As a coach, I help my clients find clarity, and a sense of excitement and purpose in their work. This shows up in our work together in different ways. Sometimes it’s helping a client overcome the proverbial crisis of “who do I want to be when I grow up?” or perhaps it’s deciding if the job offer they’ve just received is the right step for them. Sometimes, though, it’s breaking down it even further, and helping clients find purpose and meaning with one single task. Regardless, at the root is one need: discovering what is going to give them that rush of exhilaration for their career that they once felt.
For example, I was talking to a client recently who has lost motivation to work on a really big, important, possibly even life changing project. He’s an entrepreneur and hands down one of the most savvy, capable, and ambitious people I’ve ever met. A few months ago this task was at the top of his to do list and he spent every waking moment working on it. Then life got in the way (as it tends to do) and it got moved to the back burner. Fast forward to present day. With a looming deadline, he seemed to have lost all motivation which of course caused frustration, uncertainty in himself and his abilities, and resulted in a whole lot of procrastination!
So we spent long time examining where this lack of inspiration was coming from. We finally got to the heart of the matter when he realized that the he was overwhelmed by all that needed to be done. He literally didn’t know what to do first. His mind was all over the place– spewing out a laundry list of “need to’s” and “have to’s”, but none felt like they were the right first step.
And then it hit him. The reason he couldn’t proceed is because he was working off of a faulty blueprint. You see the project plan that he was using was mostly designed by his wife, not him! It wasn’t like she imposed it on him. He asked her for help, for her opinion, and she gladly showed her support by sharing her thoughts with him. The problem is that the plan she created was how SHE’D approach it.
Everything changed once he realized that the reason he didn’t know where to start is because he wasn’t working off of his blueprint, but rather hers. The shift was immediate and within seconds the spark and fire he thought he had lost for good was back. He decided his first step was to rewrite his plan. And you know what he did it in just FIVE minutes. After he had a clear map of where he wanted to be, his motivation and inspiration came back! Viola!
So, what can we learn from this?
For starters that in some way shape or form we all do this! All of my clients hired me for one reason– they know where their end destination is, but they are unsure what steps to take to get there! 9 times out of 10, the uncertainty is because they are working off of someone else’s master plan! For most of us we get these ideas of what we “should do” and “have to do” from authorities like our families, the media, society, etc. And eventually without even realizing it we even start to believe it too.
Stop and take five minutes to identify what rules you are living by that aren’t yours? What would it be like to let go of them? What new rules would you create instead?
Interested in exploring this in a bigger way? Join me for “Coaching & Cocktails: Change Your Rules, Change the Game” on March 25, 2015. You can find all the info you need and register here.