I know, everyone is talking about new years resolutions, what they are going to change and how to change. I have one simple piece of advice for those of you who want to grow - whether it is growing influence, leadership, speaking skills, coaching ability, ability to motive others, or in your career - you HAVE to take a RISK!
You have to take a risk and do something you haven't done, break your old habits and make room for new habits! For example, if you want to be seen as a thought leader, you have to speak up - people can't hear your thoughts if they are only in your head. If you want to influence others, start thinking about them - what they want, what they need and how you can help them - not you.
Where do you start? Follow these 5 simple steps to start.
STEP ONE: You start inside - with you - what do you REALLY want? Write that down, okay now scratch that out and write down what you really really want but were too scared to write it down on paper because someone might see it and tell you that you can't do it. Okay, now look at it, say it out loud.....now exhale and breathe (I know you were holding your breath when you said it).
STEP TWO: Write down the WHY.....why do you want to do this? Why do you want to grow in that area? Why is it important to you?
STEP THREE: What will it look like when you get there? DRAW the picture, no I want you to really draw it (don't have to be an artist, draw a picture of what it means to you). Start imagining the possibilities, really take some time here and visualize yourself growing. Don't move on until you draw the picture, visualizing is important to believing.
STEP FOUR: Now, this is IMPORTANT.....don't skip this step and don't stop until you do this - what is ONE thing, one SMALL thing that you have been already thinking about that you can do that will move you closer to that picture? Remember, small is big, taking the first step and a small step is critical. Look at what you wrote down - can you make it smaller? If not, you are ready for the next step.
STEP FIVE: Look at that small step - write down when you are going to do this. Choose a date no later than one week, the sooner you can do this small step, the sooner you can gain momentum. Do it now or do it in the next hour - momentum is a powerful motivator!
Now, go DO IT! Take a risk and move one small step toward your growth. I guarantee that if you take the small step, and do it quickly, you will grow. One thing to remember, you may not be successful the first time, in fact most of us fail the first time. This is okay, it is through trying and failing that we really learn. One important thing needs to happen for this to help you grow - actually it is SO IMPORTANT that you cannot skip this - you need to REFLECT on the action that you took. Reflection turns experience into insight. Here are some questions to consider when reflecting: What did you learn, what went well, what didn't go well, what advice would I give others based on this?
As a coach when I work with leaders, they always say that this exercise is SO POWERFUL because it takes them out of their comfort zone, and only then do we really grow and change. If you really want to grow, find someone that can hold you accountable, whether it be a coach, a mentor or a good friend - this makes it really sticky! Good luck, now go and GROW!