When I hear from people new (and not so new) to the ADR field – asking for input on realizing their professional goals – I often hear about a range of variables that get in the way. Fear is one of those variables. This might be fear of failure, fear of making decisions that will be regretted, fear of wasting time and money, and even fear of success. Other factors that preclude taking action have to do with lack of confidence, emotional support and motivation. And self-limiting beliefs, difficulties envisioning the goal and other such impasses also stand in the way.
Though there are no easy answers about ways to make our dreams a reality, sometimes this journey is best experienced by reflecting on questions that guide thinking through the bumps along the way. These are the sort of questions that delve into some specific areas that are important to consider and that ultimately, help clear the pathway. Before making an actual plan and action steps, here are four suggested areas followed by the sorts of questions that guided my own thinking. I hope you might find them helpful, too. And I welcome a fuller conversation on other areas and questions that help build your professional foundation in our field.
To determine which of your values drive and motivate you, please consider the following questions:
To consider in more detail – and articulate – what you envision as a professional goal, here are some other related questions:
Honestly confronting the factors that might be precluding your way forward is a necessary part of goal attainment. The following questions invite you to identify what your impasses are:
Having an authentic way of showing up is critical to achieving goals. This factor is not always considered in goal setting exercises and yet, it is a very important element. This series of questions asks you to take a close look at this factor:
I found that once I answered the questions to the above areas, the way forward became a more practical and methodical exercise. It involved documenting and acting on realistic steps that built incrementally on one another. It is a process that includes setting timelines for each and developing both inner and outer resources that are necessary to accomplish them. Having a ‘buddy’ or coach for support and to help reality check along the way is very helpful here – as is sharing the journey as you walk yourself through the previous suggested steps.
It is trite to say, but true, that remaining focused on our career destinations – where we want to go and who we want to be when we arrive – requires commitment to the journey. Admittedly, that’s not straightforward or easy to do. Among other things, when taking on this quest, there is wisdom in stepping back and reflecting on questions like those in this article to build a foundation to stand on. Being true to yourself and your vision as you move along the continuum of where you are and where you want to be is, not surprisingly, the guiding principle.
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