When you are feeling stuck what do you do to give yourself a jolt? To my clients, I suggest they get curious and gather new, refreshing information about themselves – for example, take the StrengthsFinder Assessment. Find new way to explore and see yourself and discover how others experience you.
When you look at your life – be it your career or life path – you can see elements of both wisdom and missteps as that have occurred along the journey.
The paradox of the hero’s journey is that when you have the courage to face, accept and incorporate the parts of yourself that you find hard to acknowledge or share, you gain tremendous energy. As you integrate your whole self you become more authentically you – your best self.
While we may never become heroines/heroes like Mother Theresa, Mandela, King, Thatcher, or the Dalai Lama, everyone can become more authentic and capable of courageous leadership. This requires ongoing attention to self awareness through assessments like the StrengthsFinder as well as mindfulness, connectedness and a vision or purpose.
The journey is life long. It meanders, so you need to be vigilant, pay attention, stay connected and focus your intentions or vision in order to transform and create a life full of meaning, purpose and contribution.
Three Steps to Self
How do you become your best self? How do you learn to act like a hero? According to author Greg Giuliano in The Hero’s Journey: Toward a More Authentic Leadership, the journey to self is a perpetual three-part process, abbreviated by the letters A.C.T:
1. Attend to Who You Are
Who are we innately? What are our gifts and talents? Pay attention to who we are and where we are right now. This involves being mindful and engaging in honest self-reflection and assessments.
2. Connect with Your Best Self
Second, we connect with our gifts and talents being conscious to leverage them to be our truest and best self.
3. Transform Your Life
Lastly, we seek to transform, to be intentional and create the life that is the most accurate expression of who, what, and where we want to be, our greatest contribution.
Who Are You?
How do you make an honest assessment of where you’re at in life right now? How do you perceive yourself intellectually, cognitively, emotionally, physically, socially, sexually, and spiritually at this point in your life? Where do you receive feedback regarding these aspects of your life?
Many people find having such conversations with a coach to be revealing and helpful. Sometimes tools such as the Wheel of Life can help illuminate your different roles and how you experience a sense of meaning and fulfillment.
When you find that some of your answers cause disappointment or restlessness, this might suggest a cognitive dissonance between what you have hoped for your life and how it actually is. Ask yourself, “What would it take for me to be able to answer differently?”