Inward, Outward, Forward

    Ever had the opportunity for a new job? Or maybe its a role advancement at your current employer? Deciding whether to take it or not is often mixed with emotion and with the fear of experiencing regret. So what should you do? And how do you know if this role is right for you? I have been reflecting on this question a bit, especially after reading Daniel Pink’s new book, The Power of Regret. In this book he features a three-step process that manages regrets effectively. I also think it adds to the tools of discernment we need when trying to decide whether or not to embrace a new opportunity. He calls them “Inward, Outward, Forward.”


    You begin with reflecting on how you think about yourself. The way that we talk to ourselves is typically demanding to say the least. The expectations we have of ourselves are often equally as tough. We would never have the same expectations of someone else as we would of ourselves (or at least we would give them more understanding or grace if they missed the mark). First step in discerning is to treat yourself with kindness. Recognize that the flux your are experiencing, the hesitations, the fear of regrets is actually not that special. They are very common. But here is the crucial part - as Daniel Pink says - "They're part of the whole human experience, and that any misstep that you make is a moment in your life, not definitional of your life.”  Love that! Let's reduce the pressure and remain in perspective.


    The second step to discernment is to be honest with others in your inner circle about how you are feeling about the opportunity. Daniel Pink puts it this way: “Disclose. If you're comfortable disclosing to other people, that's powerful. Even if you simply write about your negative emotions, that is helpful, too....either by talking about it or by writing about it, we make it less menacing.” So true! The inward fear, or the inner story we often tell ourselves, needs clarity at times so that fear does not take us to a place beyond prudence. 

    This is where one to one coaching aides a great deal. The biggest benefit of coaching as compared to traditional leadership training, reading a book or watching a bunch of videos is implementation and speed of results and change. I’m sure you’ve sat in a day-long training session and learned a ton of new leadership techniques, but then never had the chance to apply them. Coaching holds the participant accountable to come up with their own solutions and when people come up with their own ideas, they are more likely to follow through with them.


    Our vision for the opportunity before us is often rooted in only thinking about a chapter of life we can imagine. For most of us that is a few years in the future. But as Daniel Pink nudges, what if you say, ‘I’m going to place a phone call to me of 2026. What does me in 2026 want me of 2022 to do right now?’ That is perhaps one my favourite decision-making tools, and one I teach to all my clients. I envision myself years ahead either being angry with today's me for missing the moment, or doing "the happy dance" because I seized the moment. This exercise moves us forward from fear to the future.

    If you want some help with envisioning 2026  - well  – coaching is what we are about. Please reach out – would love to work with you and help the you of 2026 to be doing a “happy dance” for the choices you make in 2022!

    My coaching philosophy boils down to the word and acronym GROW

    The coaching process down to four distinct stages: 

    GOAL - where we want to be

    REALITY - where we are right now

    OPTIONS - what can we do?

    WILL - what are we going to do?

    With 25 years of experience, certification and professional membership in three organizations along with many successful clients who have also become high achieving friends, I invest in my clients and give them value as they seek to Thrive. Drop me a line – and let’s see if we sync and I can help you to start living in a way today that will help you to Thrive tomorrow.

    The long and the short of it is that opportunities come, and we can choose to embrace them or not. Fear and regret should not hold us back (both are part of life, and hurdles to be overcome). What should aide us in our discernment is if we can see Inner, Outward and Forward notions of our best selves in that future opportunity. Embracing that will help #makeitso.

    P.S. - Check out a "You Can Make It So" Podcast episode  (#13) on this topic - click here 


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