The more I work with people in the business world on their biggest life challenges, the more I reflect on those lives as being like a jigsaw puzzle. They know the outcome they want to achieve, or think they do, however they are at a standstill.
They might not even sure where to start.
So how do you do it? How do you create this magical picture of your ideal life, then put the right pieces in the right place to make it happen?
To make the journey a little easier, I have outlined 9 tips to help you gain clarity on what it is you want and why, and how to work on your desired outcome, whilst addressing the fears that can hold you back and distort your perfect picture.
There is so much advice out there about achieving the perfect life that it’s easy to become overloaded. Unfortunately, not all of that information is genuinely helpful.
Take a break. This is about what you want to achieve, so that should be your starting point.
My experience in working with people on their core issue problems, rather than the surface symptoms, has proven that once you really commit to looking at what is (and what isn’t) working for you, and decide to take the action you need to take to make positive change then you are on your way. Now open the box…
9 Tips on How to Get the Right Picture for You
1. Be Clear About Your Desired Outcome:
When we think of a jigsaw we think of individual piece, that should fit together to make the whole picture. You need to start by knowing what you expect your picture to look like. When piecing together a jigsaw, we have the reference right there in front of us, but in real life, we don’t have that picture unless we create it in our mind first. How hard is it to put the pieces together without the picture on the box? How hard is it to put our life together without creating a clear outcome in our mind of what we want it to be?
Often it seems too hard to find the right piece to fit into the right spot even with the picture in front of you. Sometimes the end result is not completely clear; you know it’s there somewhere, but the picture is not quite coming together.
The jigsaw metaphor is appropriate to our thinking because we can often find that things don’t fit exactly as we would like or expect them to. Problem is, we don’t really know why.
Sometimes though we are not looking at all the options available to us, and that can limit our progress.
Before you can create your picture, you need to ensure you have all the right pieces. This is often one of the first goals professional people discuss with me when looking to gain clarity around their future.
2. Knowing Your WHY
Experience has shown me that knowing your why is critical to your success. Why do you want to achieve a particular goal? What will that get for you? How will life look when you have it? How much better will everything be for you? Think about that for a moment, and now consider what happens if you don’t get it.
One client told me that understanding this was the difference between remaining static, and breaking through his barriers, and the level of success he subsequently achieved was beyond anything he had previously dreamed of.
If you really don’t know WHY you want a specific goal in life, how can you possibly expect to achieve it? We are driven by why we do things.
When you are contemplating change and setting goals, look at the “what” and the “why”. Once you have these locked in the “how” is much easier. Many people are too concerned with the “how” but this is often just a diversion.
Do you want to stay with mediocrity? If you are serious about your goals, then take the time to look hard at your “WHY” and be honest about why you want them.
Work out what you want to achieve, decide when you want it, write it out, and then make it happen.
3. Stop Looking Into The Past
Another way to continue moving forward is to stop looking back.
You wouldn’t drive down the freeway only looking in the rear vision mirror, yet a lot of people live their lives this way.
It’s normal to reference the past, but it’s not a great idea to put your focus there. Keep your focus on what you want and where you want to be. Look ahead not back.
The past is part of your life and you can learn from it – just don’t live there
4. Look At Life Like A Game Of Golf
Golfers will tell you it’s not the last shot that counts – it’s the next. Work on where you are and where you need to be – the next shot is important. It’s the one that will most impact on your game and your direction. For every shot after that, you keep your focus on your desired outcome.
Think about the game later and review your performance – correct the problems but don’t dwell on mistakes. Learn from them.
5. Step Out of the fog.
Many clients tell me they feel as if they are living in a fog; confused and overwhelmed. It’s frustrating because your logical mind tells you that you should be able to work your stuff out. You should be able to fit the jigsaw pieces of your life together. On the other hand, your subconscious tells you an entirely different story.
It is possible to change, but you can’t do it with your current thinking.
Einstein said, “You can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it”.
Until you really think about what he says here, it may seem a little contradictory. Many people believe they have complete control over their thought processes, but there are limitations around how we process information. It’s nothing to do with intelligence, merely our individual method of organizing our thoughts and acting on them.
We have habits not only in how we behave but also in our thinking.
It’s time to stop making excuses and look at what is really happening for you and whether your choices are limiting your progress.
If you want to step out of the fog, gain some clarity and achieve more positive results, then it’s time to look at things from a different perspective. To let go of the type of thinking that limits your progress, you must make a commitment to be determined to pick up on these limiting thoughts every day and reframe them in a more positive way.
6. Letting Go Of Irrational F.E.A.R
Fear is an emotion. It’s there to keep us safe. It will stop you from standing on the edge of a dangerous cliff or walking into busy traffic. Fear can also be irrational and can hold you back. Choose not to let it stop you. How you react to fear is a choice and forms the basis of decisions we make every day. It’s time to think about your choices and decide if they are good ones. Be responsible for your thinking and the outcomes you are getting. If you are not happy then be serious about making positive change and then do something about it.
Jerry Clark (Personal Development Coach / Motivational Speaker), uses the acronym F.E.A.R. False Evidence Appearing Real. He tells the story about the little boy who delivered papers and was terrified of a vicious dog he had to pass each day. One day his worst fears were realised when the dog got out of the yard. As it came towards him, however, the little boy realised the dog had no teeth. His fear had grown from his imagination.
How often is this the case for us? How often have you planned your life and your Business around this fear, only to find it doesn’t have any teeth? Maybe it’s a fear of public speaking. I have seen people overcome this to become amazing speakers. Is it the fear of failure or even worse – the fear of success? Now there’s something that can hold you back.
7. Work On Yourself.
Many senior managers and executives have mentors and coaches, because they understand that most of us just can’t do it alone. It has often been said that “you should work harder on yourself than you work on your business”. But what does this even mean?
One young and very successful executive I worked with, looked the part, acted the part and certainly gave an impression of confidence and self-control. In reality, he was like a duck who appeared to be cruising effortlessly along the water, while below the surface it’s paddling madly to keep going.
With a stressful career and a lot of responsibility, he understood the power of working with a partner on his personal development and the areas of his life that needed adjustment.
Is it time to admit that you need some help?
You would think that a successful business person would have no issue with self-esteem and self-worth, yet it was a huge problem for a client who had not appreciated the impact of this mental and emotional blockage until we removed it. Not only did it solve management challenges but it doubled a business deal and even improved his golf game.
Focused personal growth helps you work with your visual and auditory senses but also with your intellectual understanding. Visually your eyes tell you that the road narrows to a point at the horizon, but intellectually you understand that this is not correct.
Plotting a path is always going to be easier if you can draw upon all of the tools available to you.
8. Maximise Your Potential.
Most people are not even close to using their full potential. It has been said we only use about 5% of our brain’s capability.
If you couldn’t do something before it doesn’t mean you are not capable of doing it – you just don’t know how. Working with someone who can help you discover and develop abilities you probably did not realise you had is the first step toward making a change that might transform your life completely.
Fortunately, there are many examples of people who have taken on the challenge of change. One of my executive clients came to see me feeling exhausted with the effort of “trying” and confused about her next step. She certainly had her focus on what she wanted to achieve but no idea how to get it, and this was complicated by a crippling lack of self esteem and confidence.
Exploring her old belief system and identifying and correcting the root cause of the problem paved the way to a promotion, change in lifestyle and finances and a new feeling of self-worth and confidence. She had untapped potential she was not even aware of. We simply had to find it and make it operational and put the picture together.
Isn’t it time to change that old habitual and destructive thinking?
You have to be serious about what you want and why you want it.
Positive change is possible and very achievable with the right direction.
9. Embrace Change And Enjoy The Results.
You have probably heard the old saying, “if nothing changes, nothing changes”. People do the same things the same way and expect different results. This is not a new concept, yet it’s still a common trap.
Have you ever worked with someone on a jigsaw? The other person may have a different perspective to you. They might see a different picture. Different possibilities. What if you could change the way you think? What if you could have a new approach to that jigsaw of life that often confounds, confuses and frustrates? What would that give you?
The opportunity to have the right person working with you on really understanding your own thought processes, can help you create the results that you want. For some people this can be quite challenging. Others embrace the freedom.
Leaders look for help, they look for the best option, they look for the people to work with them on achieving the life they want – the success they dream of and plan for. Successful people go to where the best possible information is to make the changes they need to make.
If you think it’s time to look again at your personal jigsaw, then click here to get a free copy of “Think Your Way To Success” for more information on how changing your thinking can change your life.ture, you need to ensure you have all the right pieces. This is often one of the first goals professional people discuss with me when looking to gain clarity around their future.