WHAT’S YOUR GOAL?
If I asked you this question over coffee or on a coaching call you’d probably tell me a couple, if not a few, things you are working toward.
Maybe you want a better financial picture. Or to spend more time with your family. Or to lose a few pounds.
WHAT DO YOU REALLY WANT?
That’s the harder question. And that’s where the gold is.
“What do you really want” is one of the best and often used tools in a coach’s bucket but many don’t use it.
It’s easier (and safer) to stay on the “what’s your goal” side.
Why? Most people don’t really know what they want.
AND IT’S MESSY
(That’s okay – that’s what I LOVE to help clients with! It’s where your gold and your soul are! )
When you start to answer the question of what you want, you get lost a bit. It’s okay. It’s normal.
You might go down a few rabbit holes or bunny trails.
Doubt creeps up. You edit your answer (and edit yourself).
Worthiness raises the barriers. You hold back from answering directly (in direct relation to holding back from what you really want).
It gets messy. You don’t want to go there (but secretly, yah, you do) and many coaches (not to mention friends and spouses) don’t want to go down the muddy, messy path with you.
It’s not easy or clean.
It’s not one of those “if this, then that” formulas.
It’s not black or white.
I know, I get it!
Not only do I experience this with clients and prospects, I’ve experienced this lack of clarity about what I really want.
WASTED DAYS AND WASTED NIGHTS
(That’s an old song I think I heard growing up. Dates me!)
I wasted a lot of time chasing things that I thought I wanted. Goals that were the “norm” or even noble.
Incredibly high standards that would earn me credibility and respect.
My inner child is saying “what-evah” – with some serious attitude!
She knows I’ve reached some of those goals and for some of them, many of them, there was a fleeting sense of accomplishment, rarely fireworks or celebratory toasts of champagne.
And for many of those accomplishments, I got no good vibes. Some of it felt anti-climactic rather than inspiring or deeply satisfied.
I’ve learned that going backwards is sometimes going forwards.
Everyone is talking about reverse engineering. Covey, in his book 7 Habits to Highly Successful People, called it “begin with the end in mind.”
My process is a little twist on that. I say “Begin with how you want to feel and what you want to experience along the way and at the end.”
When you have clarity about that you can start to live that way and align your life that way.
That’s where the trouble is. Same place as the “gold.”
It’s hard to get clarity with so much noise. Getting clarity is a process – not a one-time event. But you can sort through the noise and gain a boatload of clarity by trying these three steps:
- Do an honest inventory
Inventory yourself, your likes, and your dislikes. Make a list. Make several lists. Reflect and add more. What do you love? What lights you up? What drains you? Make a big list of things about you.
- Be an observer
Observe your life and your response to it. Pay attention to your emotional, physical, and spiritual responses to different events – big ones, little ones, and non-events – just the routine of life. Write down your observations. What brings you joy? What brings you down? Who inspires you? Who do you hide from? What do you get lost in? What were you doing?
- Flip it around
Make a list or look at what you DON’T want. Use the list to consider what you do want. It’s not always the opposite, but the list should point you to what you do want.
I found that when my goals were aligned to who I truly am and what I really want to have, do, be, and experience, I have better focus and have more confidence in the direction I am heading and the actions I am taking.
That’s the gold.
What really opened the can of worms into getting insight about myself and what I really wanted was from taking the Myers Briggs Type Indicator assessment while taking a team building leadership class at the University of Washington State.
My report showed me my natural tendencies for getting information, making decisions, communicate, and how I structured my world.
The understanding of these natural tendencies, as well as the natural tendencies of others, gave me tremendous insight into not only how I “operated” but also what I wanted.
In the past I spent a lot of time and energy living outside of my natural preferences and it cost me.
Sometimes I needed to develop skills or confidence but for the most part when I lived out of my own “style” I was not only getting incomplete or mixed results, I was not living the best version of myself.
Be courageous to find out what you really want in a way that aligns with your natural preferences.
Taking the time to get clear will allow you to step into each day with a clear vision and a path that unfolds beneath your steps of faith and focus.
Not only will you reach the goals that are deeply meaningful, you’ll feel good along the way.
What have you done to learn more about yourself?
Comment below – love to hear your experience.
My best for your highest,
PS Have you taken any inventories or assessments like the MBTI, Strong Interest, Strengths Finder, or FIRO-B lately?
If you want insight about your natural preferences, career interests, leadership and communication strengths and potential blind spots – for work or your personal life – let’s hop on the phone.
I am certified to provide a number of genuine and well-researched assessments to help you get clarity, insight, and direction for your personal and professional goals.
If you are interested in hearing more about the different reports I have access to including reports that cover communication, leadership, conflict, team work, collaboration, career interests, strengths, blind spots, and how to get refueled, let’s connect. You can contact me here and we’ll chat about which one would help you get the clarity you need.
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