Reaching Your Full Career Potential

reaching your full potentialPotential is within the realm of possibility but not yet reached. We talk about reaching our full potential like it’s a good thing, but I don’t think it is.

Potential is somewhere in the future, yet the only place we have any power is in the now.

When folks talk about reaching their full potential it’s always a self-judgment. It’s a judgment based on something they may have heard, or a comment that someone else made about them, that got stuck in their head.

When someone tells you, what he or she thinks would be good for you – it usually isn’t good for you.

Any mindset that passes judgment on unrealized performance, is likely to cause more stress and suffering than motivation to change.

In the process of career coaching I’ll often ask my clients to decide what they most want from a career change. When they say, “I want to live up to my full potential.” I dig deeper by asking.

If you lived up to your full potential what would be happening then that isn’t now?

Tell me the top three benefits of living up to your full potential.

What kind of a career would you be working in if you were living up to your full potential?

Full potential is an unreachable illusion. It’s a state of unrealized perfection that is not clearly defined.

Reaching full potential is like being all that you can be. Who could ever be that? Where would they find the time?

It’s funny, we hear folks all the time talk about reaching their full potential but how often have you heard someone say. “I’m done. I’ve reached my full potential.”

Reaching an undefined, full career potential, is impossible. Even if, at some future time, you reached your full potential, you wouldn’t know it or feel that you had.

However, full potential in present moment fulfillment and as a desired level of prosperity can be defined. Identify what that is for you and go for it.

There is nothing else that anyone wants for you other than for you to be you. Byron Katie

Byron Katie through her illuminating process The Work has helped thousands realize the crippling affects of believing false assumptions. Watch the short video below as she challenges the mindset of full potential.

If you want career clarity, then ask for an exploratory, career change, coaching session to challenge your limiting mindsets at CoreU Coaching.

Are you reaching for your full potential? How’s that going? What might you go for instead?

Fear Cripples Authenticity

Fear cripples authenticity and once crippled it doesn’t hold enough power to sustain itself.  Our dreams then become like kites without wind. iStock_000007626121XSmall

That’s the problem with compromise. When you settle for less than you know you could have, you poke a little hole in your soul.

We can only take so many hits to our authenticity.  After awhile the only thing that will resurrect it is full bore, courageous, original choices.

My intention in this post is to cause you to pause and see where your compromises are slowly killing you. You have many unknown friends and supporters who await the inspiration of authentic expression that only you can offer.

Yes, we are all unique but there are threads and themes of affinity running through us.  We lift one another by standing tall enough so that others can feel the light from our boldness.

When you stand tall by making an authentic choice, in an area that also inspires me; I stand a little taller too.

We are so close to tipping our world back to authentic harmony.

More and more of us each day are beating the drum of authentic expression.  The biggest obstacle to enjoying such a world is simply the fear of looking like a fool.

But who’s truly the fool?  One who stumbles in sincere authentic expression or one who hides safely behind the insidious mask of trying to fit in?

Because of societal conditioning, the fear of looking like a fool runs like faulty DNA through the fiber of our beings and the only antidote is choosing more authentically, more often.

Pure authenticity is the only thing big enough worth risking the approval of others.  Authenticity requires glorious tribute to individual courage.

When you make the decision to stand tall in your own magnificence you must follow-through and announce it.  Authenticity without expression is a watered down, less powerful force that causes unnecessary internal struggle.

If you’ve been brave but falling short of the mark look and see if you may have been holding back or watering down your expression.

Authenticity is best used in service to transformation.  It’s truly the action of coming back to our most genuine core.  Such genuineness must be seized and asserted with the glory it deserves.

Fear not.  You have what it takes.  Claim the work life you were meant to enjoy and check back here often.  I’ve decided to lead this charge in a much bigger way.

If you want to take full control of your website and stop being held hostage by your webmaster, join a very authentic friend of mine, Suzanne Bird-Harris, for a full week of WordPress Summer Camp, on the phone, to learn everything you need to know to successfully and easily take control of your website. Suzanne is a hoot and a masterful teacher. Check out her surprisingly affordable camp.

Your Best Career Is Beyond Your Comfort Zone

Is it inauthentic to do the things that you don’t like to do?  Just because a career choice is challenging does that automatically mean you’ve chosen the wrong career?

I’m writing about our comfort zone because many have confused authentic work to mean something that is such a good fit that it comes easily.  But natural and easy are not the same things.  colorful fireworks show silhouettes

This myth of ease has caused more harm than good because it causes many to question themselves.  This self-doubt makes them stop before they can seize their best career.

Some believe that when we have chosen the right career, (when we are living our purpose) doors easily open and everything falls into place.  I know a few who have enjoyed that level of validation.

But what about those who don’t? Does that automatically mean that they haven’t chosen their best career?

Not necessarily. Things don’t necessarily fall into place for us just because we’ve chosen well. An essential part of choosing well is recognizing the opportunity when we miss the mark and adjusting our aim accordingly.

Until we walk down the hallway of action we can’t see which doors will open.  In 1998 I thought I’d found my best career as an inspirational speaker.  But until an audience member asked about coaching, I was blind to the very opportunity that was my best career fit.

Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict.  William Ellery Channing

We can be completely in our element and still be challenged.

Challenge and authenticity do not exclude one another.

What if things never fell in place for you? Would you quit life? Would you give up entirely?

Consider for a moment, what makes the comfort zone comfortable?  Please just pause and answer this question before reading on.

What make activities fall into a zone of comfort?  I think it’s because we’ve already experienced them before.  They are familiar to us.  In other words when we are in our comfort zone we are experiencing another version of the same past that we’ve already experienced.

In bullfighting there is a term called querencia. The querencia is the spot in the ring to which the bull returns. Each bull has a different querencia, but as the bullfight continues, and the animal becomes more threatened, it returns more and more often to his spot.

As he returns to his querencia, he becomes more predictable. And so, in the end, the matador is able to kill the bull because instead of trying something new, the bull returns to what is familiar. His comfort zone.   Carly Fiorina

Test this theory.  Go ahead I dare you.  Think about a time when you felt totally alive.  Recall a time when you felt a vibrant pulsing in your body and a real sense of adventure.   Were you challenged or were you comfortable?

Were you taking part in a new activity or repeating something you’d already done?

I thought so.  So tell me please, what’s so damned good about comfort? Comfortable isn’t even that much fun.

The couch beckons all of us when we need relief or rest.  Yet comfort is not what makes life interesting.

Life is to be lived flat out in circumstances that arouse.

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.  Emerson

Perhaps you already have found your best career.  Perhaps everything you’ve ever wanted is just on the other side of your current challenge.  Dare you persist and see?

Killing What Scares You

Don’t kill what scares you.  Embrace it!

What scares you the most is your raw, untamed authenticity.

istock_000003792360xsmallWhat scares the hell right out of you is the crazy brilliance that you know you really are.

This post is a call to action for those who want even more inspiring and fulfilling work.  If you really love your job – quit reading now.  But if you really want to bet the farm on you – read on!

As a career coach, here’s the question I hear most often.

“What will I be when I grow up?”

Here are two better questions.

“What was I before I grew up?”

“What wild part of me have I allowed to be beaten down and killed, for fear of being judged?”

Never destroy any aspect of personality, for what you think is the wild branch may be the heart of the tree.  Mrs. Henry George

Cultural conformity is fear-based pressure created so the real you doesn’t rock the boat

Accumulated conditioning, rules and collective fears, all pushing societal stability, will continue to separate you from your authentic wildness, if you allow it to.

Most folks claim they want their authentic freedom. But they act as though they want stability and safety.

Stability and authenticity exclude one another.

Take a stand.  Refuse fear.  Live fearlessly.

Allow your authentic wildness to flourish once more.

Don’t kill your wildness.  Flaunt your wildness.

If you really didn’t give two shits, about what anyone would say or think – what would you do then?

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. – Dr. Seuss

Choose boldness!

Your time is now.  Waiting is stupid, fearful thinking.  Quit listening to those who fear their own power.  The cement truck could flatten your ass tomorrow.  How’s that for timing?

It’s not timing but expressed uniqueness that truly determines exceptional success.

We increase the probability of creating a life of freedom, fulfillment and financial prosperity to the degree that we are willing to express our exceptionality.

It’s time for you to choose.  Quit allowing cultural appropriateness to crush your wildness.

It really does start with not giving a damn.  What do you think the world rewards more, being nice or being authentic?

By choosing authenticity you’re going to piss some people off.

So what, what has playing it safe done for you so far?

Be naughty.  Misbehave.  Break some stupid rules.

Be the eccentric character you really are and some may hate you.  But some will adore you.

Your only obligation in life is to be true to yourself.  Being true to anyone else or anything else is impossible.  Richard Bach

Don’t wonder what you’ll be when you grow up.  You’re already too damned grown up.  Be a kid again.  Ride your wildness all the way to the bank.

I’m not just all talk about this.  I deliver.

Bold lives are chosen and created.

Have you the courage to create the life you most want to live?

No excuses, you either do or you don’t. If this time doesn’t work for you, go here to request your own test drive coaching experience.

Embrace what sacres you.  The world is waiting for your light.

Clarity Empowers Progress

When we are crystal clear about where we are and where we want to be, we create less stress and more often hit targeted objectives. It’s darn hard to find our true calling when we aren’t willing to be clear and specific about how we want our life’s work to be.

Enhanced efficiency and effectiveness in the quest for authentic work is more prevalent when we are confidently clear about what we want. And I don’t mean being clear about being a butcher, a baker or a candlestick maker. Selecting an already existing profession can be the deadest of ends. I do mean being clear about how we want to feel in the enjoyment of our ideal work.

Don’t Tell Me What You Don’t Want

Most folks when asked what they want, will clearly answer with what they don’t want. They can tell you how unfair their boss is and how uninspiring the work is.

Or they’ll tell you a story about how hard it is to decide on what they really want. Or they’ll try to convince you that the time is not right to dedicate working on what they want. Some will even present a compelling case explaining why it’s not possible for them to get what they want.

Have you ever wondered why so many are so good at explaining all about what they don’t want?

Why do you think so many suck at just saying what it is that they want?
They already hate their job, how much worse could it possibly get?

You Can’t Get There From Here

The clarity of exactness and preciseness increases the probability of intentional manifestation. Maybe that’s what keeps many from choosing. A couple of participants on a recent group coaching call, supporting our community leveraging experiment, admitted as much.

When we definitely state what we want, in stark specificity, we have chosen, haven’t we? Perhaps that’s why folks choose to remain confused and general because you can’t really commit to a generality, can you?

Try dedicating yourself to excellence in vagueness. Yes you can develop the inspired confidence to move mountains but you’ve got to identify the damn mountains! If you don’t commit then you can’t fail but you can’t succeed either. Without clarity and inspired commitment your only choice is to remain safely frozen in whatever waiting hell you’ve created.

You Can Only Get There From Here

The clarity of exactness and preciseness increases the probability of intentional manifestation by creating a living laboratory for evolutionary learning. In succeeding or in failing we see greater openings for opportunity.

Safety is a myth. Certainly more of us are realizing that the only true economic and emotional security is found within self-created opportunities of self-employment. Calling your own shots includes controlling your own firing squad. It’s not pretty when someone else lines you up from dismissal.

What You Can Do Now

You can embrace this lesson and insert greater clarity, decisiveness and specificity into every aspect of your life. Practice being bold and confident; never again ask, “What are you having?” Order what you want in every aspect of life and you will have increased your probability of getting it.

Yes, clarity and specificity forces commitment and that’s a very good thing.

Now I’m going to tell you a little known secret to discovering the work or business of your dreams.

A wild ass guess from the depths of your own gut and heart is far better than any copycat plan designed by another. Career Coach Tom Volkar

How about you? Could you more exactly state what you want?

Finding Your Business Sweet Spot

Since each of us has unique desires, values and strengths, it follows that each of us also has a unique business in us that we could build better than anyone else. Discovering that business, and then developing the confidence to launch it, is what stops most folks from enjoying the fulfillment, freedom and prosperity that was meant to be theirs. The absolute sweet spot of your business is where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.

Vocation is where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep need. Frederich Buechner

Risk, self-created pressure, marketplace demands and the lack of financial reserve are all factors that raise the new business bar high. You can lower the bar by understanding exactly which areas need attention, adjustment and strengthened before you make your move.

Al at 7P Productions recently asked an excellent question that’s worth considering in light of a new business launch. What’s Important: Who You Are or What You Do? I vacillated answering until I realized that it’s not “either/or.” These are only two of three spokes in the wheel to really get your new business rolling. In entrepreneurship and business success all three are equally important.

1). Personal Growth is what you know, understand and are willing to engage in about yourself.

2). Business Mastery is your proficiency in utilizing what you know and understand about business.

3). Personal Productivity is what you commit to and take action on to bring it all together.

Will you turn into Superman by identifying these three components of business success? No, but you will have the confidence of Superman – and the lack of inspired confidence is often what stops folks from living their dreams.

Looking at these three, where is your ideal point of adjustment for either growing your existing business or launching a new business? Adjusting simply means to bring into proper relationship with one another – and the closer we get to alignment the easier the business runs. Identifying and adjusting the right path represents our operational sweet spot.

Here’s an example of a misdiagnosed adjustment. In a 23-year sales career, often I would see new sales people struggling with lackluster results. Many needed to go deep within and examine their feelings around personal rejection. Yet Stupido, the sales manager, would give this brilliant advice. “Just make more cold calls and you’ll be okay.” Stupido pushed his timid new reps to adjust in the area of personal productivity when their true adjustment was in the area of personal growth. How long do you think they lasted?

Cath Lawson recently wrote an insightful post 7 Questions To Ask Before You Launch A Business.
Each of her questions falls under one of these components. Read her post and see if you can tell which goes where.

Personal growth could also be called awareness or development. Hold on now; before any of you spiritual purists start a debate on this, please let me explain. I agree, at a core level there is no development necessary because we already are whole and complete. Yet a funny thing happened on the way to maturity; we rubbed up against a whole passel of folks who didn’t see themselves as whole and complete. Because of this conditioning, to successfully launch a new business, some growth is necessary.

Everything worthwhile requires more of us than we originally imagined. This is a given, and no one gets a free pass. Eventually we’re all challenged beyond our point of development and we have the choice to work through it, stall out or quit.

Bottom line, the choice is yours to recognize the extraordinary person you already are. You can listen to your excuses or to the drumbeat of freedom. You’ve proven that you have the wisdom to consider the freedom of self-employment or you probably wouldn’t be reading this post.

Adjusting for optimum personal growth is not a matter of becoming anything – it’s more a matter of choosing to live into your preexisting greatness by facing your fear and moving through it.

Using blogging as an example, you may need to become more vulnerable and share more of yourself on each post. You may have to work to find your authentic voice or even your real purpose in blogging. But whether you look at blogging as a business or not, your sweet spot exists and you will enjoy greater fulfillment and help more people by finding it.

Business mastery is made up of methods, strategies, systems, concepts and processes. How well you understand and utilize the right components at the right time determines the effectiveness and efficiency of your business. There is an optimum way for everything, and struggle is only valuable as a lesson. Struggle is not a strategy.

Business Mastery is your proficiency in utilizing what you know and understand about business. It’s often the “how to” of business. Budding entrepreneurs used to say, “I don’t know how,” and it used to be a credible lament. But now the Internet has made that excuse obsolete. As little as 10 years ago, start-up knowledge was difficult to access. Now we have so much at our fingertips that the challenge is deciding what sources to use. But it is all out there somewhere.

Adjusting for optimum business mastery is deciding on the right business model and identifying exactly what you need to know that you may not be aware of. An experienced business coach or mentor can provide extremely valuable counsel for this adjustment.

Personal Productivity is taking commitment all the way through taking frequent actions that are the right actions at the right time, while tapping one’s resources to the maximum. The personal growth of awareness and the knowledge of business mastery are useless without action. Generally it boils down to a matter of doing what you can do today, and then taking action again tomorrow.

For most, the optimum adjustment point in personal productivity is to ramp up the frequency of meaningful actions.

Whether contemplating a new business launch or building an existing business, you would be wise to consider the location of your optimum point of adjustment.

What is your optimum point of adjustment right now?


You Are WHO You Hang With and WHAT Hangs Around You

It’s much easier to change our environments than it is to change our behavior. The first step to improving our environments is be aware of their existence and how they influence us.

One of the nine ingredients of finding delightful work is: Discover and create environments to thrive within. Read this post to see all nine ingredients. Like all the ingredients, our environments are constantly influencing our pursuit of delightful work; sometimes apparently and sometimes without our knowledge.

Environmental life design is the process of deliberately constructing our environments so that they positively influence us in the way we want them to. Conditioning from our genetic makeup, and the influence of previous formative environments, created the person that we are today. But the world is getting smaller and, with the new dizzying speed and quantity of information, the influence of our social environments has grown stronger. Thus, it’s become even more important than ever to consciously choose our molding influences.

The good news is this: environments make it easier for us to live the fully alive life we most want to live because their pull is like a strong current that carries us along. It’s much easier to go with the current than it is to fight our way upstream.

We’ve all heard the adage, “you are who you hang with.” This is a statement about the power of our Relationship Environment. But are you aware of how all eight environments are molding you? According to my coach training from CoachVille’s Graduate School of Coaching, there are nine in all.

  1. The Memetic Environment is made up of thoughts, ideas, beliefs and knowledge.
  2. The Body Environment is our physical body, its health and energy.
  3. The Self Environment consists of our intangible assets, including strengths, values and feelings.
  4. The Nature Environment. If you don’t know what this is, you’re not out in it enough.
  5. The Spiritual Environment is our connection to the Divine and the invisible connection we feel to one another.
  6. The Relationship Environment is made up of our connections to those closest to us.
  7. The Network Environment consists of our larger communities and associations.
  8. The Financial Environment includes our money, as well as everything that supports our financial well-being.
  9. The Physical Environment consists of our physical surroundings and tangible stuff.

Fork in the road

As these environments are all interconnected, I wonder. How does the rise of social networking today influence who we have become? We are at choice – For example, some folks have gotten rid of their TV in order to have better control over the barrage of “dark energy.” However, even when we are consciously aware, look how much uninvited information seeps through. But we don’t have to allow it. Any of these environments can be strengthened to have an overriding positive influence on the others, particularly the Memetic environment.

Even greater news is that the purpose of deliberately designing environments is to inspire enthusiastic living in every regard. Which brings me full circle to my intention to help people with deliberately designing their environments.

A couple of months ago, I was inspired to create an Unconditional Support Experience. This was a direct result of observing the harmful influence of environments on so many wonderful clients who wanted to live more extraordinary lives. I wondered, could a small group of individuals come together for the soul purpose of providing total unconditional support for one another? In other words, could we experience the ultimate connection, our oneness, within such an unconditionally supportive environment? I say YES!

What do you think about the influence of your environments? Which of your environments are you most inspired to change? Which are you very delighted with? Which are slowing your pursuit of work life happiness? Please choose to inspire the environment of this blog with your comments.

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Four Ways to Awaken Your Hidden Advantage

Leading with your strengths gives you a natural, positional advantage that can make your work life easier, your business more productive and far more fulfilling.

Are you leading with your strengths or are you settling and struggling by engaging your weaknesses? Strengths are our natural talents, powers, qualities, tendencies, capacities and characteristics. Weaknesses are inadequate or defective qualities – lacking strength and vigor.

If you find yourself struggling to complete projects or settling for less enjoyment and aliveness than you know is possible, chances are you’re underutilizing your strengths. What can you do about it?

Begin by journaling and reflecting on the following insights and questions.

  1. Become increasingly aware of when you are struggling and when your work has very little pizzazz to it. What are you engaged in when that happens? Then ask, what natural strength might I lean on to change my results or to change how I feel about my results? Then name that strength so you can claim it.
  2. Know that you are naturally more attractive and more poised when you are simply being yourself. Striving to be something you aren’t takes you out of the present. Yet the present is the only place that you have the power to get what you want. Trying to lead with strengths you don’t have actually postpones the process of being who you are. All good things come to those who are real.So, where are you faking it? In what areas of your life are you certain that you could never excel? What would happen if you just dropped all such activities today?
  3. Strengths actually enlarge the fierce and gentle capacities in our heart. Courage, compassion and generosity are more readily put into play when we lead with our strengths. When we are not leading with our strengths, we are leading with our limitations and compensations. These shortcomings are not elemental to our nature. They are illusions that we trick ourselves into believing to be true. Often when we are not leading with our strengths we make the false assumption that we must be lacking in some way. Know this, you aren’t lacking anything. If you don’t feel energized and strong, you’re being less than you could be by choice. How would your life be different if you only worked on projects where you could lead with your strengths? Who you are right now is more than enough. Believe that and act on it.
  4. Connect to divine guidance because that’s how our strengths were originally installed. Guidance comes easier to verbs than to nouns. Nouns tend to be permanent resting places. Verbs tend to be more alive, open, flowing and active. When searching for life’s purpose or true calling, many hit a dead end by seeking to identify a particular vocation or workplace. They often stop their search because these nouns have no vigor. And they’re lacking vigor because they’re lacking guidance. They would be better served to just show up and play. It’s the active doing in life that allows divine guidance to find us in the form of our own intuition. Get in movement and lead with your strengths and see what develops.

What’s one project you could begin playing with today? What do you have to lose by engaging it and seeing what develops? It’s a much wiser strategy than standing pat in frustration.

Your strengths are your hidden advantage and your natural competitive edge. Yet you may never experience the bliss of leading with them if you aren’t willing to invest the time and energy in rigorous self-examination, journaling and reflection. Decide today to leave the weak position of saying you don’t know what to do – or what you want to be when you grow up. Begin this honorable work and grow you will.

Who Are You?

Good morning friends. I think it’s high time that I explain exactly whom I intend to serve with this blog. It starts with my mission: to increase the number of folks on the planet in active pursuit of their work life happiness and freedom.

But who among you has the highest probability of being helped by working with me? Those who have the following characteristics have a higher probability of getting desired results with my guidance. This post is a profile of those clients who have had the most success working with me in my ten years of life and career coaching.

  1. You are curious, a life-long learner who is willing to look within and self-examine – even when you don’t like what you see.
  2. You are a risk-taker – brave enough to stand tall without compromise when it comes to defending your values.
  3. You are a natural optimist who has always felt that you were destined for greatness.
  4. You are independent by nature, ambitious and unconventional.
  5. You tell the truth to yourself about yourself and embrace self-responsibility.
  6. You are willing to ask for help, and boldly ask more of yourself as well.
  7. You know exactly what you want or else you are willing to make finding what you want your #1 priority.
  8. You are willing to take action now.

So, can you honestly say “yes” to at least four of the above eight? If you can, we can bring you up-to-speed on the others.

If the above describes you, then feel very good about yourself. You might as well stop all that self-flagellation right now. Praise yourself because you are truly magnificent! If you are ready to begin active pursuit of your true calling, then prove it. Read what my pleased coaching clients have to say about my coaching.

Take the action that can save your life. This glorious path has many possible entry points. But they’ll all remain hidden unless you take action now.

Contact me today for a no obligation discussion about your work life freedom and happiness.

Enthusiastically Yours,
Tom Volkar