Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Secret Ingredient? It's Closer Than You Think!

Think of someone you really admire.  What is it about them that you find compelling?  What about someone in your profession who is incredibly successful?  What do they do that works so well?
Pinpointing what we admire in others often points to something we feel is important (a value) but also feel is currently "lacking" in ourselves.  
It's a bit like being served a wonderful chocolate cake and then trying to recreate it at home.  Although you make a good cake, you judge it to be not quite as "good" as real thing.  Perhaps they used a secret ingredient?  How much do we focus on what's missing rather than savouring the cake we have made? 
Don't get me wrong, I think comparisons can be really useful.  It's a way of exploring our values and shifting our perspective.  But sometimes comparing yourself with others is just another way of beating yourself up.
The truth is, there is no secret ingredient.  You have everything you need right now to be successful.  
So what's the point of personal development then?  It's all about mindset.  It's not about fixing something or removing a deficiency, it's about expanding your range.  I like the analogy of a muscle.  We have many muscles but tend to rely on the same group of muscles most of the time.  When we exercise and stretch a new muscle, it can feel a little uncomfortable but, if we continue exercising, we feel stronger and will, literally, stretch further.  We haven't created anything new, we've just used what we have to greater effect.
If you find that you regularly compare yourself unfavourably with others, ask yourself these questions:
  1. What, specifically, do I admire about this person?
  2. Using the answer from the question above, how much do I recognise that quality in myself? Choose a score between 1 and 10 (1 = virtually absent, 10 = abundant) 
  3. What's the best bit about being that score? 
  4. What does a higher score look like (move up 2 points)?
  5. What does a 10 look like?
  6. What can I do today to exercise this "muscle"?
Stephanie Smith works with intelligent individuals on personal impact, choice and change. Find out more and book a sample session at: www.stephaniesmithcoaching.co.uk

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