Monday, May 11, 2015

Are Excuses Derailing Your Career?

How many times have you made a New Year's resolution, or a promise to yourself that you will change?

But within a few months of making such an assertion, you have fallen back into the same old behaviors. You make excuses to yourself, of course, but those are often ridiculous.

In a new book, "Triggers," author and leadership guru Marshall Goldsmith says that these "excuses" you make to yourself are really much more. They are inner beliefs that trigger failure before it happens, sabotaging change before it even has a chance to take root. We use these beliefs to justify not taking action, he says, and tell ourselves that if we change we're not being authentic.

Or, we give up making changes because we find it exhausting or think it has to be perfect or it's not worth it. (Think of how many times you've searched for the "perfect" job or the "perfect" boss or career.)

In his book, Goldsmith offers some questions you can ask yourself every day to follow through on your intentions and take action instead of giving up and falling back on your past behaviors. These questions, he explains, are designed to measure your efforts, not your results. The reason? You can't always achieve the desired results, but anyone can try, he says.

The questions:

1. Did I do my best to set clear goals today?

2. Did I do my best to make progress toward my goals today?

3. Did I do my best to find meaning today?

4. Did I do my best to be happy today?

5. Did I do my best to build positive relationships today?

6. Did I do my best to be fully engaged today?

"Active questions reveal where we are trying and where we are giving up," Goldsmith says. "In doing so, they sharpen our sense of what we can actually change. We gain a sense of control and responsibility instead of victimhood."

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