Self knowledge, values and growth -what does it all have to do with career?
‘The most difficult thing in life is to know yourself.’ (Thales)
Undeniably what this Greek philosopher postulated in 600 BC is still valid. How far have we travelled since on our journey of self discovery? Both medicine and science have made gigantic advances since then, yet, how much better are we at knowing ourselves now than many centuries ago?
There are many techniques and tools around to help us gain more self awareness. While it made me laugh, this quote is partly true:
‘The way you get to know yourself is by the expressions on other people’s faces, because that’s the only thing that you can see, unless you carry a mirror about.’ (Gil Scott-Heron)
Thankfully, this is not the only way. While it is definitely helpful to observe yourself in interactions with others, and ‘watch your words as they are leaving your mouth’, there are ways and techniques that can help you turn the torch on the inside, and shed some light internally, so to speak.
One of the first things I like to clarify with my clients is their basic values. A value serves as a criterion to determine a choice from existing alternatives. It is the concept an individual or a group has regarding the desirable. Knowing your own basic, deeply rooted values will help you not only determine your work values and lead you towards a career/job that is aligned to your top values, but it will also help you in all your relationships.
‘The better you know yourself, the better your relationship with the rest of the world.’ (Toni Collette)
In a recent Deepak Chopra article that I shared he highlights the need to challenge ourselves and grow, but with awareness. Awareness is the key difference between a gung-ho approach to goals and listening to your inner voice whilst also picking up the external signals that are in alignment with your goal. By application of advanced mental and spiritual tools we can constantly expand our awareness, clarify our values and goals, and make choices on a daily basis that propel us towards the future we want to create – towards the best version of ourselves. This goes beyond visualisation, though it has its place here. Founded in solid, ever expanding self knowledge (as we cannot change what we don’t know!), we can ensure that our daily actions and choices reflect our true values and are aligned with our highest purpose or goal. Even it this may sound abstract, it is applicable to all people, whether they are a homemaker, an engineer, a ballet dancer or a businessman/woman….
This is really about tuning into your dreams, and then with the coach’s guidance, turning those dreams into achievable goals. Again, it is about connecting the dots…dreams -reality check – achievable goals. Sadly very often people do not dream at all, or they have forgotten their dreams and aspirations. They got crushed or just discarded on the way, while dealing with life’s ups and downs, responsibilities, disappointments or tedious routines. Once you have clarified your values, let your imagination connect with your values and dreams and take you the place where you want to be – career-wise or relationship-wise. Do not forget though, that real growth starts just outside your comfort zone and make sure you are ready and willing to embrace the challenges, as much as rewards.
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