Being and Doing That Something “Extra”
In my blog An Extraordinary Life I speak about extraordinary people being ordinary people that have done something extra. What might that “extra” mean? Well certainly it suggests something “in addition to” something already in existence, right? I would also think it meant being or doing something different to the ordinary, probably also the unconventional.
And that would have to have something to do with the choices we make and the attitudes we bring to the party, wouldn’t it?
One Fundamental “Extra” Comes From Crafting Personal Breakthroughs
In all my experience coaching successful people to raise their game, one consistent “extra” is their recognition of the necessity to identify and break through barriers they have realized are (still) holding them back.
So when we hear the term personal breakthroughs, it implies that to achieve them, we must have broken through something. That there was some sort of personal barrier or obstacle that was in our way and probably preventing us achieving something important or dear to us. That it must have required some form or force or pressure in order to overcome it and to break through it.
And so we come to understand that we all experience such personal obstacles and barriers that often hold us back from raising our game or from playing our game at the level we aspire to. That is also the basis of my book “Life Learning of a Life Coach”. And coupling that with “extraordinary”, it would suggest that they are linked and form an integral part of most success journeys. Which in turn means that it isn’t anything negative, but rather a positive and a strength that we need to embrace and “just do it”, right?
Leveraging My Sabbatical To Crafting Personal Breakthroughs
Those of you reading my blogs would know that I have spent most of this year on a sabbatical (as I wrote in Sabbatical or Burnout). One of the primary objectives was to identify and remove the personal barriers I was experiencing in the anticipated growth of my coaching business. I absolutely love what I do as a coach and I’m very good at it, but it wasn’t sustainably granting me the business returns I expected. So just as I do in the business mentoring for my small business clients, I needed to orchestrate some changes, starting with the analysis of what was and wasn’t working. Which makes me want to ask you the following question:
What’s Holding Your Career Or Business Back?
What I found was confirmation of my belief that very rarely does economic development come before personal development. And in a business and leadership context, that it is almost impossible that a business will outgrow the psychological capacity, business acumen and business competence of its owner or leader. That if the owner doesn’t believe in personal learning and growth, that this will constrain the growth of the business because of the degree to which that may impair his or her ability to lead themselves or others to the desired outcomes.
That isn’t to say he or she needs to know or do everything. But it does suggest that he or she would do well to collaborate with others around them in order to leverage their strengths to cover for his or her weaknesses. This applies not only to business or leadership or project management skills and competence, but also to the degrees of personal confidence and fundamentally different personality traits we all have.
So whatever is holding the owner or leader back will probably also hold the business back. And by the way, if you are neither a business owner or leader, doesn’t the above apply just as readily to you in your personal career capacity?
Pro-Active Breakthroughs Or Stressed Out Reactions?
Most people will probably know of the above realities at a deep down level. But most have not had the courage to own up to them, let alone acknowledge there might be something that could be construed as a weakness that needs to be addressed. So they don’t. Only when things start to deteriorate to a level approaching crisis will they recognize that they no longer have a choice. Unfortunately that is often too late and the horse will have already bolted.
Also, many people at this point are already so stressed, that they can’t think clearly and objectively anymore, often rejecting help, thereby further contributing to the angst and the paralysis that often accompanies such emotional states. And often they then try to rectify things by simply working harder and harder until something gives…
When Do You Think “It’s Time…”?
So being able to recognize such barriers early and then cast aside the normal ego based denial is a critical starting point on the road to rectification. Which is akin to having realized the need for and the definition of a purpose or a good, solid reason to invest in the appropriate crafting personal breakthroughs. As I outlined in The Price and The Prize, through appreciation of the value of the prize, we can make the price more worthwhile in the scheme of things, right?
What I learned myself was that when we are on the treadmill chasing those goals with everything we’ve got, we are so focused that we can’t see sometimes obvious flaws in our thinking or approach. They will only emerge if someone else observes them and shares them with us (and we’re willing to listen to them) or if we allow ourselves to “step back” and consider the bigger picture of our purpose and how we are tracking towards it. That’s what I’m asking you to do right now.
What Patterns Might There Be In What You’re Missing?
Perhaps you’ll think back of your last few performance reviews. Or if you are a business owner that has chosen not to be performance reviewed, think of your key KPI’s.
If you are not happy with the results you sought, what has been missing? What would you acknowledge that has been eluding you? What patterns would you recognize that have been holding you back from that level success you know you can achieve and that you deserve, but haven’t yet achieved or no longer achieve? How strong are the emotions around this? What’s the level of angst or frustration caused by this? Are you willing to own up to there being something that isn’t where you want it to be? Without necessarily being able to put your finger on cause or effect (yet) what might some of these issues be?
If the above feels true for you, and being totally honest with yourself, can I get you to ask yourself these following 7 questions:
1. What have these elusive issues cost and lost you?
2. And if you don’t address them, what might they continue to cost and lose you in the next 2-3 years?
3. What is still stopping you from tackling them? How much longer are you going to “know deep down” that this needs addressing, but remain in denial of it?
4. What are you afraid of?
5. What are you still waiting for before you address it?
6. What might the upside be (financially, emotionally, ego, happiness, pride) if you were to be able to lick this?
7. Who are you going to select as a thinking partner and a running mate to sounding board you, guide you and challenge you to do what it takes to lick it?
You see, despite the more typical personal constraints, we can all be moderately successful (irrespective of how you define success). However, what I’ve learned is that the achievement of significant and abundant and ongoing success depends largely on our ability to break through these constraints. And I’ve also learned that the more “difficult” the constraint, the greater the energy it’s breakthrough will require, but then also the greater will be the outcome it has been preventing.
So What Next?
The above crafting personal breakthroughs is what I set out to achieve in my sabbatical and the resultant outcomes have been remarkable. For me personally, for my loved ones and for my clients. I have licked some substantial constraints in my personal thinking and beliefs and the personal breakthroughs have created some significant new results for me and my perception of my self worth.
For some of my more recent clients, it has also enabled me to help them craft some personal breakthroughs of a level of outcome neither of us had seen before nor believed possible, but they happened. They span their clarity of purpose in their life and their career or business, their level of being in or taking control, their income, their influencing skills, their work / life balance, their ability to leverage their network into the right outcomes, their self confidence and self esteem, but above all to be leveraging their skills, their experience and their passion into what is meaningful in what they love doing best for themselves, their loved ones and their clients.
One of the key differences for me came from my willingness to invest in the guidance and support of a range of different professionals across a few different realms, all of which helped me address a range of longstanding issues, many of which had been held “deep down” all my life. I can clearly say that same level of investment and “fetch” held true for those aforementioned clients.
And so I now feel so much better equipped to add these experiences to the collection of skills, experiences and approaches that I can leverage and help craft into the far more significant breakthroughs for a greater and more diverse range of clients and their (and your) anticipated outcomes. My coaching and mentoring has entered a new chapter in which I am able to operate at a different level than before. The outcomes and the personal breakthroughs we now craft occur at a different level for both my existing clients but also to a different level of clients. Why not you?
Those of you I sense nodding your head because you have realized “that it’s time…”, why not give me a call so that we can discuss and craft your personal breakthroughs to the most meaningful outcomes you know you are capable of achieving in your life’s work, irrespective of what that might be?
What if you could?