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Are You Your Best Version?


Expectations

If you were raised as I was, it was instilled in you that the best professional lives followed an established pattern. It was imperative to do well in school, get a great job, move up the corporate/fame/expert ladder. Following this pattern would ensure that you had a good life, one in which you achieved a desired level of professional acclaim and financial security.


I dutifully strived to walk the prescribed path. I was a great student, worked hard, continued to gain solid experience and certifications and move up. All of this concentrated effort was in pursuit of being the best. This is what was expected of me and I was programmed to meet expectations.


Disconcertingly, I found that the harder I tried to force events to go my way, the tougher it became to move forward. It was as though my efforts led to greater difficulties in my life, not fewer. I was listening to those voices from my past, the ones that had lodged firmly in my psyche, and rather than serving me, I was serving them.


Epiphany

The truly career defining opportunities for me were not the result of walking my expected path concentrating on some ideal future. Those defining opportunities had little to do with being a good student, a hard worker, a ladder-climber in the traditional sense. They happened when I focused on the present and all the experiences that the present had to offer. That focus on being present and open to new experiences lets in the bit of serendipity that is essential to finding who you are, what you want at your core, and making the shift to your best self.


I've found that my best version isn't the one who follows the childhood programming. She's the one who challenges, and often ignores, the expectations that were such a mainstay of much of her life. She's the one who chooses a path because it has an appealing view, not because it's well-worn. My best self is brave and willing to take some risks. She is honest about both what she wants and what she doesn't want. And she remains open to possibilities.


As a coach, I encourage you to explore and understand all that makes you who you are today and what you want from your career and your life. Notice what you feel as well as what you think. It's important to listen not just to your head, but to your heart, too, to be your best version.


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