Working on the Right Thing
By Dr. Peggy Marshall
Last month we began a series on Overcoming Blocks to Success and the focus was on misalignments. When you asked yourself the questions about misalignments, did you find anything that you need to work on? I know that I personally have to work on my own denial especially in areas when I tell myself that something isn’t impacting me when it definitely is.
The focus of this month’s blog is working on the right things. How do we know what area of our own self-development we need to work on? Many times we use the reflection of others to tell us our areas for growth. While that might work sometimes, it is important for us to spend time with ourselves so that we can discover what is most important to us regarding our own self-development. Where do we want to stretch and grow.
Think back to the beginning of the year, did you make a New Year’s resolution? If so, what made you choose that goal? Had your clothes grown too tight, were you having troubles walking the stairs at your office, were you feeling overwhelmed? Did you ask any reflective questions to decide what you wanted to change in 2009?
Questions we can ask ourselves to get clear on the best choice for our personal work include:
-What problem or opportunity should I really be working on?
The answer to this question requires deep honesty with ourselves. Hopefully we reflected upon being more self-honest last month when we talked about misalignments.
-Which issue, if faced, would make a substantial difference in my life?
Will losing weight really impact the fact that I have allowed my finances to become a nightmare? Or is it just expedient?
Which issue do I have both the will and courage to work on?
This is a big one. If I am not ready to change something and I try to do it anyway, there is a greater risk of failure. When I am working with clients, I encourage them to be as clear as possible about their motivation for the change.
Which opportunity, if developed, will help me deal with critical problems?
Sometimes we are aware of the immediate opportunity, however if we go a little deeper we might be able to connect to a larger opportunity. For example, I may have a weight problem due to overeating but if I focus my attention on managing my energy, I may be able to have an impact on performance, relationships, and/or deeper connections with my purpose.
If I need a boost or quick win, which problem or opportunity should I focus on?
Many people find that they need an early success to overcome years of inertia. How can you break your overall goal into small steps so that you can find success in the stepping stones leading up to your accomplishment.
What would this problem/issue look like if I were managing it better?
What changes in your present work styles/home life would make sense?
What can you do differently with the people in your life?
What patterns of behavior would lead to greater success?
Move forward ______, what patterns of behaviors did you eliminate to lead to your success? What accomplishments would you have that you don’t have now?
What would this opportunity look like if you developed it?