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?

To Hell With What They Say

I’m a 270-pound, 59 year old, with two ankle fusions, who is in training to play one more game of rugby.  Often they ask, why subject yourself to the very thing that destroyed all the cartilage in your ankles?  istock_000003152335xsmall2

What they may never understand is that while playing rugby I feel most like myself.  Most of my deeply fulfilling flow experiences have come on the rugby pitch.

I wonder, what’s your one more rugby game?

There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls.
Howard Thurman

There is great value in doing something organic to who you are.  There is great honor in deciding – screw them.  Be.  Stand tall in your own skin.

A life of engaged authenticity carries great benefits and rewards.   Somehow this choice of authentic bliss extends to other areas of our lives.

The demonstration of unique self-honor creates an attractive self-confidence that cannot be created in less genuine ways.  It’s that bona fide self-confidence that makes us feel competent to life, as though we really fit the game of life.

Somewhere in your life right now is a dream, a passion, a quest or simply an enjoyable pastime that you may have set aside because “they” said that you should.  To hell with them!  Be your own bad ass self and dust off your true desires.

True callings need no further explanation.  They don’t need to make sense to anyone.

Can you imagine how beautifully different our world would be if everybody said? “To hell with them, I’m going for it! ”

I talked to a right livelihood client this morning that is terrified of discovering a vocation that would require further schooling.   In my post Screw Going Back to School I talked about this myth that someone else knows better than you do, what’s really good for you.

Ideal careers and businesses are more often created than found.  Creators don’t need further education because creators credential and qualify themselves.

Sure, really going for it is scary as hell but there is a version of you deep within who does not want to settle in any aspect of your life.  That bold being wants to experience all the necessary bumps, disappointments and scrapes on the way to really living.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming  ‘WOW-What a Ride!'”
Robert Wickman

There may be a time for caution but from what I’ve seen, caution is only a self-constructed cage that delays courage and holds back the real freedom of living.

What is your one more rugby game?  Will you commit to playing it?

Back Up One Step and Choose Your Right Path

Success can be very simple.  istock_000003253553small

We needlessly complicate both life and business.

Use this checklist and locate where you are.

Make the necessary adjustment and get unstuck.

1). If you are not celebrating enough then be grateful more often.

2). If you are not grateful often enough then complete more often.

3). If you are not completing enough then act boldly more often.

4). If you are not taking bold action often enough then ruthlessly simplify and commit to less.

5). If you are not committing to a few consciously chosen priorities then be more decisive.

6). If you are not being decisive enough then go deeper within and tell the truth to yourself more often.

If you are not going deep enough to see your truth then what in the hell are you doing here?

Both life and business need your willingness and enthusiasm in order to thrive.

Not sure of your next best step to launch your new business? Then join me on June 17 for a FREE group coaching experience that will guide you right.

Personal Relationships and Business Support

Solo entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey and if you have a non-supportive spouse or significant other, it can feel even lonelier. Lately I’ve seen a greater number of brand new small business owners, who feel as though they are all on their own, even though they are in relationship.  Conflict between the man and the woman

Even if you are not presently in a personal partnership you may feel the need to seek relationship support from close friends and family members. In either case you may be been surprised by what appears to be the lack of unconditional support.

When I was building an entrepreneurial business 14 years ago, I was married with two young teenagers. During the business development stage, I was working over 70 hours weekly and telling myself the classic workaholic’s lie. “I’m doing it for them.”

It might make you feel better to rationalize your non-supportive behavior, but if you are anything like I was, deep within, you understand that being an absentee spouse and parent is not doing anything for them. Furthermore, you are mostly doing it for you and it’s okay to admit that truth.

If you need relationship help now, you’ll still need it while building your business but then there will even more pressure on all fronts. Everyone is familiar with a couple that tried to solve their relationship problems by having a baby. Did it work for the couple you knew? No? Then why would birthing a new business improve your relationship?

Here’s another big lie.

It’s not personal, it’s only business.  Donald Trump

Everything is personal! When Trump and others use that line, they are only trying to justify less than human behavior.

You and the actions you take are the main reason why your business succeeds or fails. If your life sucks then your business results will suck.

If you have weak personal relationships that drain your energy, then your focus will be lacking. Without a strong focus, your decision-making, personal productivity and inspired actions will all suffer.

If you don’t have strong spousal support or unconditional support in your close relationships, you first need to understand them from their perspective.

When a life partner cautiously advises you not to venture out on your own, they are not questioning your ability or resolve to succeed.

They are only speaking from the perspective of their own fears.

They could fear having less time with you. Your initiative could be forcing them to face their own fears of success, of failure or of never being authentically fulfilled in their work. And of course they could be thinking about having less money and how that affects the household budget.

Good personal relationships are essential to making good business decisions. If you are fighting battles both at home and in the marketplace, you will lose on both fronts.

My first coaching  certification was in relationship building and more and more it’s my relationship coaching skills that come into play first, with my small business clients.
If you’re considering starting a small business, first repair or end non-supportive relationships.

You might enjoy these tips for a confident career change.

Remember this brilliance in the face of relationship problems.

I’m never upset for the reasons I think I am.  Eckhart Tolle

What relationship challenges do you need to understand greater, in order to build your business with less resistance?

What adjustments need to be made in your relationship with you, so that you are more grounded and your business is more supported?

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Support Resource:

Request a free Confidently Make the Leap, strategy session to get really clear on how and when to make your move.

Five Good Reasons to Celebrate More Often

Celebration may be the most underutilized tool in your box. Some view celebration as soft or slacking off – like we aren’t really doing anything. Nothing could be further from the truth. Celebration is a pivotal stage in the productivity process because it allows us to commemorate all the good that we do.

Unlike indigenous cultures, in the western world, we have forgotten many of our traditions, ceremonies and celebrations especially around the work that we do. In the name of progress, our culture has lessened rejoicing over everyday occurrences like sunrises and important seasonal events like harvest time. We need to remember that when the crops are safely in, it’s time to dance and make merry.

In an earlier post, Work Life Happiness – Stake Your Claim Now, I illustrated the Authentic Cycle of Probability.

Cycle of Authentic Probability

Look where celebration falls – right after gratitude and just before completion. That’s an extremely powerful stage of the cycle that should not be overlooked.

Gratitude is the causative energy of appreciation that blesses us with ease and greater flow. Celebration is self-acknowledgment and recognition for successfully completing every small step. Completion is the triumphant achievement of our objective and our signal to proceed forward to the freshness of discovery. Here are five good reasons to celebrate more often.

  1. Celebration helps us stay in the present where our power is. By celebrating the completion of every small step, we leverage the powerful energies of gratitude and momentum. Thomas Edison taught us that even each mistake along the way is cause for celebration. Life is all about the journey, and that means that every step, as well as reaching our destination, is part of our journey. Celebrating at every juncture is recognition of a life well lived and well worked.
  2. Celebration builds self-respect. Others treat us according to how we treat ourselves. It’s important to hold yourself in high regard. Perhaps, like me, your early caregivers did not celebrate your presence and special glow. Celebration overwrites this limited conditioning and tips the balance of your internal programming so that it’s more natural to think well of yourself.
  3. Celebration feeds our basic human need for self-love and self-acceptance. Celebration is emotional nourishment. Yet sometimes we simply don’t feel like celebrating because we’ve fallen into the habit of harshly judging ourselves. When this happens, there is a negative feeling remaining in our bodies from a challenging event in our past. A very powerful tool to remove the feeling so you feel like celebrating once more is Emotional Freedom Technique. There are many practitioners with instructional videos available online. I like this one on self-acceptance:
  4. Celebration is positive magnification. What we focus on expands. When we downplay or skip celebration, we are telling ourselves that we haven’t done enough to be proud of ourselves – so our self-doubt is what expands. The proliferation of productivity blogs on the web tells me that lots of folks don’t follow-through frequently enough to feel good about it. Want to complete more projects with less procrastination and guilt? Then do not skip this powerful stage of the process. Celebrate more often and stay on it longer. Honor your completions, both big and small, in celebration so that you expand more of what you want in your life.
  5. Shameless self-promotion and marketing is easier with celebration. We’ve got to toot our own horns in this crowded world so the right folks will hear us and gather round. “If you’re embarrassed about what you do well, you won’t be very attractive.” – Thomas J. Leonard In 1998, way before The Secret, Leonard in his groundbreaking book, The Portable Coach, shared his 28 Laws of Attraction. In number 7, Market Your Talents Shamelessly; he shares a brilliant distinction: Confidence vs. Arrogance. “Confidence is knowing exactly what you do well and don’t do well; arrogance is a way to cover up what you don’t do well.”Confidently celebrate and flaunt your bad ass self and marketing gets easier because more people will seek you out. Fear not, the phone will ring. The world needs your edge to be complete. The same people who told you not to toot your own horn also told you to be seen and not heard. They were dead wrong, both times.

Sometimes we lament our lack of progress and go on fruitless searches for the answer. But often what’s missing is as simple as a little jig of recognition or bursting out in spontaneous song.
Your very being is enough reason to celebrate. Select a project or any progress that makes you feel good and join Kool and the Gang in Celebration of your achievement!

What do you think? Are you celebrating enough? What have you accomplished recently that is reason to celebrate? What have you passed over without giving it its due recognition?

If you truly want something to celebrate right now then schedule a complimentary session with me and we will expand your greatest business asset.

Why Responsibility is the Key to Work Life Freedom

Why do so many who say they want the freedom of being their own boss remain employed?

According to a recent Intuit survey, 72% of Americans say they would rather work for themselves and 67% say they regularly or constantly think about quitting their jobs.

So why haven’t more actually made the move that they say they want to? In a recent post we looked at the fear of not having enough money. But we know it’s never really the money.

By digging deeper, what would we see lurking beneath the fear that’s stopping all these people from acting on what they say they want? I think it might be two things.

  1. Not having a real appreciation for the value in being your own boss.
  2. Not taking enough responsibility for one’s own happiness and well-being.

The Value of Freedom

If all you’ve ever known is slavery, might there be a comfortable, however twisted, safety in remaining a slave?

Could those of you who have yet to choose their freedom somehow have undervalued it because you simply don’t know how wonderful it feels to be free?

Work life freedom is complete autonomy. It’s the right of self-determination in every aspect of the work that you do. Perhaps it would be easier to value this freedom if those who have chosen to subjugate themselves to the will of an employer could get very clear on exactly what they are choosing to give up.

Within work life freedom are these freedoms:

  1. The freedom of choice, which is the freedom to decide what you will work on and with whom.
  2. The freedom of flexibility, which is enjoying the option of working when you want to and for how long.
  3. The freedom of self-expression, which is the ability to speak up for what you believe in and to freely speak your mind without fear of negative consequences.

The Responsibility of Freedom

How would you answer the question: What’s my greatest responsibility to myself?

How about this? My greatest responsibility for myself is my health, happiness and well-being.

So might it really be a question of responsibility? Has this great a number of unfulfilled employees abdicated their responsibility along with their freedom?

By abdicating responsibility, you get to complain and act as though your happiness is the responsibility of something or someone outside of your own control. When we abdicate our autonomy to an external authority, who is really authoring our lives? Haven’t we then given up our destiny to the random whims of bosses who, they themselves, typically don’t even enjoy their own work?

Renowned psychotherapist Nathaniel Branden stated in his book Taking Responsibility, “The first act of self-responsibility, and the basis for all others, is the act of taking responsibility for being conscious – that is, of bringing an appropriate awareness to our activities.”

I’m saying that the unhappily employed are actually not bringing enough awareness to their choices and activities. If you were, then you would see the futility in subjecting your life to outside authorities.

This blog refers to the same Intuit survey and highlights that 81 percent of Americans think that owning a business is more empowering than a “regular” job.

Might the fear of actually exercising that empowerment really be what’s stopping so many? I think so.
Claiming your work life freedom is primarily an inside job that begins with acting responsibly.

So assuming you are willing to, how can you take more responsibility to claim your own work life freedom?
You can:

  1. Know and act on the basis that you are at choice in the matter.
  2. Consciously direct your attention and focus on what you want.
  3. Consciously cease complaining about what you don’t want.
  4. Imagine what might happen if you took just 10% more responsibility for your work life happiness.
  5. Act on what came up for you when you imagined that greater responsibility.

Who among you in the 72% are willing and ready to do the above?

Those of you who have already claimed your freedom, what would you have these dream seekers do?

Whistle While You Work – Happiness Matters

The thought gurus in the movie and book The Secret agree that in order to create the life we want, we need to quit focusing on what’s happening to us and focus our thoughts and words on a picture and feelings of what we really want.

Unfortunately, most folks look at what’s happening and react to that. If what’s happening to you is not what you want, then by focusing on it you just get more of it. What we focus on expands. What we think about, comes about.

Yet according to Sonja Lyubomirsky in her book The How of Happiness our circumstances only account for 10% of what contributes to our happiness. She’s proven that 50% of what contributes to our happiness is our upbringing and genetics. We can’t do anything about that. However, it’s the other 40% that’s vital. Because that 40% is based on our intentional determination and we can choose to have it override the other 60%.

Shawn Achor, Head Teaching Fellow for Harvard’s popular Positive Psychology course shares how scientists have proven that happier people actually have an unfair advantage over others.

Adrian White, an analytic social psychologist, studies happiness and found Denmark to be the happiest nation in the world. The USA ranked number 23. A recent 20/20 television show on happiness referenced a study where Denmark was third. Still not too shabby!

I found these two factors particularly interesting in how they relate to work life happiness.

1). The tax rate in Denmark is 63% of income and the social services given by the welfare state are so supportive and all-encompassing that there isn’t as much need to take risks or try to be wealthy. Because there is a much narrower gap between the rich and the poor, the Danes have created a society where every job is valued and respected. This results in more people simply choosing to do what they enjoy doing without concern for how much it pays or what others think of them.The Danes have created a consumer-less society that’s truly brilliant. They have less reason to compare themselves to their neighbors. Most everyone is on the same level as the Joneses, so the need to keep up with them is removed.

2).Talk about social connection, an astounding 92% of adult Danes belong to either a singing or a dancing club. Imagine a life without financial concern and comparison. In such a life, being the social animals that we are, building relationships would become naturally more of a priority.

Singing is a physical act that draws oxygen in and makes the blood stream richer and opens up the brain so I can think more clearly and get intuitions I didn’t have before. So, I always look to get into action whenever I’m stuck. If the mind is stuck, if the spirit is low–I let the body lead the way even if I don’t feel like it.  Steve Chandler

To summarize here is your action recipe.

  1. Whistle and sing before and while you work.
  2. Know and act on the basis that being happy will get you more of what you want.
  3. Know and act on the basis that you can choose happiness and by doing so you can create the life you most want to win.

My heart goes out to each of you who continue to look at what’s wrong or what’s lacking in your life. Please stop that nonsense now. Yes, tough things happen to good people. But struggle is optional. Isn’t it time for you to wake up and come alive in the glory of your own making?

Is Your Work Life Delightful?

Delightful work is: amusing, attractive, captivating, clever, engaging, enjoyable, fascinating, gratifying, luscious and thrilling.

Does your work invoke any of these, or something less?

If you’re not engaged in work that you love, you have chosen less than you could have. If your career, job or business does not feel like a true calling, can you even expect it to be a delight?

Here is your wake-up call. If you aren’t in active pursuit of work life happiness, prosperity and freedom, get in the game my friend. Get in the game now. Know this: each of us has a special something that can be expressed as our unique, fulfilling work. In the engagement of that work we’ll be in service to others and financially prosperous.

Writer Frederick Buechner said it best. “Vocation is the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.”

Have you always had this hunch that you were destined for greatness? That hunch was your deep gladness calling out to you from within. Your first step is to acknowledge that whisper of greatness and declare yourself in active pursuit of your delightful work. The path needs to be your own, but you needn’t walk it alone. Let’s boldly stride out on this path together.

The mission of Delightful Work is simply to increase the number of folks on this planet who are in active pursuit of work life freedom and happiness. I’ll be your guide and together we’ll move all obstacles now standing in the way of your deep gladness. My name is Tom Volkar.

The world has a deep need for what only you can give it. This is your time. It’s your time to stand tall and pursue what was meant for you, with honor and commitment. Author of Coaching Into Greatness, Kim George, shares this very inspiring thought. “What is meant for you can’t be lost.”

What was meant for you is still there waiting for you to give it life first by making a bold proclamation. No obstacle, real or imagined can stop you once you commit. I’ll prove it to you.

Tell me what scares you the most. What stops you from pursuing your delightful work? Really. What do you run up against when you entertain the thought of creating a happier work life? What circumstance, belief or fear has caused you to settle for less than you could enjoy?

Be bold and share, and I’ll post it here. But we’ll do far more than post it. We’ll work together with other committed adventurers to show you how to move through it in active pursuit of your deep gladness.

For you brave souls who are already enjoying work that brings you alive, what once stopped you and how did you move forward anyway?
Stumble It! Stumble It!