When we think back on all we’ve done in our careers, there’s a tendency to look back and focus on the mistakes and negative experiences. It’s easy to look back and say, “What good can possibly come out of this?”
When working with coaching clients, I ask them to reflect on their career thus far. It’s not a platitude when I say, we are our own harshest critics.When reflecting upon your career for 2015, be kind to yourself and take the role of the cheerleader – even just for a moment – to thank yourself for all that you’ve accomplished. Take stock on just how productive you really are.
Just yesterday, a career coaching client shared his feelings of regret and jealousy over his younger sibling’s professional success. The question is he raised was, “Why do we have two different careers when we shared the same (difficult) personal background?”
I eventually posed the reflection, “How is this statement true when you practically raised your sibling on your own? As such, your sibling had you to guide and protect him.” Driving the point home, I said, “You didn’t have that luxury of having someone looking out for your success. Do you realize that you raised a successful adult?”
My client was taken aback. He had never considered his challenging life experiences in such a way. Nor did he congratulate himself on shaping the future of his sibling in a positive way. His eyes widened. His face lightened and he said, “I have never thought about it in that way.”
You see, in the cloudy mindset of comparing, of seeing lack, and of expectations, we fail to acknowledge what is: the goodness in our hearts, the instinctive positive action that seems to guide us to the right people and places at the right time, and the inexplicable and even mundane miracles of our lives.
Like Scrooge, we can take so much of our lives and careers for granted. Not out of malice, but out of hurt and fear – from having been burned in the past or anxious about bad things happening in the future. We just want to survive, as so many of my clients say when they first meet me.
Not enough credit goes to the good things around us and certainly not enough credit goes to our positive qualities and actions and the potential that lies latent within ourselves. What my career coaching clients eventually realize is that loving and honoring ourselves is the prerequisite to loving and honoring our careers. Some have said to me, “If I can just have a good paying job that lets me do what I love in 2016, then I’ll have time to love and take care of myself.” Sounds like some of us are setting ourselves up for disappointment.
Start first in taking stock of all of the great things you’ve accomplished in 2015, the resources that lie ready to be awaken within you and those that you’ve used thus far, and acknowledge the love and intentions from where these actions and beliefs originate – then you’ll begin to see things differently. More importantly, how you see yourself will shift focus, too.
Coach Leslie’s Questions To Ask Ourselves:
- What are my career fears? Where do they come from? What is the loving intention of those fears that try to keep me from getting hurt again?
- What impact have I made in my career in 2015? What were the challenges, the opportunities to truly be my best self, and how did things change as a result?
- Who have I made a positive impression on? How did their work/lives/experience change as a result?
- What resources within myself did I discover that I have to turn stressful situations into learning opportunities? What are they?
- What were the top 3 accomplishments I experienced at work? Why?