You’re not the person you once were. Times change. People change. You have changed, too. You owe it to yourself to make time for introspection so that you’re not a stranger to yourself. Don’t wait for quiet time to open up because it never will. There will always be a project to work on, family demands, another errand to run, another memo to write.
Schedule time for getting to know yourself. When the time arrives, ask questions. As you search for answers, avoid knee-jerk responses, which tend to camouflage the truth. For example, if you ask yourself “Where do I want to go?” and the answer is “I want to work for this company until I retire, and I’ll do my best to keep my job,” it may be the answer your spouse or friends expect from you. If so, you’re operating on automatic pilot! Perhaps you would really like to work for a top executive instead of a middle manager. If so, say so. Soon you may think about steps to take to groom yourself for the job. There’s a very slim chance that you’ll ever work for a top executive unless you know that is what you want to do.
Are You Courageous?
Don’t neglect to ask yourself about courage. Courage is that inner quality you possess that enables you to face challenges (e.g., change) and act without showing fear.
Are You Easily Intimidated?
This is another good question to ask yourself during a period of introspection. That’s because feeling intimidated is self-limiting.
- It holds you back from being the best you can be or from offering good suggestions to improve work conditions.
- It can lower your sense of self-worth.
- It stunts professional and personal growth and doesn’t allow your star qualities to shine.
You may not realize that this heavyweight is chained to your ankles. If you look down and find it there, get ready to break the chain.
Such things as another person’s title or tone of voice intimidate some people. Some feel intimidated when a coworker is opinionated and speaks loudly, stands too close or is considerably taller.
It’s likely that each of us feels intimidated on occasion, but it’s very helpful to combat the feeling because it’s plain old not good for you!
After you tap into this reservoir of information about yourself, notify yourself that you’re in charge: “I’ve got five years of valuable experience behind me, and I can build upon that.” Find a way to do what you want to do. You may need others to help you reach your goals. Reach out to those folks. It’s impractical to wait and see if someone will come and take you by the hand. Moreover, the journey to attain your goal should fill you with excitement and bring you joy. (Did you ever hear the saying, “Getting there is half the fun”?)
When life pitches you curves, conjure up creative ways to knock them out of the ballpark. You might get knocked down, but you don’t have to stay down. Pick yourself up and get on with it.