Here’s a bit of simple advice: Listen more and ask lots of questions.
Success isn’t born out of having all the answers. Success comes from being open to asking the right questions, and listening for the right answers. Sometimes that means learning from others; sometimes, as you’ll see in the list of questions that follow, it means being more attune to what your own heart is saying. If you want to grab that brass ring, make a habit of asking these questions more often.
Will this move me closer to my goals?
We’re all terribly busy. There are some things we must do; and there are other things we do because we feel obligated or because it’s become a habit. Stop and ask yourself these questions: Is this something I must do? Is this moving me closer to where I want to be? If the answer is “no” to both questions, then delegate what you can and give up on what can be simply dropped.
Is this in line with my priorities?
Assuming you’ve taken the time to identify your priorities (if not, stop and do that now!), you should be evaluating how you’re spending your time as it relates to the things that are important to you. Remember, we make time for the stuff that matter to us. How do the things that clutter your calendar reflect what matters most in your life? Should you reshuffle what you’re spending your minutes on to better reflect your values and priorities?
Am I having fun?
Growing a business, climbing the corporate ladder, and earning your degree are all admirable, yet stressful, long-term goals. The path you take to get there won’t always be smooth. From time to time, however, step back and look at the big picture to assess whether this is something you’re doing because you said you would or because you still want to pursue this outcome. Take time to evaluate your progress and your passion, as you move the ball down the field closer to the end zone.
Am I failing up?
You’re going to drop the ball from time to time. You’re going to make mistakes. Sometimes you’re even going to fail spectacularly. Here’s the Thing: that’s only a problem if you don’t grow from it. Failure is an opportunity to learn and grow. Is the you that emerges from a fumble better than the you before it?
Am I comfortable?
Growth does not come out of comfort. When we’re content and we’re holding firm where we are, we don’t grow. Stretching beyond our cozy, safe zone is where the magic happens. Are you taking calculated risks? Are you willing to risk failing? Are you trying new things, honing new skills, pushing yourself beyond your pre-conceived limits?
How can I help?
One of the best parts of mentoring others is watching another blossom into the person they were meant to be. Success is a relay race and adding value as part of someone else’s support team can be immensely fulfilling. Your mentee, however, is not the only one benefiting from the relationship. Helping another find their way will also remind you how to focus and navigate the path you’re on. Try it.
What’s standing in my way?
Do you have any bad habits or weaknesses that are holding you back? Be honest with yourself. Once you’ve identified them areas needing improvement, make a realistic change plan for yourself. How will you form better habits? How can you strengthen your weaknesses? Who can you bring in to the fold to help address challenges in your business?
Do I need to recharge?
Before you say anything, let me answer this one for you. The answer is yes. You’ve got great things ahead of you and you are working hard to achieve your goals. You may think that the best thing to do is to push harder, faster, forward. You’ll have plenty of time for a break once the business is off the ground, once the quarter is over, once finals are turned in, once the kids are done with this season of this sport. The thing is, my friend, there will always be something. Make you a priority, too. It doesn’t have to be a week away to the destination over your dreams (although it could be!) Even an hour or two with a favorite book or an afternoon to see that new movie you’ve been looking forward to can add a little spark back.
As you make your way through these questions on a more regular basis, you may find it’s sometimes difficult to identify the answers. Alternatively, you may find that the answer you do grasp onto leaves you wondering “what next?” without a firm grasp on the answer to this new quandary. If you find yourself in that space, working with a coach or mentor can help you get back on the path again. Need another hand? I’m here to help. Contact my office for a chat: 917-992-2928. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.