There are 8 self-inflicted behaviors that will prevent you living your best life. Take a look at the list below and see if you recognize any in yourself. And no, you can’t choose them all?.
- You’ve achieved a dream or landed the perfect job but feel empty and disappointed. Many of us are dynamic, ‘Type A’ individuals who, since an early age have been driven to succeed. We want to make a difference, to have purpose and to be fulfilled. The problem comes when we reach our ambition only to find we feel hollow and unfulfilled. To paraphrase Joseph Campbell, we’ve got to the top of the ladder and found its against the wrong wall.
- What got you here won’t get you there (AKA the brick wall). It’s a classic problem. The attributes and motivations that helped you succeed have now become a liability. Your single-minded attitude is now seen as selfish; your independence a roadblock to team working and your ‘tell it like it is candor’ is upsetting and antithetical to the values of the company. These problems are all examples of failing to flex and time-shift – the ability to recognize that different situations and challenges require different behaviors. It’ll be a tough fix, but your best life lies on the other side of this wall.
- You fall into a confidence trap. While it’s OK to be insecure every now and then, a severe lack of confidence is the most frequent problem preventing people living their best life. Some people sabotage themselves with crooked or negative thinking; others give away their power when dealing with people in authority; and a number suffer from the imposter syndrome – the agony of waiting for someone to tap them on the shoulder and say, “we made a mistake hiring you – you just don’t have what it takes.”
- You ‘pull’ the wrong behavior from others. We all train people how to respond to us and the most powerful way we shape others behavior is via our interpersonal style. Are we passive, assertive, or aggressive in relation with others? Perhaps you confuse aggression with assertion, or you become passive in meetings or with friends when you need to have a point of view and drive to a decision. Interpersonal style determines whether you stand on the perimeter, looking in, or in the center, managing the relationships around you.
- Your mind-blind – unable to calibrate your impact on others because you lack self-awareness. Despite the fact that we are social mammals hard-wired to cooperate, a number of my clients approach me to help them become more self and socially aware. These individuals fail to read their own behavioral cues and often overpower others or fill a room, starving others of the oxygen required to contribute to the meeting. Self-awareness starts with an awareness of your strengths and vulnerabilities; evolves to an appreciation of who you are and what you do; and then, and only then, can you make room to be aware of others and appreciate the differences between you.
- Censorship. You leave the most vital, authentic parts of yourself outside the building when you arrive at work. Do you feel you have to change or transform who you are when you step through the doors of your organization? Many people censor vital parts of themselves at work in order to ‘fit-in’. If your one of those people who feel they have to put on a suit of armor to go into combat in the organization, or change who you are to ‘fit-in’, then you are censoring your potential.
- Be Your Brand. People you work with make an accurate assessment of who you are as a person in the blink-of-an-eye – .375 of a second to be exact. If you haven’t spent the time to identify an authentic personal brand that means in this fraction of a second, someone else is controlling the agenda.
- I’m Invisible. It’s a hard lesson to learn. The reason you are on the periphery is that you put yourself there. One of the most challenging questions clients wrestle with is how does a certain pattern of behavior serve them. Why is it more comfortable to be on the outside looking in than being visible and accountable for decisions and actions? Becoming visible means overcoming fear – often of success; owning your expert power, being assertive and standing up for what you believe in.
What’s standing between you and your best life? Drop me a line and let me know @drAnna