Understand Other People

Better communication through a better understanding of behavior

Creating Your Personal Shift

...to get you where YOU want to be!

It’s not uncommon for us to feel stuck. We know what we’d like to do, we believe we can do it – but for whatever reason, day after day goes by and we don’t move from our current location to where we’d like to be. What stops us from being as effective as we have the capability to be? It’s different things for different people: lack of time management, lack of clarity about where we really want to go, past or present experiences that weigh on us and weigh us down, confusion about what exactly we have to do and what steps to take. The list is endless, and for many people the list seems overwhelming; it’s as if we can’t do what we need to do, so we won’t do anything.

For people who do want to make that personal shift and haven’t given up entirely, there’s hope. There are a few key steps you can take to get from here to there. It won’t be easy. It takes commitment and motivation. For most of us, staying in a comfortable current place is always going to be preferable to stepping out and taking a risk about the next unknown. The adages “be careful what you wish for” and “the devil you know is better than the one you don’t” came about for a reason! Even when we aren’t happy with where we are, we will often take it over the unexplored caves of the great unknown.

Of course, on any given day there are thousands, if not millions of people who are making their shift. They are trying new things, starting new ventures, exploring new places and enjoying the process. If you want to be one of those people, for nothing more than proving to yourself you can do it, here are some tips and ideas for taking that next step.

First, be clear about where you want the road to lead you. Too many times we are fleeing something else – that spouse, that boss, that bad situation – and our focus is simply on getting away, not pondering where we’d like to be next. We want to just “get out,” so we may make a bad decision about where to go next in our quest to leave behind our current situation. Take a few minutes to think about what success really looks like to you. What do you really want? What would make you truly happy? Paint a picture with words or images and get clear about where you’d like to end up. Be sure to take the time to write it down. Thinking about things rarely gets us anywhere; it’s when we commit to something in writing that it starts to become real.

Identify what you’ll need to deal with along the way. What has stopped you before? What might stop you now? You will need to be self-reflective and honest with yourself. Do you have personal Achilles heels that hold you back? Procrastination? Fear of the unknown? Lack of that internal sense of “I can do it!”? Financial issues? There are often clear reasons why we haven’t been able to move in the direction of our dreams, but we don’t identify them and work through them in our process. We sort of hope they will just go away or resolve themselves, but they almost never do. It’s a negative process to just focus on these things, so surface them but then take the time to create a plan that includes working around, through or over these issues.

Make a plan. Don’t leave your future to chance. Get clear about what you need to do and then take the time to record what those steps are. Break them down. Want to write a book but you have a full-time job? Find 20 minutes a day to just get started. Want to take up a new hobby but family commitments limit your time? Start to research information and learn about what you need to do. Want to change careers but don’t know where to start? Go onto chat groups or blogs and learn what others have done. Don’t force yourself to make tremendous progress right away, just start to chip away at your goals little by little. One foot in front of the other, with a clear direction of where you are headed, will always eventually get you where you want to go!

Beverly D. Flaxington teaches at Suffolk University.

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