Updated: Aug 16, 2022
Do you dread the question, "where do you see yourself in five years?"
Research shows giving yourself time to think and plan improves your decision-making. Yet many people still don't make it a daily priority to check in on how they feel about their career or life. Maybe that's why two in five Americans dream about the day they can tell their boss they quit! Finding yourself off course or worse yet, with no course can make you ready to take a leap without thinking. Before you consider making a life change, get clear on your motivation, get a mentor, and get in the right mindset to achieve your goals!
I've lived corporate, nonprofit, entrepreneur, and working parent life-- none of them are easy! The hard truth is whether you are considering starting a business or wondering if you have the energy to pursue a promotion, any path you choose will require work and more of your time to be successful. Despite Instagram's photos of glamorous beach life, you'll likely have to hustle to make your life into what you want.
Ultimately you can see your choices reflected in your daily schedule. When you are overwhelmed and bogged down with surviving a bad day-to-day situation, it's easy to stop dreaming. When that happens, you lose sight of what will improve your life. Instead of getting stuck, you have to think differently. To be successful, you have to envision your life in the future.
Working with my coaching clients, I've noticed a trend- high-performing leaders are self-aware and constantly checking and adjusting their course. Successful leaders view their role as a captain. Their role is to show up at their best to help guide the crew and passengers to safety. One person can't do it all, and the captain has to navigate the cockpit equipment, weather, and any unforeseeable events that can quickly turn disastrous. Instead of being frustrated by the change, pilots shift their mindset to see opportunities and guide themselves in the right direction. By having access to a map, they can more easily judge when they need to speed up, change course, or refuel. They can see where they have the potential to get lost, off track, or stuck.
I know a bit about getting stuck after leading award-winning programs to attract, retain and develop leaders at Fortune 500 companies and now running my own coaching business for three years full time. When I decided I wasn't happy in my job, I took a week away from the office to figure out what I really wanted. Creating space in my life to put myself first let me experience what life would be like when I was truly in charge.