Time to revise the Vision Board…

This was my old vision board...needs a bit of an update...
This was my old vision board…needs a bit of an update…

I’ve still been feeling quite flat recently.  Which is a little bit of a surprise because I thought my Top Ten list to Awesomeness…would help me feel like I had things nailed.  After all, a good old plan of action usually gets my spirits pumping!

But I still have this feeling in my stomach that I can’t quite put my finger on.

So i was thinking maybe it is time to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.   Where is that vision board I started at the beginning of the year?

Like I said when I was talking about my Top ten list of things to achieve work-life awesomeness…you need to start with an overarching goal or vision which you are trying to achieve and then the ten steps are just ways to keep you sane while you are trying to achieve it.  So maybe my lack of motivation is coming from a lack of clarity on where I am going?

I know the idea is not new, but I remember it being suggested as a key tool,  during online course I was doing by Rachel MacDonald (who is totally awesome by the way)…I confess that initially I thought the idea was a little bit lame.  I’m not a creative type, I don’t regularly use my pinterest account and I always did poorly at school assignments that required cutting and pasting.  So I didn’t think this exercise was going to be good for me.   But I am good at doing what I’m told, and diligently went about starting to find and piece together photos, quotes and things that I thought represented where I wanted to be.

And I started to engage with the process.  It really helped.

I like the idea of not having to have specific goals.  I am not entirely sure, to be honest, where I want to be in a years time…let alone in 5 or 10 years.   So instead of trying to pinpoint a target straight away,  simply starting to pull together a picture of things that I like or inspire me… and then an overall picture does start to come together.  I have a better sense of who I want to be and with that, what I might want to achieve.

So, I’m thinking maybe it is time for a shake up of my vision board.  I might need to dig around a few new things.  It might help to give me the motivation I’m looking for,  to kick my butt out of this little flat place I have landed in.

What is your vision for your future success?

claire2

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A new way to think about my success at work…

During my holidays, I had some time to reflect on where I am at and whether I was still on the right path.

So I have a little story to share which kinda kick started that reflection process for me.  Just before the end of the year, I had a catch up at work about my own personal development.  Let’s just say…it didn’t quite go as planned.

I didn’t realise until I actually got on the call, how much my subconscious had been secretly hoping I was about to get promoted.   And when I didn’t (really…not actually a surprise)…I felt terrible.  Infact,  i committed a corporate deadly sin…I cried (I know…massive FAIL..right?).    Now, lucky for me,  the call was on teleconference.  And whilst these conversations are usually better done in person, I was thanking my lucky stars that it wasn’t.   I somehow managed to stumble my way through the rest of the call,  doing an incredibly good job of demonstrating exactly why I should NOT be given a promotion.  Then raced out of the office before anyone noticed (yes…ironically,  i was actually in the office when usually I spend all my days hidden away in my home office where I could have followed my usual route and lay down in the featus position and…well…no one needs to ever know).

At first I was angry and sad at the same time.  It feels like “other people” are getting into Executive roles and surely it is my time.  How hard do I have to work,  how much do i need to commit?  This is crap.  My awesomeness is clearly not being recognised, maybe it is time to bail.  Stupid…^#$%$  work.

Then I started to feel like an idiot.  WHY OH WHY did I cry?   damn it.  Such a loser thing to do.  And whilst I was busy being annoyed and frustrated, wasn’t my boss offering some great alternatives and suggested development.  Can’t remember wasn’t listening.  I’m such a loser.

And then I settled into acceptance and reflection.  I remembered that whilst I really wish I could handle my emotions better, and that crying wasn’t my default position (ask anyone who has the pleasure of hanging with me for a while… angry = crying,  sad= crying, happy = crying, advertisements = crying…seriously! some of those things are real tear jerkers),  that my emotional investment in what I do is also an indication of my passion and my commitment.  I’m giving this everything I’ve got, and that’s also what makes me successful.

So what does “success” really look like?  When I stop and think about it (OK..so I may have been writing a completely different post if I had been given a promotion…but sometimes external factors help us to reflect on where we are at) do I actually really want a promotion?  Or is it just because that is something everyone else has?   What are the things I enjoy the most about work and what are my personal goals this year?

And when I think about those things,  I realise that I’m in a really awesome place right now.  Things are going really well with work, I am enjoying what I am doing and there are heaps of great opportunities and challenges for me this year.

One of the most important things on my list, is continuing to have fun. There really is no point in doing what your doing  unless you are having fun doing it (OK, so the money is kinda good and necessary because I do have a mortgage and a family and things to pay but…).  I want to laugh everyday,  i want to get excited about what I am doing.  These things are at the top of my list and infact, I’m lucky enough that my current job allows me to do that…which I am super excited about .    So I’ll leave you with a great quote Meg from  The Other Side of 40 posted on Facebook the other day.

“Measure your success by how much fun your having” – Gabby Bernstein

Are you going to be successful this year?

claire2

Killer expectations and learning to fail forward…

I’ve been talking a lot about expectations recently.   Realising that I have both subconscious and conscious expectations of myself ALL the time.  And when my life, my work, my adventures don’t meet up with those expectations, I get really frustrated and upset.   I recognise that they come from a deep seated belief that I should always try to be the best that I can be.   I’ve talked about this belief before,  that I have never considered myself a perfectionist because I am certainly not perfect,  but I must always try to be the best I can be…which is pretty much the same thing.   If there is something I know I can physically change or do better, then I must try to improve it.

Unfortunately,  that belief is rather unproductive.   At work it stalls my progress.   I’m working on a new project which I need to kick start, and my mind is whirring and clicking and overthinking trying to make sure that I do this “properly”, that I don’t make mistakes and that I ensure the program is a massive success.   This is delaying me just getting on with it, and potentially trying something different which may not work.

failing forwardLove the phrase “Failing Forward”.  Have heard it being used in the context of Cloud and Social solutions.  Because the possibilities are moving so fast now, there isn’t enough time to make things perfect.  If you wait for your ducks to be in a row, then you’ll miss out.   So the idea is to just get in there and try.   And there isn’t really any failure,  because failure simply means learnings, knowledge, better understanding…so you have to fail in order to move forward.

There is something re-assuring about that.   If I can line up my belief that I must be the best,  with the knowledge that I must allow myself to fail to be the best I can be…then my expectations change, and maybe I won’t be so hard on myself.

Expecting to fail…ha…I like it… I wonder if I will be upset if I succeed now?!