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The Best Listener at Work

 

The Best Listener at Work

The Best Listener at Work

You may wonder why being a good listener at work is really valuable.  However, if you experiment with improving your workplace listening skills, you will see changes.   In the fast past, high demand jobs so many of us have, really good listening may be something of a novelty.  This may because of the ever-impending deadlines, the many distractions we have or the workplace stress.  If you commit to being the best listener at work, you may notice that some of these challenges shift.

So how might listening skills impact your work place experience?  Well, consider your experience now.  How well do you feel heard at work?  What do you notice about people how are really present with you when communicating vs. those that are anxious to move to the next “to do”?  I would imagine that when someone is really present with you that it is easier to talk to them, you may feel more connected or more at ease. What if you were that person for everyone else?  How might this impact your workplace experience if people knew that when they spoke to you, that they could count on you to really pay attention?

Particularly if you are a leader, really good listening skills go a long way.   Being able to connect, understand and communicate effectively with your employees is a crucial component of an effective leader.   According to a study in The Journal of Occupational Health, it was found that… “psychological stress reactions were lower in subordinates who worked under supervisors with high listening skill, while no statistically difference was observed among older subordinates.” 

So if we know that our listening skills have an impact on our overall work stress, it seems like a great advantage for us to actively improve these skills.  Below you’ll find three tips to improve your listening skills

1.) Offer more clarity

Repeating something back to someone in the way that you heard it will help to reduce miscommunication.  Repeating a statement also offers the opportunity for this person to add additional clarification if necessary.  This way of “active listening” ensures that this person is being understood correctly and shows them that you are paying attention.

2.) Focus

Sometimes we can get caught up in how we are going to respond to something.  Thinking of what to say next reduces our ability to listen to what someone is saying.  Attending to what someone is saying without focusing on how to respond will create stronger communication.  Remain focused on the present moment and really digesting what it is that someone is communicating. 

3.) Breath

Often times at the workplace we are moving a million miles a minute, which reduces our ability to take in information in any given moment.  Taking a few moments to breath as you speak with someone will help you to be more present and process what they are saying more effectively.  Before you speak or when you are feeling overwhelmed, stop and take a deep breath.  This may sound trivial but can do wonders for not only stress but your ability to communicate and listen effectively. 

After you’ve had the opportunity to put these behaviors to the test, I would invite you to make a comment below.   I would suggest that in order to notice results you may have to practice one or all three for at least four times a week for three weeks.   After you’ve practiced, consider answering the following questions –

How did they work if they did at all? 

What did you learn?  

How long did you practice each new behavior?  

Best,

Michael

P.S. If you are curious to learn more about personal development, workplace challenges, interpersonal dynamics, goal achievement and a wide variety of other topics, sign up today! www.www.arcintegrated.com/newsletter.  It’s totally free.

You’ll also receive a FREE tip sheet with Five Strategies to Build Motivation!

 

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The Value of Showing Up

The Value of Showing Up

The Value of Showing Up

One of the first rules of life – show up.   What does this mean exactly?  I believe it can mean lots of things but perhaps first it means, give it your all.  Always be participating in your life rather than being a passive observer.   This is great advice, however, this article is more about the value of showing up in a literal sense.

Being actually present with someone rather than emailing, calling, Facebook messaging, Tweeting, texting or otherwise communicating.  I recently had the opportunity to be mentioned in an article in Entreprenuer.com.  This article goes in to great detail about the value of in person communication.  In today’s Vlog I want to emphasize three components that I find particularly important –

  1. Intention

  2. Subtleties

  3. Immediacy

For more information and detail about the value of in person communication, please see this article.   If you have questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to reach out.  If you have interest in continuing the conversation, consider answering the following the questions and then commenting below –

What have you found to be valuable when communicating in person? 

How has in person communication impacted your personal or work relationships?

Cheers,

Michael

P.S. If you are curious to learn more about personal development, workplace challenges, interpersonal dynamics, goal achievement and a wide variety of other topics, sign up today! www.www.arcintegrated.com/newsletter.  It’s totally free.

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Beat the Post Vacation Slump!

 

Beat the Post Vacation Slump

Beat the Post Vacation Slump

It’s that time of year.  You may have recently returned from a trip, visiting relatives, vacationing with friends or maybe just enjoying a few days off.  However your holidays were spent, I hope they were rejuvenating and enjoyable.  Getting back to the grind can be a challenge.  I’ve certainly experienced it and I know many friends, family and clients have too.  Today I want to talk about how to beat the post vacation slump!

Whether the holidays were filled with fun, laughter and excitement or anxiety, busyness and overwhelm, coming back to a routine may be tough.   Below you’ll find some strategies about how to get back to being at the top of your game in work and in life, in addition to some tips for the next time you go on vacation.

Be Clear 

Personal Life – This is the time for New Year’s Resolutions, woohoo! The truth is that the majority of them don’t stick.  According to some data, only 8% of people accomplish their New Year’s Resolutions.  However, there are many strategies on how to improve the likelihood for change that lasts.  I would argue that part of the reason people don’t accomplish their resolution is that there is not enough clarity around the goal.  In order to get back in work mode and also work towards new goals you have, consider outlining the details in order to build clarity.  This could mean creating a yearlong vision and then working it backwards to a six month goal, a three month goal and eventually an action step you can take today!

Work Life – Meetings often are less productive after many people have been out their routine or away from work.   You may see less productivity in the meetings outside of work too.  To remedy this, set clear expectations for what the meeting will review and accomplish and do not veer away from this objective.  Make sure there are clear action steps for all members of the meetings you attend.

Stay Focused

Personal Life – In order to stay focused on our personal goals and re-engaging in our routines post-break, there needs to be some way to stay motivated.  Build focus through keeping reminders around that are visible and related to your goal.  Alternatively, creating a writing practice that explores the reason for working towards this goal can help to stay motivated and focused.  Also, creating accountability in some way may be helpful in building focus.  Accountability could be created through working through a goal with someone else or hiring a coach to help explore what is holding you back.

Work Life – Lack of focus at work often shows up in the context of getting tasks accomplished or having a productive meeting.  Often times meetings set out with many things to accomplish and by then end have not completed their intended outcome.  Stay focused on what is most important and do not add too much to the meeting, always expect that things may take longer than anticipated.  Have no more than three main objectives per day that are on your “must complete” list.

Action Items, Expectations and Deadlines

Personal Life – Reaching goals is all about combing process and product.  It’s great to read self-help books, follow thought leaders, or engage in philosophical debate about mindset, intention and positivity.   The next step is combing all of this wonderful theory with small steps in the right direction.  Keep in mind that these steps can be small, but should be consistent.  Keeping after deadlines and continuing with actions items after exploring ideas will lead to progress.

Work Life – The same issues exists in the work world when we have meetings or discussions around an idea.  Ideas often need to be translated.  People feel that meetings are a waste of time when there is no clear outcome, objective or “to do” item.  Always be clear about expectations for all attendees.  Have attendees commit to their particular action item as well as deadline so everyone is clear on each person’s objective.

Keep your Routine in Check

Personal Life – Having some kind of routine in your personal life will do wonders for your mood, clarity, energy and productivity.  The holidays are an easy time to get thrown out of a routine, whether is exercise, eating healthy or a daily practice, it’s a challenging time of year to keep up with our best intentions.  Here is a great resource from The Model Health Show about holding onto a good routine, even during the busiest time of year

Work Life – Getting back into a routine is easier to do with work when it isn’t totally avoided during a break. This certainly doesn’t mean you have to be checking email every day or doing work on vacation….that is definitely not recommended.  But keeping sleeping in to a minimum may be helpful when it’s time to get back to work. Also, reading while on vacation may help to keep your mind active and productive so that it may be easier to re-engage when its time.

Push Yourself!

Personal Life – I hold the firm belief that we are much more capable than we often give ourselves credit for, in every sense.  Care to experiment with this idea?  Try pushing yourself past the invisible finish line that you’ve set for yourself.  Go to the extra class, read the extra chapter, do another set, run the extra mile, take the risk in a relationship. Make a consistent effort to go past your comfort zone, you’ll be surprised what you learn.

Work Life – The same concept of going past where we think we are capable of applies to work.  Consider how much you get done in the typical day and see if you can double it.  No, I don’t recommend working 16 hours instead of eight.  Working more efficiently and pushing past some of the self-set boundaries is a better (and healthier) experiment to try.  Consider how much time you spend during the average day being distracted by non-work related issues or work that doesn’t necessarily make you more productive but makes you busier.   Evaluate how to be the most productive version of yourself and push out any limiting beliefs that may have held you back previously regarding how much you could accomplish in a day.

Re-Evaluate

Personal Life – This time of year is a great time for downsizing, clearing out, resetting, cleansing and letting go.  What has been serving you this last year and what no longer helps you to become the best version of yourself?  You can pose this question to any facet of your personal life from your relationships to your diet to how you spend your time.  Evaluating the different aspects of your personal life allows you to set clearer goals and intentions for the year ahead and also helps to come back stronger from time off.

Work Life – Is the job you’re in the one you want to be in? Taking the time to evaluate how much you are really committed to the work you are doing can be a helpful way to not only improve your re-engagement post vacation, but also help you make changes to your current situation.  If you are certain the work you’re in is for you, great!  Take the opportunity to evaluate how you will make this coming year a better one than the previous.  If you determine that your purpose is elsewhere, come up with an exit strategy. Outline your strengths, objectives and timelines.  This will help make the rest of your time in your current position not seem as daunting.

*Challenge of the week*

Pick one of the strategies above and take action!  Just one.  After you’ve experimented for one week, come back and leave a comment below and share what you learned. Let’s help each other make significant changes this year!

All the best,

Michael

 

P.S. If you are curious to learn more about personal development, workplace challenges, interpersonal dynamics, goal achievement and a wide variety of other topics, sign up today! www.www.arcintegrated.com/newsletter.  It’s totally free.

You’ll also receive a FREE tip sheet with Five Strategies to Build Motivation!

 

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Career for Recent Graduates

 

Career for Recent Graduates

Career for Recent Graduates

I was recently reminded of the stress, curiosity and overwhelm involved in finding a job after graduation.  Determining how to navigate a career for recent graduates can be a daunting task with many questions, it certainly has been for me.  There seems to be a definite commonality among this experience, whether its high school, college or graduate school, there is the all too common question of “what’s next?”

What I’ve learned along the way is that taking stock of my values, strengths, and longer term goals has always eased the process.  I wondered what may have been helpful for me to hear in the earlier parts of my career.  I came up with a few suggestions and some interesting data that I think may have been valuable for me to hear and hopefully is valuable to others in the midst of transition to or through the work world.

  • Don’t be afraid to take action  

I recently read in the Wall Street Journal that according the Bureau of Labor and Statistics – 50 percent of people between 20 and 24, have been with their current employers for under a year.  The message here is that the job you are starting out with, may not be the job you stick with forever.  Taking the first step towards developing your career can help to build your own understanding of strengths, weaknesses and areas you are truly passionate about.

This same rationale may apply to graduation from graduate school or any serious educational commitment that results in embarking in a new kind of career.  Taking action towards this new career is the first step.  The real learning occurs after we take this step.

  • The goodness of fit of the opportunity

Considering basic information (location, hours, salary etc.) when looking at the possibility of a new job is a start.  To truly understand if it is a good fit though, you must first ask yourself what is your longer term objective with this job.  The nature of jobs change over time.   Understanding your own goals, both inside and outside of your career, will help in determining if a job opportunity truly fits with who you are.

  • Decide the “deal breakers”

Deciding what your “deal breakers” are could be done by asking how the job will get you closer to your longer term career and personal goals.  In addition, exploring what kinds of sacrifices you are willing to make to meet your goals may be an exercise to review.   Another way to explore this may be to look at what challenges you are willing to accept, in addition to or instead of, framing the experience as what you are willing to sacrifice.  Having a clear vision of what you want, is of course the first step.  Once you understand your vision for what you would like out of your career and personal life, determining deal breakers will be easier.

  • Stay the course

We often get distracted by all the bright and shiny objects in our world.  Stay the course of what your longer term goals are and this will help you to ignore the irrelevant input.  Be careful of FOMO (fear of missing out).   FOMO can come in many shapes and sizes and may be related to work, friends, socializing, internet crazes or many other distractions.  Having a process for working and ways to avoid distraction may be helpful in holding momentum towards your goals.

 

Thanks!

Michael

 

P.S. If you are curious to learn more about personal development, workplace challenges, interpersonal dynamics, goal achievement and a wide variety of other topics, sign up today! www.www.arcintegrated.com/newsletter.  It’s totally free.

You’ll also receive a FREE tip sheet with Five Strategies to Build Motivation!

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The Human Side of Business

The Human Side of Business

The Human Side of Business

 

Welcome to my first Vlog!  I may be experimenting with these more in the future.   I was recently featured on an article via Askmen.com titled Ways Relationships are like Business.   I thought this was interesting and a good tie in to the idea of the human side of business, which I often reference.

Please see three tips below on how relationships are like business.

 

I would love some feedback about your experience with the dynamic of relationships and business.  As a spring board for comments, consider answering any of these three questions below –

 

How have you seen the human side of the business you are involved in impact the success or struggle of that business?

What other examples can you provide regarding the commonalities between business and relationships?

What is one thing you would change about the interpersonal dynamics of your workplace?

Thanks,

Michael

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The Best Way to Improve Productivity

 

The Best Way to Improve Productivity

The Best Way to Improve Productivity

There are an endless amount of resources out there for how to improve productivity.  In my search I did not find a definitive answer to the best way to improve productivity.  I think there is an answer to this question though.  The best way to improve productivity….is your way.

Finding out ways to hack your own laziness, distraction or “busy” lifestyle is tricky.  But the most effective way to improve productivity will be the one that is most connected to you.  A place to start when identifying what kinds of practices to experiment with may be the endless lists online, such as this one on – boosting productivity in real life.   As you may notice, I even wrote one of these tips.  The tips and strategies are definitely good to start with.

Experimentation and practice is where the rubber hits the road.  The next step is exploring the strategies in a way that answers the question of – how does those strategy resonate with me?   Using strategies that are most connected to who you are will yield the best results.

There are certainly some exercises and strategies that are more about self-exploration than others.  Here is a short list of strategies that may help to improve productivity, but more importantly offer the opportunity to explore what’s holding you back, and who you are.

Personal Development and Productivity

Take a vacation 

This may seem counter intuitive since taking a vacation is not necessarily the most “productive” of activities. However, letting go of some of the demands and hustle for a few days can help you to re-identify what is truly important, as well as give you a boost of energy when you return.

Create a daily practice

When looking at habits and common traits of successful people, one thing is usually consistent, they have some sort of regular practice. Having a daily practice helps to create mindfulness, discipline and routine – all things that impact productivity.

Practice discipline, everyday

Similar to the daily practice, focusing on ways to practice discipline can help to build routine and productivity in many areas in life. Discipline can be practiced in a number of ways through fitness, healthy eating, work duties, behavior in relationships, self-reflection and many other aspects in life.  The practice of the discipline itself may be just as important as the goal related to it.

Get up and move

You may have heard the recent commentary about sitting being the new smoking. There is substantial research to back up the idea of sedentary lifestyle greatly impacting health, wellbeing and productivity.   Exploring ways that help you to enjoy regular daily movement will make these little breaks easier to commit to and more likely to stick.  Again, this is about personal exploration of what works for you.

Explore your passions and purpose

Understanding what you are passionate about will help in building strategy around all of the previously mentioned tips. If you aren’t sure, that’s ok, start experimenting.  Start with these two questions –

  • What would I love to do every day if I had an unlimited amount of money?
  • If I had unlimited resources and I could only do one thing to help the world, what would it be?

How have you enhanced your own productivity? 

Thanks,

Michael

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Maintain Change Through Coaching

 

 

Maintain Change Through Coaching

Maintain Change Through Coaching

I was thinking recently about my own personal philosophy about how to really maintain change when searching for it, as well as how I bring this philosophy into my coaching practice.  As with most things I do, I take a holistic approach, which is the same for my coaching philosophy.   The following ideas can be taken as a guide to maintain change through coaching as well as a guide to understand how I work as a coach.

When working towards change, particularly when it comes to personal development, it is important to see all the aspects that may be helping or hurting progress.  We are complicated creatures.  Working towards the best version of ourselves is not just about thinking in a different way or practicing good habits (although these are pieces of the puzzle).

True change comes from evaluating all the aspects of our human experience.  When we look through all of our different lenses, we have the greatest likelihood for success.  We need to explore how we think, feel, act, take care of ourselves, strengths we have as well what/who we surround ourselves with.

As a helpful reminder for you, I’ve created a way to remember how you can check to see if you are evaluating the different parts of yourself and what may be helping or hurting your progress.  Consider the acronym CHANGE –

C – Cognition

H – Heart

A – Action

N – Nourishment

G – Greatness

E – Environment

Each part of this acronym has some important components to consider –


 

Cognition – The way we think.  Do you analyze, make decisions quickly, not quickly enough, make strong judgments, think poorly of yourself or too highly perhaps?  Both the way we think and what we focus on may be impacting our ability to change.

Heart – How we feel.  Our emotions play a big part in our ability to be successful.  If we can remain confident, happy, grateful, curious and positive then we may have a greater chance to work towards change.  If we are negative, depressed, sad, angry, overly reactive or closed off from our emotions we may have a harder time moving towards the change we are working on.  How we feel can also be related to our relationships and how they impact our ability to change.

Action – Habits and routines play a big role in our ability to change.  Thinking and feeling are important but it is the actions that we take that impact how our feelings and thoughts change.   Our action or inaction can play a big role in our ability to push things forward towards our desired outcome.

Nourishment – How we take care of ourselves.  It is not news that the way we eat, how much we exercise, and our general lifestyle all impact multiple facets of our lives.  This is the same for any change we are after. How we treat our body impacts our motivation, energy, creativity, strength and focus.  Considering how we are nourishing ourselves is important.

Greatness – What are your strengths, purpose, and passion? This is what makes up your greatness.  Exploring what is great about you not only leads to creating better leadership but also fulfillment, higher energy, better coping methods and a happier lifestyle.

Environment – What we surround ourselves with. I believe it was Jim Rohn who originally quoted – “We are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with.” This is a powerful quote and I believe it to be relevant.  When it comes to our own development, our environment goes beyond the people we are around.  Our environment could be our family, work, our city, community, or how our house looks and feels.   For example, if you know you function at a higher level when things are organized then keeping your house clean and in order may be an important factor in your own development.


All of these factors within the CHANGE acronym are important to explore during coaching.  When I work with clients this is part of the process I take them through.  My belief is that unless we focus on all of the potential areas that may be influencing our ability to make a change then we are leaving opportunity on the table.

It is also important to remember that any change one may be working towards takes time.  Remember that there is a particular pace that change takes. Be kind to yourself along the way.

Enjoy the journey,

Michael

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The Power of Personal Development Coaching

The Power of Personal Development Coaching

The Power of Personal Development Coaching

I was inspired by a good friend who asked me recently – “Why would someone hire a coach?”   My thinking is that personal development coaching is relevant to any type of coaching since exploring our beliefs, behaviors, aspirations and expectations are reflected in our career, relationships or any change we are seeking.

While there certainly could be many answers to my friend’s question, it had me curious about some statistics.  I wanted to find out specifically who and why people are generally using coaches.  It seems that through my digging, I’ve uncovered some truth to my original thought.   Before we dive into what I found, let’s look over what it means to be a coach.

Coaches can come with a variety of titles but most commonly seen are – Executive Coaches, Life/Personal Coaches, Leadership Coaches or Career Coaches.   Coaching has some similarities to therapy but is definitely different in the sense that there is not an emphasis on processing a particular pain or dysfunction and more emphasis on goal setting and personal optimization.  For more information see this article on Counseling vs. Coaching.

Coaches typically help individuals or organizations identify goals, set commitments and build on strengths to make individual or group changes that will influence improvement.   Coaching is definitely on the rise, as now more than 30 American universities have coaching programs.

The International Coaching Federation (ICF), the leading professional organization for coaches has about 25,000 in its membership.   Also according to the International Coaching Federation, the number of coaches in the nation has tripled in the last 10 years.  As stigma for coaching continues to go down and the coaching profession evolves, this numbered is expected to continue to grow.  Overall the two most reported conditions worked on through coaching are work-life balance and personal growth.  In another study by the ICF, coaching shows to improve many life domains from productivity to self-confidence.

Coaching is often found with organizations or with executives.  According to a study  The Miles Group and Stanford University – nearly 1/3 of all executives receive coaching, while 100% report to want it.   Also in this study, it was found that 43% of executives surveyed report that conflict management was a top priority when it comes to coaching.  It was found that leadership and communication skills also rank high in areas that are being coached on.

Interestingly though it may be some other skills that needed to be focused on when it comes to leadership and executive coaching.  Skills like compassion, empathy and self-awareness are starting to gain momentum due to the coaching field having less stigma.  In addition, according to research by Northwesterns School of Management, it is shown that as power increases, ability to understand how others feel and think, decreases.  This is where coaching on self-awareness and empathy may play a crucial role.  As someone’s responsibility and leadership increases so does the importance of their ability to connect with others, a crucial component of an effective leader.

According to a survey by the Harvard Business Review – while only 3% of coaches were hired to help address a personal issue, 76% report to have assisted executives with personal issues.  This again points back to the fact that even in “executive coaching” scenarios, there is a key focus on personal development.   This survey also found that the most success was found in individuals who were willing to address personal issues and had a desire to learn and grow.

So the question becomes – “is coaching worth it?”  According to a study by Manchester Consulting Group who looked at Fortune 100 executives who had received coaching, there was an ROI six times the coaching program cost.  Coaching resulted in improvements in relationships, teamwork and job satisfaction.

To me it depends on level of commitment and readiness for change.  If someone is certain that they are ready to take a look inward to determine what is creating a barrier to success, then coaching could be a great avenue for this!

Best,

Michael

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Self Care

Self Care

 

Self care does not often come up as being a priority in our world of high expectations, busy schedules, constant distractions and technological bombardment. However, there is a shift happening with the awareness about the importance of self care.

As we build our understanding about the biology and neuroscience behind behavior, emotions, productivity, focus and fatigue we continue to bridge the gap between body and mind.  Some research implies that self care not only has an impact on one’s ability to perform but also an impact on organizations as a whole, as it relates to overall function.

Often times stress leads to conflict.  When we are stressed our patience is more limited.  So when we have conflict with loved ones, co-workers or the general public, our ability to respond appropriately is reduced.  The solution to this may be to take time out to care for yourself, so that you can reduce stress.

This is not surprising news.  When we feel better, can think clearly and are less stressed, we are more effective human beings.   So, regardless of what you do and what industry you are in, consider making your own care a priority.

I know that in my work, the better I feel the better I am at my work and relationships.   Since I initiated a more regimented self care routine, I have gained more clarity, productivity and a calmer presence.  But you shouldn’t take my word for it, or the research available.  Experiment, and see what you find when you start making yourself a priority!

Ways to Take Time Out for Yourself

Physical – Lifting weights, running, walking, snowboarding/skiing, surfing, take a class (spinning, cross fit, yoga, martial arts, Zumba etc.), hike, bike and sex.

Relational – Spend time with your family, partner and friends, go to a concert, get involved in a regular hobby or group oriented activity or sport.

Reflective – Journal, meditation, listen to music, go for a walk, deep breathing exercise, read.

General Health – 8+ hours of sleep per night, drink lots of water, eat nutritious whole foods.

What other ways can you take care of yourself?

Challenge of the Week!

  • List out your weekly self-care routine or goal.
  • Tag someone on social media that you think is interested in the challenge.
  • Share this post with the person you tagged.
  • Feel good about expanding awareness of why we should be taking care of ourselves so that we can take care of each other!

Cheers,

Michael

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Letting Go of Fear

Letting Go of Fear

Letting Go of Fear

The question of “how to let go of fear” often comes up with the clients I work with, as well as in my own life of course.  I think this is a complicated issue. There are many kinds of fears that exist in our lives, each one presenting specific challenges.  In starting this new business I find myself wrestling with lots of professional fears.  Questions like – Am I qualified for this?  What can I charge?  Can I afford to take this professional risk?

These questions are all based on fear of failure or incompetence.  The truth is that I have many years of educational and professional experience to draw from and that I am definitely qualified for what I am doing.  So why is there still fear?

In my work with individuals regarding professional fears, what often comes up is the fear of pursuing what is most meaningful to them.  This fear is often based in belief that says “there are not jobs available,” “the market is too saturated,” “I don’t have the credentials,” or many other beliefs. While some of these fears are more concretely rooted in actual barriers, I believe that letting go of the limiting belief is the first fear to address.

Letting go of limiting beliefs is liberating

Consider the following ideas –

  • There isn’t enough (work, money, opportunity etc.)
  • There is only scarcity
  • All others in my field are competitors

What if we shift our perspective to thoughts like –

  • There is more room for my service or business
  • Other people in my field can be my collaborators
  • There is an abundance of work available

This shift in perspective can of course be applied to other kinds of fears as well, not just professional.  Changing a belief or perspective may create some paths to progress.  Fear inhibits progress in a number of ways –

  • Inhibiting creativity
  • Reducing insight and understanding of alternative perspectives
  • Acts against motivation for action

How would this shift in perspective open up new opportunities for you?

What I have found in my own life, as well as what works for my client’s, is taking small steps in the direction of a change I want to pursue is the best course of action.  It’s easy to say – “you just have to decide to let go of your fear” but this is a bit vague.  I think that creating some kind of regular, consistent practice that promotes empowerment can help to reduce fear, as long as it is practiced regularly.

For example, if your practice is to attend networking events in an effort to improve your business and challenge your introversion, then this should be practiced weekly in short periods rather than attending long events but inconsistently.

What I have found in my own life as well as those I’ve worked with is that overcoming any professional fear only opens up new opportunity and possibility.   Letting go of fear is empowering.  Empowerment is often accompanied by change.  If you are choosing to face a fear, be prepared, things may not be the same afterwards.  For example, addressing a professional fear may result in the following –

  • New awareness about a direction to take
  • Career change
  • Promotion
  • Retirement
  • Going back to school
  • Increased confidence

Three Tips for Addressing Fear –

  1. Take time to understand what you really want.  What is the fear really based on?
  2. Taking the time to figure out where the fear comes from and what it is connected to may open up new awareness about a direction to take.  Once you understand what you truly want, then start taking small steps in that direction. Do the research to determine some of the steps that you need to take to set you on the path that you want. If you are unsure, consider working with a coach or mentor.
  3. Set small achievable goals that can be built upon. Put into place a daily routine that works towards overcoming the fear.   Prove to yourself that your fear can be conquered, and then your belief in what is possible will change.

Best,

Michael