Who Are You Becoming?
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Who you are is not who you were last year and certainly not who you were five, 10 or 20 years ago. Since then you’ve evolved. It’s easy to look backwards to see the growth and changes in mindset and actions. Maybe that growth was intentional, maybe not.
Instead of looking backwards, look forward.
Every day we make choices, conscious and subconscious, in support of our future selves. Your actions, thoughts, decisions and goals are shaping who you are becoming.
A common block I see in business growth is incongruence. What people say they want is not what they actually want (or believe is possible).
We focus on the “doing.” We have goals, plans, strategies and tactics, all of which are important external components of growth. Less often, we focus on the internal components of growth – our dreams and values.
Yet, dreams are jet fuel for action.
I recently completed a module of the Co-Active (CTI) coaching model and it was inspiring. Though I intuitively knew that the best results come when there is alignment between the internal and external operating systems, I didn’t fully understand what that meant. According to the model, you are naturally creative, resourceful and whole. You have what you need to become who you want, as long as that aligns with your values and dreams.
Dreams are not goals. Dreams are the things that light us up; they are our values brought to life. Yet, so many of us don’t spend the time or have the tools to explore and access those values.
Who you were is not who you are. Who you are is informing who you are becoming.
What does this mean for growth in your business?
Seeking solutions to attain your goals is good as long as those goals align with your values and dreams.
As an advisor, prospects and clients rightly expect answers.
Yet, what people want may not be what they need. What they want may not be supported by their values and internal operating system. When that’s the case, the journey towards their stated goals is hard.
Think about a time when you wanted something, yet you were not able to actualize that desire no matter how hard you tried. You saw others achieve, yet no matter what you did it didn’t happen for you.
Or ,maybe your gut was unsteady the whole time; you didn’t want that thing but you felt like you should. You committed to it with your team or to yourself and were hellbent on making it happen. You ignored that whisper of doubt.
In business, the result of incongruence is friction and failure
I see business owners and leaders who spend a lot of resources on things not aligned with their values, purpose and mission. They are trying to be something they aren’t. There is value in “faking it until you make it or believe it” (thank you Amy Cuddy), as long as that goal is aligned with your values.
There isn’t anything wrong with friction or failure. They are both important and helpful signals that something is off, as long as we notice and learn from them.
Is it possible to shortcut friction and failure? I believe so.
There are a few ways I’ve found to decrease resistance when you’re looking to grow, change and evolve:
- Work from the inside out;
- Follow your intuition; and
- Be open to feedback.
Work from the inside out
Working from the inside out means you allow yourself to dream honestly to get clear on your values. You goals are aligned and supported by that purpose (read the article, On Purpose, for an exercise to help you define your purpose).
Even when there is friction or failure (there will be), you can fall back on your values, purpose and mission to recalibrate and reengage.
Follow your intuition
We all have intuition. How you experience it varies. I feel it in my body and as a deep knowing. Especially in a service industry, your intuition is a powerful tool to connect and engage with yourself and your clients.
If something doesn’t feel right, tune in to explore that feeling.
When something feels right, trust it.
Be open to feedback
Often the questions we are afraid to ask or are seeking are not clear to us, but easy for others to see. Seek feedback and be open to the responses.
Asking open-ended questions to validate or inform is a powerful way to get the answers you need as you evolve yourself and your business.
Sample questions to ask yourself:
- How would I rate my business on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being exceptional? What would a 9 or 10 out of 10 look like?
- What’s one thing that, if I stopped, would improve my business and life?
- What’s the best news you could receive related to your business?
Questions to ask clients, prospects and professional partners:
- What has been your experience with [your firm name]?
- What would our firm look like in its ideal state?
- How do you feel after we talk? How do you want to feel?
- How would you describe [your firm name] in three words?
You are creating your future
Now that you know you’re in control, heading towards your future, what are you going to do about it? There are essentially two choices: Be intentional or not.
If you choose to be intentional, start by exploring your dreams and values.
Ask yourself, “Who do you want to be? Why?”
Keep digging into the “why” until the answers resonate. Coaches are powerful partners to help uncover values and unlock dreams.
If you find that what you think you want is misaligned with what you actually want, that’s okay. Actually, that’s great; you’ve just identified a potential friction point, which now you can bypass.
There are no right answers when it comes to you, your business or how you define success and growth. There is no “easy button.” Growth also doesn’t have to be hard. It should flow, just like the person and business you are unintentionally (or intentionally) building.
So, who are you becoming?
I partner with RIAs and financial professionals looking to unlock their potential. Outsourced CMO, sales and marketing strategist, coach, accountability partner, change maker – those are some of the names I’ve been called over the past 15 years. If you are looking to take your business to the next level, I’d love to help. Learn more resources at www.shaunamace.com or contact me at [email protected].