yourself for greater success:
1. Reassess your value proposition. Your value proposition describes what you produce in terms of tangible business results. A value proposition grows out of need. So think of yourself as a provider of solutions that satisfy or address unmet needs, key inefficiencies or significant performance gaps. Make the competition irrelevant by identifying innovative ways to cut costs, enhance revenue, improve performance and efficiency or increase quality. This establishes a clear distinction between you and others in a way that draws interest and support and expands opportunities.
2. Take action over the things which you can control. Dwelling on things you cannot control breeds anger, resentment, anxiety, frustration and depression. These feelings, in turn, lead to manipulative behaviors. Stop squandering your health, integrity and productivity and shift your attention to those things that are within your control. You can control your thoughts, attitudes, choices, actions and contributions. Train your mind to self-correct by asking yourself, “What aspect(s) of this situation can I control?” Then develop a viable plan of action.
3. Rebuild your capabilities. Rather than defining yourself by your title or job, emphasize your capabilities and transferable skills. If you’re unemployed, your job is under siege or you’re preparing for your next job, turn crisis into opportunity by rebuilding your capabilities for long-term growth: disassemble your sphere of comfort; design a strategy to propel you to the next level; apply enough pressure to stretch the outer limits of your thinking; align your strengths to address critical and challenging needs; cut yourself some slack because progress takes time; install an entrepreneurial mindset to create continuous opportunity; calibrate your internal compass to keep you on track; grind any distractions, unreasonable goals and expectations; prime your passion to withstand any doubts; supply sufficient effort to exceed specifications; and test your complete system. Now you’re ready to launch yourself towards new endeavors!
4. Manage your expectations. While it’s important to maintain a vision of the future, managing your expectations is a key part of framing your success. This does not mean lowering your expectations, having realistic guidelines. Our expectations are usually based on what we want to happen, which may not be the best course of action. Expectations can alter your sense of reality, so take an honest look at your situation before exploring options. Be open to new ways of thinking and learning and take proactive steps to achieve your desired outcomes.
5. Maintain an attitude of gratitude. Energy flows where attention goes and whatever you consistently think about expands. Focusing on what you don’t want or have creates a downward spiral of negativity and despair. Gratitude keeps you centered, turns chaos into clarity and unlocks the fullness of life. Acknowledge the people and things in your life that bring about joy and empowerment. Reflect on the ways that you’ve achieved success (by your own definition). Stay focused on what really matters and view change as an opportunity for personal and professional transformation. Seek the hidden value in every situation… and stop sweating the small stuff!
Onward and Upward
Life is full of choices and opportunities, if we have the courage to seek them. Starting today, consider yourself a brand. Seize each moment by expanding your focus and taking responsibility for your challenges and successes, one building block at a time.
Until Next Time,
As I sit overlooking the tropical waters of the Caribbean, many thoughts are running through my mind… a primary one being we’re always thinking, so are always creating. Nonetheless, we rarely consider that each thought emits a magnetic signal (energy) that attracts conditions that correspond with its nature. In this way, everything we transmit returns to us as the source.
Mental forces are powerful frequency vibrations that are unbiased to our likes and dislikes or what we deem good or bad. These vibrations merely manifest whatever it is we focus on the most. High-frequency thoughts attract positive circumstances. Low-frequency thoughts attract negative circumstances.
Because our personal vibrations communicate who we are to the world and shape our realities, here’s an experiment to try this week to determine whether you are transmitting high-frequency or low-frequency vibrations.
1. Attune to the moment. Be aware of and jot down your primary thoughts over the course of each day.
2. Identify patterns. At the end of the day, review your notes to identify common themes and patterns in your thinking. If your thoughts are primarily negative, it’s time to change the channel.
3. Raise your vibration. Do something that will help you to release negative thoughts and self-limiting beliefs. This can be as simple as meditating; breathing deeply and slowly; taking a walk, nap or bubble bath; listening to a favorite song; holding a significant other; or anything that brings you joy.
Raising your vibration heightens your awareness and enables you to gain greater clarity about what you want in life. It’s unrealistic to believe that we can sustain high-frequency thinking at all times. However, we can consciously choose where to focus our energies. Each time you feel yourself slipping into low-frequency mode, change the channel to elevate your thinking and manifest a new picture and a new set of circumstances.
Until Next Time,