What would you do if you could do anything?

Have you ever asked yourself the question ‘what would you do if you could do anything?’

Imagine all your expenses are paid and all your responsibilities are taken care of. All of them. Woweee!!! 🤣 It’s like the ultimate ‘what would you do if you won the lottery?’ question. Sure, almost everyone goes and buys nice houses, cars and travels the world. But what then…? How would you spend your time when you’ve done all that?

I love asking this question of anyone partnering with me to review their next career steps. I don’t ask it to help my clients make an immediate decision of where they go next in their careers. I ask it because it allows space for ideas and possibilities to emerge that there’s no space for if you’re focusing only on ‘what’s realistic’.

It doesn’t necessarily mean what you answer is literally what you need to do next either. You might want to to dig deeper into the essence of what’s in those ideas because there is something important to you about it, like building houses in a developing country – could be about making a difference in deprived communities or immersing yourself in culture, both of which could be part of a very different career in smaller parts.

There may be options out there you don’t even know about yet because you never give yourself space to ask what you REALLY want. Give yourself the gift of exploring without limiting for what you perceive to be ‘realistic’!

What would you love to do if you knew money was sorted? What would you spend your time doing? Who would you be spending time with? How would you really enjoy spending your life?

You might surprise yourself.

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If you’re ready to get real clarity on where you want to take your career next, we should talk. I have two private client spaces available beginning late January, with a bonus of a one-to-one workshop to make 2022 your best ever year if you’re a YES before 11pm Sunday 19th December.

Why what matters to you, matters in your career

You are sitting in a meeting listening to the same cyclical conversations you have this month every year since you started your job five years ago. It’s the same old drill every time. It’s seasonal work, the same conversations, the same tasks for the same people. You’re barely able to keep your eyes awake. You wonder if you’re coming down with something.

You stare out the window watching the birds soaring through the sky, free to fly where they choose. You sigh inwardly. That would be pure joy.

You’re so disinterested in the next project because you’re not learning anything anymore. You’ve done it to death. You can do it in your sleep, which is lucky, because that’s how you feel most days at your desk; asleep.

Does this sound familiar?

Before you jump to the conclusion you’re in the wrong job, or you need to get more high energy drinks or visit the gym more, take a moment. You might just need to make a few tweaks. You see if any of that sounds familiar you might not be experiencing all your top values in your current work.

Your values are what’s most important to you. Without them you can feel ‘off’ or bored or unfulfilled in your work, like the feeling you get that you have more to give and you’re not able to.

Getting clear on what’s important to you is a huge first step in obtaining clarity on what and where you want to take your career whether that’s further up the ladder of an existing one or through a shift into a totally different line of work you find fulfilling (and dare I say it, fun… yes that’s actually a real thing, fun work!!)

Start by asking yourself what really matters to you, and either jot those things down, or you can start by scanning a list of values like the one below and highlighting the ones that jump out at you. Don’t try and get it right, trust your first sense before you try and analyse it.

If you get more than five on your first pass, that’s great and you can then play a ‘trade off’ game where you ask whether you’d be happy to trade one off for the other. For example if you had ‘achievement’ and ‘beauty’ on your list, ask yourself which matters more ‘achievement’ or ‘beauty’. Take the winning value to play the trade off with the same question for the next value on your list, eg ‘achievement’ and ‘creativity’. When you’ve done that for all the values you’ll be able to see your top five values.

You can use these as the core of your future career decisions. If achievement matters most to you and a role will not offer you that, you know it’s a no go role for you if you want to feel fulfilled in your work.

Here’s a helpful list of values to get you started.

  • Authenticity
  • Achievement
  • Adventure
  • Authority
  • Autonomy
  • Balance
  • Beauty
  • Boldness
  • Compassion
  • Challenge
  • Citizenship
  • Community
  • Competency
  • Contribution
  • Creativity
  • Curiosity
  • Determination
  • Fairness
  • Faith
  • Fame
  • Freedom
  • Friendships
  • Fun
  • Growth
  • Happiness
  • Honesty
  • Humor
  • Influence
  • Inner Harmony
  • Integrity
  • Joy
  • Justice
  • Kindness
  • Knowledge
  • Leadership
  • Learning
  • Love
  • Loyalty
  • Meaningful Work
  • Money (can also be wealth)
  • Openness
  • Optimism
  • Peace
  • Play/playfulness
  • Pleasure
  • Poise
  • Popularity
  • Recognition
  • Religion
  • Reputation
  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Security
  • Self-Respect
  • Service
  • Spirituality
  • Stability
  • Success
  • Status
  • Trustworthiness
  • Wealth
  • Wisdom

If you want to start strong in 2022, start by getting clear on what matters to you. I have two spaces opening up to work with me in finding greater clarity on your career direction and your big audacious goals for the future. If you’re interested, let’s talk.

Consistency: your new best friend in sustainable change

Consistency is one of the most important and critical elements of success. You can have the very best of intentions and desires in your life, career, health, relationships and lack of consistency can be enough to derail your progress.

Consistently showing up to train for a marathon will reap far greater rewards than going out with gung-ho attitude and trying to run as far as possible 3 or 4 times before putting off training until a couple of weeks before the race. It takes much LESS energy to show up consistently in smaller increments than the energy you use in big impressive bursts of effort that are not sustainable.

Inconsistency has a cost. You lose energy and you lose momentum. Momentum is a vital tool in creating ANY change and without it you’re dead in the water. It doesn’t only affect the one off time you decide not to take action, it impacts on it all. The one time you decide not to work out, or to have the conversation that scares you, or to raise your hand in that meeting, you stall your momentum and a lot more effort is needed to get started again. If you layer in the way your brain might well start challenging you with unhelpful thoughts (oh, I can leave it one more day, it’s not going to hurt not to share – I don’t have anything to say anyway) your momentum grinds to a disappointing halt.

Keep showing up consistently and you’ll have more energy for what you’re aiming for AND for having fun or taking on other challenges because you won’t be wasting energy stalling and restarting your engines.

What are you going to commit to on a consistent basis?

(Image by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash)

Where is your thinking reducing your energy?

This morning I had a good look at one of the houses behind ours while I was doing my stretches. One of them has recently been redeveloped to add a room in the roof and I think it’s been done very tastefully.

I was reminded of a conversation with a neighbour shortly after the giant scaffold tower with the big roof protection cladding went up around. He was getting stressed because as far as he was concerned the work wasn’t being done in line with the planning application and it was bigger/more obtrusive/worse than he had been led to believe and wasn’t it ‘awful’. I’d started to get sucked into his story but stopped myself by reminding myself that actually it wasn’t my problem. If it wasn’t in line with planning, they would have to fix it or revise the planning until it was. It was only a load of scaffold and we wouldn’t have a clue what it was really going to look like until that came down.

His energy was all over the place and I don’t think he’d have much energy left after spending it all getting worked up about something he couldn’t control and didn’t even exist yet except in his mind.

My energy would have gone the same way but I stopped the energy drain! 🤣 I want to use my limited supply of energy to do the things I want to do in the world, to be the person I want to be for the people I love and care about, and the people I work with and for. I don’t want to use it getting worked up about things that are out of my control.

It was a powerful reminder – and it will be every morning I look at that house!

What pain has taught me about getting rid of things I tolerate

The tap shoes were out in full force tonight for the first time in years. It was challenging, fun and frustrating all at once trying to learn steps, fit them together and hear the music (tap shoes en masse are very loud 😂).

My feet are so SORE now!!

I’d forgotten when I packed them away from the last show that I’d intended to buy new ones because they are a whole shoe size too small for me. I even have a pair only half a size bigger in my collection of ‘stage shoes’ (yes, I have a collection 😂). But those only have taps on the toes – not good when you want a full on ‘stamp’. I could have had the heel taps moved from one pair to the other. I could have bought new ones. I did nothing.

There’s a phrase I really appreciate ‘how you do one thing is how you do everything’. It’s not absolute truth and it is a worthy challenge that I like to reflect on if I notice something that’s caused me to get stuck or stopped me from really walking in my best emotional power.

How I do one thing is how I do everything.

Where else have I noticed discomfort, pain, or things I’m tolerating needlessly? I didn’t need to put up with the pain of wearing shoes too small for me. I could have invested in a new pair and done something about it.

I didn’t.

The result is I have sore feet AGAIN. 😤

The result is tomorrow I will have sore feet on another level of pain or have to do a tap rehearsal without tap shoes.

I’m so over tolerating things that are utter rubbish for absolutely no reason other than I didn’t do anything. I always had a choice. Sort it or leave it. For whatever strange reason I decided to put up with it and not take the small action needed to sort it out.

No more!!!!

I’ve set an intention to try out the shoes without heel taps tomorrow. If they fit I’ll get the other taps moved. If not, I’m ordering a new pair.

My feet will be MUCH happier. And so will I!

And I also know that this one small action will create momentum in enabling me to remove other things I’ve been tolerating from my life, from my work and career, from my surroundings. If I don’t I know it will continue to have an impact on how I show up in my life and career.

No more Little Miss Put-Up-With-It 😂 . Time to take a stand for ME.