by Dr. Carol Renaud Gaffney
We’ve all heard it: This life is the only one we have, it’s not the dress rehearsal. Everyone has the chance, the right and the obligation to make the most of their life. Life is the journey, not the destination. Whose life are you living - yours or someone who taught you what to believe, what to do, and how to do it? If you don’t set your own goals, you’re destined to become part of someone else’s. Ask yourself at 9am on Monday "Do you love your work and are you happy?"
When you’ve decided that maybe it is time to make some changes then other questions emerge:
What do you want? Why do you want it? How much of a gap is there between where you are and where you want to be? What are the intermediate steps along the way? What is the time frame that makes sense? Can you do this on your own or honestly, do you need support to make the changes. Are you willing to pay the price that real change demands? (Remember, price is usually more than financial.)
Do you want a transformation, a makeover or a few new skills?
If you’re not clear on the answers to these questions, but you know that something has to change, keep at it. If you’re not sure if you can achieve success on your own, be ruthlessly honest with yourself. If you’ve tried in the past to make changes, but it was difficult to stick with the program or the changes didn’t stick, then maybe it’s time to call in a coach.
Effective coaches have a way of helping you crystallize your desires and to see behind the surface behaviors to the beliefs that motivate them. When necessary, a coach will help re-adjust or transform your core beliefs (your values) so new behaviors have a better chance of sticking. When beliefs are reviewed, challenged and re-established for what is right for you now, when competencies are understood with strengths maximized and new skills developed, the life you want is within reach.
You are the most important person in the circles of lives around you as you can’t be the best for your family or work or friends unless you are caring well for yourself. Although it may seem "selfish" to care for yourself and create Personal Solutions, when you frame your desires for change as "self-caring", it’s easy to understand why the more you "are" your potential, the more you "can be" for those you love and for the work that provides personal satisfaction.