How BIG PICTURE thinking helps our lives and career
When was the last time you took time out to assess your life and career from the outside in?
Probably not recently!
Taking a step back and looking big picture at our life and career is fundamental to ensuring that the path you are going on, is the one you want to be on. It is very easy to get caught up ‘in’ and bogged down by the day to day and business of life in general. However, if we don’t step back regularly and take stock, it is easy for our path to drift in a direction we don’t want it to go.
One of my super powers (check out a video I did on this) is that I love to think big but then also devise a plan to make it a reality. I created my own plan to leave my corporate career and set up this lovely business on my own terms, and I’ve also done the same with wonderful clients of mine. Being able to zoom out and then in takes some skill (!!) but I have perfected it over the years (and continue to do so). I’d be honoured to do this work with you and if you’d like to find out more than contact me here.
Now if you don’t have a pocket me beside you, guiding and supporting you through the process - here are some questions to ask yourself to help you think big picture:
· How am I really feeling? How is my body feeling?
Checking in on how you are feeling is key to understanding how things are going in our lives. This can be positive feelings in terms of happy, energised or motivated, or slightly more negative feelings like tiredness, stressed, complacent. Quite often it is our feelings that trigger us to realise if something isn’t right. Take a minute to really think about how you are feeling today and how you are feeling in general We can often absorb our emotions in our body (tight chest, achy shoulders etc) so taking the time to check in on our body and what that feels like is important.
· What is going well?
Focus on the positives by thinking about what is going well in your life and career. We don’t celebrate successes enough in my book, as we tend to just move on to the next big thing, so checking in on the positive aspects of our lives and achievements, is important. This could be committing to an exercise program or you got a new promotion or you were invited to a senior stakeholder meeting at work.
· What isn’t going so well?
Assess what isn’t going so well in your life and career. What keeps you up at night? What bothers you? It is useful to get to the crux of what isn’t going well and perhaps dig deeper on why we think that is the case. We might be working long hours, which means that we don’t get to spend time with our family. That could be due to the fact we’ve started a new job and are looking to impress. Understanding what is driving certain negative behaviours and actions is key to helping change them.
· What do I want to keep in my life?
As we think about what we want to keep in our lives, we should pull things from what is going well. Perhaps it’s being able to do exercise every morning or having more time with your partner as you aren’t having to commute for 2 hours a day due to COVID-19.
· What do I want to drop?
Think about what you do in your life and career that you wished you didn’t have to. Note down everything that comes to mind and understand what you have control over and what is in your power to change or adapt. Thinking about this in terms of our current role could be the parts of it that you wish you could do less of – have a think about how you could partner with your team to move some of the workload around.
· What do I want more of?
Think about what you want more of and make sure you are trying to fit that into your life as often as possible. I ask my clients to do an activity of mapping out their ideal week and if they could only do what they love – what would that look like? Now there’s always going to be things we *have* to do (none of us have the keys to a private island just yet), but making sure we are creating time for the things we love is crucial to a happy and fulfilled life.
· Does what I am doing now (in my life and career) taking me closer or further away from the life I want to be living?
Oomph. This can be a difficult question to answer and involves you having an understanding of what your ideal life vision looks like. Assessing where you are on your life journey against where you want to be is a good way to determine what changes (if any) you need to be making to ensure your life and career are on your planned course. I believe we shouldn’t plan the minute detail of our lives as I like to think fate and the universe has a part to play, however being intentional with the direction we want our life to take means we are more likely to be happy and fulfilled.
I hope these prompts helped you to do a mini big picture assessment of your life and career. Doing this a couple of times a year is a great way to check in with yourself and to make changes or course correct where needed. If you want me to be your accountability partner and cheerleader then contact me.