I have lots of coaching clients who struggle with their decision to stay or leave, to change jobs within or outside of their organizations. I see this same type of struggle in many arenas – which school to attend, under which teacher to study, more time at work, more time on a side project, or more time with family? Change what I do, move into a new area, become more of an expert or stay a generalist? People of all shapes and sizes have the same questions only in their own unique combination with figuring out who they are and what they truly want.
It’s the old question what do I want to be when I grow up? Who do I want to be and how do I get there? And once I get there what if I don’t really like it? I am grateful that I did not follow the path I thought I wanted when I was seventeen, the year when college comes into play. If I had followed my seventeen year old ideas I would now be an Accountant…whew! I dodged a bullet on that one. Don’t get me wrong Accountants are amazing people, I was just smart enough to realize that I couldn’t sit staring at numbers all day and be my true self. I had other strengths that called my name and I had the courage to listen and act even if that meant the path forward was a bit less clear.
Life can present us with a lot of ups and downs, which is the best way we figure out who we are and what we believe. Most importantly we learn who and what we are willing to fight to protect. Sometimes we don’t know that until we are challenged or our self knowledge is put to the test, or we fail miserably. It may seem strange to give thanks for failure and yet sometimes it is the most clear gift we can receive. Falling flat on our face has a powerful way to get us to face reality when nothing else has gotten through. It is in these painful times that we clearly see who we really are and what that means moving forward.
It is a new year, a chance to reflect and evaluate our current path. Is it the right one? Am I being my best self or have I relinquished what I want because of what is expected of me? Have I been courageous or am I just phoning in each day until the next few months or years pass by? And what would it take for me to truly know who I am and what I want? And most importantly, am I willing to do what it takes to become that person? Wow! Lots to think about. Good news is that it is never too late to make a change, even a tweak that has the power to propel us towards our best self, best life and our best decisions. Because when it is all said and done we are the one who must live our life each and every day. Why not do it as your best self?