Ever ask for advice but when you hear it, it just falls flat on the ground? Do you sometimes read books or articles from experts and scratch your head on how to apply it? They want me to do what?
There’s a good reason for that.
I know it’s tempting to seek out the one thing you could be doing in your career, finances, life or relationships that will solve all your problems. What’s the solution? What’s the “right” answer? What’s the secret you don’t know?
But all that advice and how-to you receive in life is missing something – it’s missing the intrinsic learning that you gain when you experience things first-hand. This is self-discovery learning where you are asking the tough questions of yourself, not others.
When clients first approach me as their Career Coach, they feel paralyzed in their career and choices faced. Ironically, they’ve already tried books, webinars, courses, how-to’s online and more for those ready-bake solutions. They’ve asked all their friends, mentors and loved ones what they think. They’ve probably received unwanted advice too like the kind that begins with, “What you should do is…”
It’s so frustrating! Time and again, that advice just doesn’t help you move forward like when you’re considering a life-changing leap. Myself, I’ve made many leaps like move to Canada, leave my former six-figure job when I burned out and start a new business as a solopreneur.
What supported me at these transitions was self-discovery not advice.
Self-discovery on the other hand allows you to better understand yourself by increasing your awareness on a particular topic.
“No one can get inside your mind and sort through what you think, what you believe, what you fear and what you assume (good or bad) to be true, but you.”
Rather than receiving advice on how others got unstuck, self-discovery helps you learn what’s essential for you. It’s part courage, part vulnerability, like the stuff Brene Brown talks about, and part tough questions.
There’s no single resource that could have helped me make those brave leaps. I developed my personal values to guide me, I was challenged by my career coach, and I made a commitment to make decisions for myself and my family that I could be at peace with.
To practice self-discovery, spend some time with yourself. What works for many in the beginning is journaling, voice or video recording your thoughts, drawing, taking photography or meditation to strengthen your self-awareness.
What’s possible if you begin looking inward to move forward?
Next week, look for Part 2 of this post on tips for how to practice self-reflection.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for career questions you have or if you would like a PDF copy of this blog post.
Curious to try 20 self-discovery strategies and exercises for your career direction?
Join others who now see their strengths, weaknesses, drivers and values in a new way with this self-guided DIY resource. If you liked this post, you’ll love my book, “Finding Passion: A Self-Discovery Approach for Navigating Career Crossroads” to help you ask the tough questions you’ve been avoiding and rediscover what you really want in your career. Available on Amazon.
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