You own your awareness. How much is that worth?

It might seem difficult to imagine that a person could be unaware of who they truly are. Or, that they are also potentially blind to how others perceive them. However, I guarantee you know someone who could be described this way, and perhaps you might be this person?

I often get asked the question is there an age or decade when the majority of people will become aware of who they are, and what talents and personality attributes they possess? The reality is that there isn’t a specific age when everyone determines this information, and in fact, some people will go through decades in their life without having an awareness of who they are.

Are the people who are completely unaware of who they are at a disadvantage to those who know and have a clear appreciation for who they are? In my opinion, yes, they are. Although they may be perfectly comfortable being this way, and have accepted and come to terms with whatever personal or professional state they are in.

If you are not someone who is comfortable or satisfied with your current personal or professional situation, it likely is due to a number of factors. One of them relates to who you have had in your life that has provided you with guidance and options to consider different paths to pursue. Another one is who you have chosen to align yourself with both personally and professionally. Sometimes this is a conscious decision, and other times it is situational, and could be based on your formative or current circumstances.

A third factor which contributes to someone’s awareness level is their willingness to take ownership of understanding who they are. This could mean accomplishing this on their own, or with help from others. Perhaps a combination. The point is that at some stage in a person’s life they become willing to explore and understand who they are as an individual. Once this is achieved, it is at that point when they will have a greater sense of how to leverage this information to their benefit.

Without having a solid understanding of who you are as a person, and possessing full awareness of what your talents and attributes are, how will you be able to ensure that the goals you have for yourself both personally and professionally can be achieved? Sure, you might have some methods for how to accomplish this, but what if you truly understood and intentionally invested in knowing who you are from a core level?

Let’s assume you would want to understand who you are beyond a surface level. More importantly, how to align your innate talents to your benefit. Can this be done? Absolutely, and when you pursue and accomplish this, the difference in your life will create an entirely new set of lenses on how you look at your world. How do I know this? Because I personally experienced this ten years ago, and it was literally personally and professionally life changing. I’m going to leave you with this thought in terms of wondering how I accomplished this, and if you are interested enough in learning more about my situation, I have a strong sense you will reach out to me.

If your curiosity has been peeked by my experience, I do have some tips I can share with you to help you to consider options for exploring how to become more self-aware. Or, how you can help someone else who wishes to pursue this.   

  • Be honest. On a scale of 1-10 (10 the highest), what level of self-awareness would you rate yourself? Now think about, what level would you like to be at?
  • Do you have enough of a curiosity to invest your time and attention into understanding and appreciating who you are at a more in-depth level than you currently are?
  • How would you rate your level of being open-minded on a scale of 1-10 (10 the highest)? Hint, the higher level of your open-mindedness will contribute to helping you to gain and embrace your self-awareness level increasing in your favor.
  • Are you motivated enough to want to better understand and leverage and align your talents differently than you have been? If so, there are numerous self-awareness options for you to consider, and start with your favorite search engine to begin this process. I have my own favorite one, but I’ll only share this with you if you are genuinely interested in knowing what it is.
  • If money wasn’t a factor in your life, what would you personally or professionally be doing instead? Hint. The answers to this question can offer great insights.
  • How do you like to spend your time, and how much time do you prefer to spend alone or with others? Knowing this can also offer valuable clues into what motivates you, and knowing what motivates you and aligning this with your self-awareness can put you into potentially a new and better personal and professional direction.
  • Ask 2-4 people you trust how they perceive you. Ask them to describe who they perceive you to be in three statements, or words that can offer a different or new perspective on who you are from their perspective. Knowing this information will help to provide you with others lens on who you are, and it may or may not be how you perceive yourself. Keep in mind that others can often see our talents better than we can.

Understanding and knowing who you are can be the greatest gift you can give to yourself or another person. In honor of Mother’s Day coming up this week, if you are a Mom, aspire to be one, or have a Mom or have someone in your life who plays this role, do yourself and them a favor and consider giving either them, or yourself the gift of self-awareness. It will be one of the greatest gifts you or they can experience, and it is a priceless one too.

TAGS: #Self-awareness #WhoamI #Whoareyou #Personaldevelopment #Professionaldevelopment #Talentdevelopment #Leadership #Teams #Teamdynamics #Business #Awareness #UnderstandingwhoIam #Mothersday #Happymothersday

Are you fascinating or frustrating to others?

 For some reason I love the word fascinating, and I like the meaning of it even better. It embodies so many different description facets of a person or an experience, and in my opinion, the best part is when you get to hear aspects about the person or their experience being fascinating.

Based on the premise that most people would not classify themselves as being a fascinating person, I’m certain that no one would deny wanting to be this way. Nor would they shy away from others considering them to be this way either. In fact, it could be a notable attainment for a person to have this description associated with them.

Since the word fascinating can be widely interpreted, and can also be subjective, the one thing I believe we can agree upon, is the fact it is a positive way to express how you could describe another person. Given this presumption, when was the last time you applied this word to describing someone you either know, recently met, or would like to get to know?

Having an individual or people in my life that I can describe as being fascinating is something I have always sought out. My awareness for realizing this was when I was quite young, and before I became a teenager. Thinking back to the first realization that I had just met and encountered a person who was unlike anyone else I had ever met before was thrilling. It also ignited a continued life-long interest in wanting to meet more people like the first one I met. Who was the first person I met like this? It was actually a family member, and an uncle.

My uncle was a creative person. To say that he looked at the world via a different lens than anyone else I had ever experienced would be an understatement, and this was so intriguing to me. I had the good fortune of working for him when I was in college, and I learned a tremendous amount from him by simply observing his behavior and seeing how he made decisions. Not all of his decisions were good ones, but I learned just as much from experiencing the less ideal ones, as the brilliant ones he made.

For the sake of consideration, who can you name right now that you would classify as being interesting or frustrating? Are they someone you know well? Are they someone you would like to know and admire for who they are and what they do? Or, have you ever yourself thought about whether in fact you might be deemed a fascinating or frustrating person in the eyes of others?

Let’s assume that you don’t want to be classified as a frustrating person, and that you either want to know more fascinating people, or perhaps aspire to being one yourself. How would you go about achieving either of these? Good question, and yes, there are ways you can go about attaining a designation of being fascinating, or including more people like this into your life. However, it’s going to take some time and thought about how to achieve this.

If you want to aspire to either being fascinating, or include more fascinating people in your life, here are some suggestions to help fast-track you towards accomplishing one, or both of these options.

  • How would you rate your self-awareness on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest)?
  • Having a higher level of self-awareness is going to be the place to work towards to help you achieve becoming a more fascinating individual. Why? Because with self-awareness comes confidence, and with confidence comes having the freedom to try and do more things in your life, which in turn can contribute to your fascination level or attainment.
  • Becoming self-aware takes time, and it might be something you need support to accomplish doing. If you need support, there are plenty of options to explore to help you to master this.
  • Being truly authentically yourself is also one of the foundational aspects to achieving becoming a fascinating person.  When you are able to authentically be yourself, you are more content with who you are. You are more approachable as a person, and any level of anxiety and fear you have in your life will be significantly reduced because you are not expending negative energy towards supporting these feelings.
  • When you have more positive energy to apply to your life every day, you are able to accomplish more things, which in turn fuels more aspects of your life to be deemed as being productive, fun and potentially fascinating. Either personally acknowledged, or allowing others to perceive you this way.
  • Come up with your own definition of what or who you deem to be fascinating. Are any of the descriptions ones you can attain, or are working towards?
  • Who are the people you deem to be fascinating? Are any of them ones you can eventually include in your life? If not, perhaps they will serve to motivate you?

I understand that not everyone aspires to being classified as fascinating, and I’m confident no one wants to be labeled as frustrating.  Perhaps somewhere in-between is where you might be more comfortable?  With either of these options, I hope the one you decide upon suits you well.

TAGS: #Confidence #Business #Selfawareness #Beingauthentic #Authenticity #Personaldevelopment #Humandevelopment #Awareness #Beinggenuine #Howtobefascinating #Howtobeinteresting #Confidence #Careeradvice

Don’t let others define who you are.

I remember hearing when I was very young people telling me to be myself. However, they didn’t define what this meant, and I was too young to consider asking them to explain what they meant. Since I realized that hearing this statement seemed to be a reoccurring one, at some point, I believe I internalized and came up with my own definition of what this meant.

For context, my family includes a number of creative people. Even and inventor. By observing various family members, and appreciating the talents they had, and how they appeared to be comfortable with them, they were appreciably strong role models. Seeing them embrace what they were good at, even if others didn’t fully understand what they were doing.

One of my earliest memories of applying the concept of authentically being myself was when I was old enough to pick out my own clothes to wear. This seems simple enough, yet what I was surprised by was the reaction I got from people when I first started doing this. The reason I was surprised, had to do with the fact I was putting colors and patterns together that were not traditionally combined. At least at that point in time. I saw no issue in doing this, and in fact, I enjoyed both the challenge and fun it was to do this. I realize now that I was intrigued by other people thinking that what I was doing was different.

When I became aware that doing something different than what others were doing was ok to do, is when I began to embrace and develop a confidence in myself that had not been there before. I was too young to have any appreciable hobbies at that time, but I intuitively realized what I was doing was something I could build upon. I would draw an analogy to this of developing an early foundation of defining who I would evolve into as a person.

Upon being retrospective on this topic, I realize that I could have gone in a completely different direction in terms of having others define who I am, or would become. I also realized that I had an early awareness of the fact I was fully in charge of how I could and wanted to define myself as an individual. More importantly, not to let others do this in any way. This thinking has served me extraordinarily well, as it has allowed me to authentically be myself in both personal and professional scenarios. More importantly without having to craft different personas. Something which I have observed many others doing.

Speaking of different personas, one of my observations about why some people struggle with not being able to embrace who they are, is because they give too much value to what others have to say or think about them. A good question to ask yourself or someone who might find themselves in this situation, is to have them explain why they do this. It’s possible they are not aware of the fact they have let others define who they are, or should be, as it can actually be easier in some ways to do this. Why? Because you don’t have to commit to figuring out who you truly are. Or, you can simply take on the characteristics or qualities others who have influenced your thinking, that you should act a certain way. From my perspective, this sounds exhausting, yet surprisingly, many people are unaware of the fact they have done this.

So, if you aspire to be authentically who you are, what are some techniques you can apply to do this? I’m anticipating you might want to know this, and I’ve got some suggestions for you below.

  • If you don’t believe you are authentically yourself, who do you want to be?
  • If you were to “design” or “architect” exactly who you think you want to be, what would be the characteristic elements involved with crafting this person include?
  • Consider your base personality, and the essence of at your core who you are. Are you truly leveraging it to the fullest? Or, would you say there are reasons you are not doing so based on the influence of others?
  • Are there people or circumstances in your life which are contributing to not allowing you to be who you truly are, or aspire to be?
  • What or who can help you to change your circumstances that are preventing you from allowing you to define who you want to be? There are always multiple options and solutions, so don’t allow excuses of not having options or people to help you to stand in the way.
  • What it is going to take to allow you to believe you deserve to authentically be who you are? Let’s start with looking in the mirror, as chances are it’s you who are holding yourself hostage to this type of preventative thinking.
  • Factor in how different and more enjoyable your life will be when you stop allowing others to define who you are, and you finally embrace your authenticity. Seriously, this can happen, even if it is in incremental steps and takes longer than you think it should.
  • Finally, imagine what it will feel like when you can truly be who you are…every single day, and in every single situation in your personal and professional life.

Individuality and expressing who you are shouldn’t be reserved for only some people, and conformity shouldn’t be the norm that everyone has to subscribe to. I love the statement of “just be yourself because everyone else is taken”. Let’s see what you can do, or if you can help someone else who isn’t authentically themselves yet. Taking on this challenge will be so worth it!

TAGS: #Confidence #Selfawareness #Selfaware #Authenticity #Personaldevelopment #Professionaldevelopment #Motivation #Helpingothers #Teamdynamics #Leadership #Business

What ignites you? 10 Tips on why you must know this.

I just finished watching one of my sports teams come out at the beginning of their game looking like the win was a sure thing. Then the second quarter started, and the team’s performance continued to plummet. Unfortunately, all the way to the end of the game. What happened? From my vantage point, the most obvious challenge was that they began playing together as a team, then resorted to playing as individual participants. Unfortunately, this is never a winning recipe when that happens.

Since I wasn’t physically at the game, I didn’t have the advantage of being able to fully appreciate all of the team dynamics which were occurring. However, I could take an educated guess, but it wouldn’t change the outcome after the fact of what was happening real time. So, was there something which could have been done to have changed the trajectory of the game outcome? Absolutely, and I have some more work to do with this team based on this reality.

You might surmise that I would be upset with the team’s performance outcome. I’m not, as the final score is not reflective of the actual attempts to have made this a competitive game. It was for the first period, and then the challenges of not being able to re-ignite the team set in. The momentum shifted and remained in favor of the opponent, and my team wasn’t able to overcome the powerful momentum their opponent had built up. Could they have changed the momentum? Yes, and that’s where the real story begins.

As I continued to watch the game, it felt as if I was watching a different sport. One where the objective wasn’t to set up their team members up for success, but to individually attempt to change their team dynamics. News flash. When this occurs, this rarely results in the outcome a team is looking for. In fact, it’s as if they go into “panic mode”, and disengage from the reality that they are playing a team sport. Yes, this is frustrating to watch, and it isn’t fun for anyone on the team to experience either.

When the trajectory of a team’s dynamics is shifting away from its favor during a game, or in any competitive situation (e.g., on a sales team), there is something which can be done to course correct this. It involves knowing and understanding each of the team members very well, and in fact, what personally and collectively ignites and motivates them. When this information isn’t understood, or applied, this is when opportunities to win or seek the performance level metrics you are trying to attain begins to evaporate.

However, when you can tap into and apply and appeal to both the individuals and the collective team, this is where you can turn a situation around to be in your favor. Yes, you can also keep this going, even when the odds appear to be stacked against you. I can credibly say this, as I’ve seen this happen more times in my career than I would have imagined was actually possible.

What is the second element which needs to be tapped into to ignite and change up a team’s performance? It’s a six-letter word, and an extremely powerful one. It’s “belief” in themselves, their team members, and the fact they can do what many others would deem to be impossible.

When a united team believes something is possible, this is where the “magic” can be the spark which ignites their minds and bodies to perform at an entirely different level. You know when you see this occur, and as an analogy, it’s similar to when the weather pattern suddenly shifts without warning. Remaining on the weather analogy, the team which is in need of being turned around experiences a tremendous burst of energy. One which is sustainable, and almost impossible for the opponents to get back control of. Similar to a momentum shift which is difficult to change.

If you are looking for ways to understand what ignites you, the team you lead or are on, I have some suggestions for you to consider applying.

  • Does your team have an agreed upon motivational accelerator?
  • Can you articulate what your true motivational accelerators are?
  • If you or your team does not know what your motivational factors are, take some time to figure out what they are, and write them down.
  • If you or your team need help with determining your motivational factors, ask someone who knows you or the team well. Have them share what they think they might be, or have an open-minded conversation with them and brainstorm on coming up with what they are.
  • The majority of people who are competitively oriented are typically fueled by wanting to win. However, what if you are on a team, and this isn’t a motivating factor for you? Will your lack of competitive spirit impact your or your team members performance? Not necessarily, it’s just that you will be motivated differently to either win, or attain the performance metrics you are focused on. Hint, determine what they are, and let others know this too.
  • For those of you who are achievement oriented, and the good news is that this is the number one trait for most team members. Now, factor in what aspects about achievement can serve to fuel you to either a successful outcome, or to help change your or your team’s performance momentum and trajectory.
  • Are you motivated by internal or external factors? You will need to know this, and so will your coach/leader and team members. Identify what those factors are, and make sure they can be applied in your favor.
  • How easily do you give up? Be honest with yourself. If you are on a team and they need you to commit to 100% believing in achieving sometimes what would seem impossible, what is it going to take to get you to attain this mindset? Perhaps you start with yourself. Then ask yourself if you truly trust that you will do everything you can humanly do to be the best team member you can be. Both from a performance and support perspective.
  • How would you rate your attitude? Especially in times of distress. Does your attitude become one which you are not proud of? What can you do to maintain your positive attitude, or who can help you to do this if you struggle to accomplish this?
  • If you are not fully able to appreciate what your own innate talents are, then how can you fully leverage them for your own benefit, let alone your teams? This is a rhetorical question, so begin with finding out what they are, and then begin applying them for a solid starting point.
  • Let’s assume you know what your talents are, that you are applying them, but others are not appreciating them. Ask to have a conversation with the person or people who fall into this category, and look to resolve this by having the goal of fully understanding and appreciating the talents you each bring to the team.

Emotionally, a loss of any kind is difficult. The good news is that you can learn a great deal from a loss. So, the take away from this should be to objectively debrief together on where the opportunities are to leverage this information to help you, and or, the team you lead. Doing this will develop the foundation you need to change the momentum and trajectory in your favor the next time you need to apply this “play” or strategic move. Chin up team! I believe in you. Now you need to do and show the rest of us you believe in yourself.

TAGS:  #Teams #Coach #Sportscoach #Leader #Leadership #Inspiration #Motivation #Talent #Talentdevelopment #Winning #Howtowin #Howtochangemomentum

What’s your worth? 10 Tips to consider.

If I were to think about myself as having a value associated with how I perceive myself, or worse, how others perceive me, I would be quite distressed. Although the interesting point in this consideration is that you hear people all the time referencing about either their own, but typically someone else’s worth. Or, perhaps they are discussing value?

In either scenario, my feeling is it would be incredibly difficult to come up with a formula to evaluate the value a person has each day. However, we know that many people love to have the ability to measure or compare and contrast. Either to another person, scenario or some other measurement which they deem to be important.

When I think about someone’s value or worth, I see it as a completely arbitrary measure, and in fact, one that would be in a constant state of flux. If we did have a formula to measure the value of someone, what would be some of the factors contributing to this equation? In my opinion, it will be extremely difficult to gain consensus on this topic, and who will really benefit from determining the criteria for measurement, or from being measured? 

Does it really matter how others evaluate you? I really don’t think it does, because any measurement is going to likely contain too many arbitrary and non-neutral considerations which won’t be able to be applied as a “one-size-fits-all” approach. So, why are many people fascinated with being able to define themselves via a standard of measurement? Does it help them to improve who they are as a person? Does it make them a person who contributes in a more powerful way to society? The list could go on forever in terms of what could be measured, but isn’t it more important to innately have a strong sense of your own personal value or worth?

For the sake of discussion, let’s say it is more important for everyone to strive to reach a place where they have their own comfort level in how they are contributing as a human to our society. Perhaps they have physical or mental limitations which would prevent them from reaching a maximum contribution level. Independent of this, wouldn’t it be satisfactory for both them and others if they were doing the best they could do given their limitations? I think it would.

Where I am challenged with my consideration of a person’s worth, is when it is solely based on factors that are revered by some people, and absolutely unimportant to others. In other words, too many people place a high value on a person’s financial worth. What’s worse is that these same people who are enamored by someone’s wealth, essentially cancel out other factors which shouldn’t be. Ones in fact that would negatively contribute to how a person is simply being measured and evaluated, based solely on their ability to have amassed wealth.

We know that not everyone who has amassed wealth did so on their own. Perhaps they inherited the wealth, or just happened to be fortunate with their timing and in a situation where they were an overnight wealthy person (e.g., the company they worked for went public, and their financial value skyrocketed overnight). I’ve seen this happen numerous times, and simply because these people now have a massive amount of money did not change the fundamentals of them being a worthy or valued human. Especially since currency is simply an arbitrary way of people agreeing on it having value.

My consideration of a person’s worth like currency is arbitrary, and should other people really have the power to judge your value? Think about this for a minute. The reality is that this does happen all the time, so what can you do about it? More importantly, do you care to do something about this?

If you are interested in doing something about impacting either your own sense of worth or value, there are in fact many things you have the power to do to impact it. Here are some suggestions on how to go about doing this.

  • What have you done today or recently to contribute to the well-being of others?
  • Have you invested in yourself to make yourself a healthier person both mentally and physically?
  • Do you have a written or plan in your mind which factors in leveraging your own talents which can both help to support you, and others too?
  • Consider the impact your value as a caring person would have on someone who might need some additional caring support. What could you do to increase your care level towards another person, or multiple people?
  • Starting today, what can you do to become a less self-centered person?
  • What can you do to come up with a different system to evaluate your own worth or the value you are contributing to our society on a daily or some consistent basis?
  • Think about why you might regard people who have more wealth then you do in a category of having a higher worth than you do?
  • Sure, having money can provide people with greater access to power and other opportunities, but does this really make them more valuable as a human?
  • Reconsider how you evaluate your criteria for both worth and success.
  • Factor in how being healthy, happy, having time to do the things you like to do, and having the ability to spend your time and attention on being with people you love can contribute to your worth and life value.

The expression of “life is a journey, enjoy the ride” is one which I am reminded by every day. Given this expression, I do my best each day to make sure I am paying attention to this sentiment. By perceiving my own worth and value to be at a level which I desire, and not having it impacted by what other people think, is what gives me the greatest satisfaction of knowing both my worth and value are exactly where I want them to be. Better yet? I’m the only judge that matters in what this means. I hope that if you are not currently at this level of thinking, you will be at some point in the near future.

TAGS: #Confidence #Self-worth #Leadership #Motivation #Positivity #Business #Teams