Are you comfortable in your current job but you feel that there’s something missing? Do you find your tasks are becoming routine and no longer challenging? Do you feel like you’ve reached a career peak and your job has lost its shine? Perhaps it’s time to disrupt yourself.
Most of us work with a personal goal or ambition in mind, whether it’s to develop new skills, make a difference, become famous or simply to provide for our families. When your work is challenging it energizes you, gives you drive and generally makes you feel good. Then, once you’ve finally achieved your goal or career ambition, you bask in the warm glow of your success and are happy to work at it thereafter.
However, after a time you may find that dream job, or a large part of it, becomes automatic and routine. This tends to occur when you enter a “comfort zone” in which you can confidently perform your work year in year out without issues. It’s a perfectly good place to be but it’s not where the magic happens. Growth, fresh ideas, innovation and creativity all occur when you are outside your comfort zones. So, in order to step outside the zone, you need to disrupt yourself, be prepared to learn new skills, open up to new experiences and go on a journey where the end goal might not even be in sight.
Career development is no longer the linear track it used to be, where we’d follow logical steps up the ladder to success. To accelerate personal growth requires courage to leave a comfortable position (where you are at the top of your S-curve), and take a step back or sideways to try something new (starting at the bottom of a new S-curve) that will take you further over time. Timing is important and good preparation before you jump to the next learning curve is essential for successful career advancement.
Here are a few tips to prepare for launch:
- Write down the functional and emotional elements that are important to you in a new role or job.
- Know your distinctive strengths and apply your special skills in a unique manner.
- Ensure your strengths align with the learning curve you are planning to undertake.
- Analyze how well your skills map to unmet needs.
- Be prepared to step down, step backwards or step sideways. When you’re seeking a new venture outside your comfort zone, you have to be prepared to invest in learning and developing before you can achieve success. For instance, to strengthen or learn new skills you may need to take a step back on the career ladder, or a step sideways into a new area of business and then learn the ropes.
- Embrace failure and use your experience wisely. If you welcome failure as a guide and teacher you’re more likely to find your way to success.
- Engage in discovery-driven planning where you have a plan but the outcome may be as yet unknown. If you pursue a disruptive course, you can’t see the top of the curve from the bottom and you may end up with a different result altogether.
- Follow the “equal odds rule”. This rule basically states that success is a numbers game. The best strategy is to produce as much work as possible in order to provide more opportunities to create something meaningful. For instance, if you want to write a frequently cited paper, publish a lot. If you want a successful business, go to work. If you want to sharpen your skills as disruptor, disrupt. As Woody Allen brilliantly pointed out: “80% of success is just showing up”.
In her latest book “Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work” Whitney Johnson http://whitneyjohnson.com/ talks about the importance of driving innovation through personal disruption. Definitely an interesting and worthwhile read!
Go ahead and disrupt yourself to success!
Think about it. You just read the above headline and thought it happened right now. But already that sentence is no longer happening and now this one is. It feels as though time flows, whereby the present is constantly updating itself. The “now” slips into “the past” almost unnoticed, hence the expression “time slips by”. This linear concept of time is very convenient to manage our lives, but science is still debating its true meaning.
In the past, before the arrival of the clock, we used to live our lives according to different rhythms, according to the local periodicity of the sun, the seasons and the constellations. Modern time keeping was established with Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) in 1675 when the Royal Observatory was built as an aid to mariners to determine longitude at sea, providing a standard reference time when each city in England kept a different local time. And it has helped us ever since, from running trains on time and counting down the seconds to 12 o’clock midnight on New Year’s eve, to establishing and breaking records and recording our time of birth and death to the exact minute.
But time can’t be captured nor explained in simple digits alone. It is fluid, as it stretches, speeds up and slows down. Remember that weekend away that felt like a whole week? Or the days preparing for that big event, that seemed to fly by with never enough hours in the day? Or waiting for the ambulance that seemed to take hours to arrive, even though it arrived within 5 minutes of your call? Time is experienced at a very individual level; we even have our own biological clock that ticks at its own pace, oblivious to GMT, EMT or CET.
So how can you make the most of your time, and make your lunchtime seem to last at least twice as long?
- Live in the “now”. Where is your life happening? Exactly here and now. Nowhere else, not in the future and not in the past. Too often we focus on achieving or acquiring something in the future that is missing right now. Or we are clinging on to the past that has taken place and cannot be changed. Meanwhile, time passes us by without us really living, experiencing and enjoying the present.
- Be open to new experiences. If every day seems to drag on, perhaps you need to break your routine and add something different and new. The more experiences you have during a day, the fuller and longer that day seems. Try an online training, or a spur of the moment lunch with a colleague, paint that grey wall a bright blue, or join that sky diving course that you always wanted to try.
- Take time out. To find time, you need to make time. Take 30 minutes every day to meditate or simply relax with no distractions. Sit down comfortably, switch off from your environment and clear your mind. If you treat yourself to 30 minutes of “mind time” every day, you’ll feel energized and clear headed and your tasks will take less time to complete.
- Don’t waste time. Take a good look at your agenda and social calendar; do you really need to attend all those meetings and see all the people you have scheduled? Determine what is really important to spend time on and what or who will help you complete your tasks and progress your ambitions. Which friends truly matter to you, whether you should continue to work at your company if there are no prospects, and maybe try switching off the TV and reading that book that has been on your “to read” list for such a long time.
- Enjoy each moment. Consciously experience the actions and activities you are undertaking. If you are meeting a friend for a chat or a bite to eat, put away your phone and give your friend all your attention. If you go for lunch, savor the food on your plate, eat slowly and enjoy the company. Don’t check your mail or bring your laptop to quickly finish that last memo whilst eating. You’ll find your lunchtime seems to last twice as long!
The past has shown us how to measure and manage time. The present teaches us to make the most of our time. And the future? Only time will tell…
It’s Monday morning, you switched off the alarm, got out of bed, washed and pulled some clothes out of the cupboard on automatic pilot.
Stop and think about it for a moment, how did you feel and which colour did you go for? It could well be that you unconsciously selected the colour that will provide you with the energy you need to get you through the day successfully.
Colours can influence how you feel and can affect the way others see you. What we wear influences our mood, mind and energy level. Each colour vibrates at its own frequency and we usually have a preference for a particular colour. These preferences can be associated to events, personal memories or culture, and they can change over time. Do you remember your favorite colour as a child, and is it still your favorite colour now? Chances are that it has changed, as you most likely need different energies (frequencies) in different phases of your life.
A conscious use of colour can be very beneficial to feel good and help you achieve what you set out to do in both your work and private life. Do you have to present at a board meeting and need to be taken seriously? Wear a powerful red. Or consider blue to express reliability and authority. A sunny yellow reveals abundance and decisiveness and softer colors such as pink or light green give you a caring and compassionate appearance. Turquoise brings out your creative side, and both purple and white are often associated with spirituality.
- ORANGE JOY: Warm, enthusiasm, open, lust for life. A powerful colour to create something new, to start a new project and engage your team members. Eat a pumpkin soup to cheer you up!
- PURPLE WISDOM: Inspiration, wisdom, creativity, knowledge. Often linked to spirituality, this colour helps you seek a higher dimension. Purple is perfect for meditation, reflection, getting in touch with your higher self.
- RED PASSION: Power, passion, energy, fire. To live in the present, mindful, enjoy every moment. Red activates and spreads warmth. Excellent for those presentations and meetings where you want to make an impact and warm others to your views and ideas.
- BLUE CLARITY: Reliability, clarity, authority. The cool colour blue stimulates insight and a clear view on a topic or issue. It has a calming effect and can be very effective in difficult and heated discussions and meetings. For a good night sleep, add a touch of blue or lavender to your room.
- GREEN HARMONY: balance, harmony, insight, healing. Green connects you with your inner self, to find your balance. It helps you to reach out to others. Eating green vegetables is healthy, and adding plants to your home or work environment will have a calming and harmonious effect on your wellbeing.
- HAPPY YELLOW: Abundance, happiness, willpower, energy. Yellow lets you shine, it gives you energy to focus on your objective or challenge. Wear yellow to bring energy to a team or a meeting, to stimulate others and create a happy, sunny atmosphere.
Whatever you chose to fit your mood, try not to fade to black. Even though the majority of the corporate world is dressed in black, dark grey or dark blue as the accepted color chart for business, it does express conformity and a preference to disappear in the crowd. If it is your conscious decision to blend in, then go for it. But on those days where you feel you are going to make a difference, stand out, be yourself and achieve what you set out to do – colour your life and inspire others to follow!