How do you need to show up?

It’s one of my favorite questions to explore with clients.

How do you need to show up to be successful in this new position?

And how do you want to show up in that difficult conversation with your employee?

How will you need to show up differently to make that change you want in your life?

The answers to these questions allow us to think creatively – to tap into all new possibilities for our future. Behind them is the idea that we have the power to think, act, and be different in the future than we were in the past.

Often, I turn to these questions when I or my clients are faced with new challenges. But, they also offer a useful opportunity for self-reflection. As we think about what we want to do next – the goals we want to accomplish – asking how we will need to be different to achieve them offers us the opportunity to really reflect on the small shifts we need to make to bring our goals within reach. Maybe we need to learn a new skill, clear room on our calendar to focus on our goal, or say no to a handful of things that we know are standing in our way. Clearing these small hurdles can make a tremendous difference in our ability to be successful.

If you’re interested in exploring this idea yourself, there are a few easy ways to get started.

  • Bring to mind what it is you want to achieve. It can be small, like a single successful conversation, or large, like winning a new marquee client.
  • Imagine yourself achieving the goal. Think about it in detail – what you will say, how you will feel, how other people will respond to you. Maybe even imagine how you are dressed or how you carry yourself. This picture is how you need or want to show up for yourself.
  • Continue to hold that image in your mind and begin to notice what is different from where you are currently. How is your mindset different than it is has been before in a similar situation? What do you know in the imagined future that you need to learn? How have you prepared yourself?

The answers to the questions are the hurdles you need to clear to achieve your goals. They are a roadmap to what you need to learn, how you need to grow, and where to focus your effort so that you can get where you want. What’s more, the mental picture of you achieving your goal can provide great fuel for those days when your motivation is lagging and you need an extra boost.

If you’re taking time to set goals for next year, try adding this important step and see what changes for you.