Your career is made up of choices. You choose what you want to do, where you will do it, and what type of education will get you there. Some of your choices empower you and others hold you back. Either way, you have power over what you choose in your career.
The challenges in your career, in most cases, arise not by accident, but from the choices that hold you back. For example:
You chose to complete a project on your own. Your choice holds you back because you alienate others, rather than build a supportive network.
You choose to send an e-mail while you are angry. Your choice holds you back because people remember your rash decision.
You choose to work all the time. Your choice holds you back because your schedule drains your energy, clouds your perspective, and casts a shadow over your relationships.
You choose to coast through your career. Your choice holds you back because you lack direction and focus.
No surprises. So why are we so surprised when things go off course, or when we are faced with a major problem in our career?
We do not intentionally make bad choices. We make choices based on the information we have at the time. We weigh our options and believe that our choices will turn out for the best. But what about the choices you are making today that you know are not good for you? Or, when you know in your gut that it's time to make new choices and you are not? You can change your choices if you want to.
How Do You Make Better Choices? Follow These Five Steps Below:
1. Make Peace With Your Past Choices
We've all made dreadful choices. It's part of life. Sometimes, in order to make a good choice, you have to know what it feels like to make a bad one. The consequences of a bad choice can be a good motivator reminding you to not make that choice again. It's important to make peace with the past choices so you can move forward. By closing the door to your past, a new door can open to a brighter future.
2. Look For A Pattern
If your career is not all you think it can be, ask yourself what choices brought to where you are today. Subtract from your thinking everything that other people "did" to you. Subtract your "bad luck." Focus simply on the choices that you've made. Then, look for a pattern in your choices. Identify the recurring theme that holds you back.
3. Decide To Make Better Choices
Until you decide to make better choices, your choices will continue to work against you. Resolving to make better choices is crucial. It is the first step towards having focus and determination. Can you make better choices simply by saying you will make them? Why not? Your thoughts and words are powerful and career changing.
4. Start Making Better Choices
Start today with a single act. Stop yourself when you are about to slip into your familiar pattern of bad choices. Replace that choice with a more positive action. One action leads to another, which leads to another. Before you know it, you are making better choices. The one small choice you make right now, that you have no proof will make a difference, and are afraid to take, is the action that done over time will lead to better choices and a more fulfilling career.
5. Ask For Help
As a career coach, I've noticed that the people who are suffering the most in their career are the ones that are working on their careers by themselves. You are not meant to work on your career challenges by yourself. Yes, you may want to begin alone. (Most people do.) But when you find that days, weeks, months, and years are going by and you still have the same problem, make a promise to yourself that you will reach out to someone who can help you.
So, what do you say? You only have one life to live, so it might as well be a life you love!