By Alesha Combs
We are officially a quarter of the way through the year! So how are those new year resolutions going? I’m just kidding, I won’t put you on the spot like that. This year, along with many others, I decided to ditch the resolution and try something new. Instead of a resolution I decided to do an intentional assessment of the prior year. I wanted to identify the things that enhanced my life and the things that weighed it down, so that in the new year I could seek out the good and avoid the bad. It sounds so simple, right? Well, I suppose if it were actually that simple the self-improvement industry would not have made $9.9 billion in revenue last year…
So I was faced with the question of where to start my self-evaluation process and how to achieve the fulfillment that I desired in my work, personal life, and relationships. Personally, I’m not interested in indulging the self-help industry, so that is not where I look for answers. I find the energy I spend reading and understanding a $30 self-help book leaves me too exhausted to actually make the changes they tell me to make. But 2 weeks into the new year, as I’m still pondering the clearest route to my best life, a local speaker hits me with three small nuggets of wisdom that rang so true I’ve been simmering on them ever since (Bonus! They cost me $0):
- Influence requires involvement.
- Proximity brings perspective.
- Consistent communication builds confidence.
Everything in life is up for interpretation, so let me explain the truth these words held for me. They gave me a way to assess all my past and present opportunities. Not necessarily to identify good choices versus bad choices, but a clear guideline for defining the value of the choices I had made in the past, and a tool to purposefully add value to the choices I would make in the future. His words were like a roadmap:
- Do you want to be influential? If so, what are you doing with your time? You cannot influence the manifestation of valuable outcomes if you do not take the time to involve yourself in the process. You have to show up; you have to show you care.
- Your investment of time requires you hold close proximity with others who can help you build your perspective. Everyone has a different perspective, it’s their platform. What is yours? Are your choices allowing for positive growth and a valuable change in your perspective and insight? Or, are you judging without understanding the perspectives of those around you?
- Your proximity impacts who you communicate with, and your perspective impacts the way you communicate. Have you spent enough time being involved and building perspective to be confident in what you know and say? What about your confidence in what you hear from others? Is what you are communicating adding value?
I’ve been able to apply these concepts to many different pieces of my life, but let’s be honest I’m sharing this with you from my work desk, so we’ll just focus on how these philosophies have changed my career focus and the way that I work. The influence I hope to achieve directly determines the training I choose to pursue, the meetings I choose to attend, and the time I choose to set aside for each task I complete. These choices in how I spend my time shifts my proximity to others, and as I extend outside of my comfort zone I gain an insight that I would have lacked from within the confines of the familiar. These insights help me understand the perspectives of coworkers and clients alike, paving the road to clearer communication and understanding. The result is an increase in my engagement and a boost in my confidence, all because I decided to invest the time to make valuable choices based on a simple road map.
Growth is a confidence booster, but you don’t grow without action. Behind each action is a choice and an intention, so choose mindfully. I’ve already said it, but I’ll say it again, everyone has a different perspective, what I’ve written here is just mine.