I’m curious! I wonder how many of you started 2013 with the intention of telling yourself “this is it!

This will be the year I get out of my rut and take action to do something about my situation”? Whether it’s boosting your confidence, progressing in your current organisation, going for a new job or changing direction altogether, life is too short to put off opportunities, you’ll experience regret at the end of this year for not taking the plunge once and for all.

What creates a rut? Sometimes not knowing what you want, a lack of focus and direction. Lack of confidence and limiting beliefs about your capabilities or a fear of the unknown or sometimes being comfortable in our zone; it’s what we know, yet not where we are happy.

How do you get out of it? To get out of your rut you must really want something to happen, you must be motivated towards something or away from a current situation. You have to be prepared to make changes and perhaps sacrifices, but not necessarily forever, just short-term. We place too much emphasis on the “what ifs” then never do anything. The biggest risk in life is never taking any risks. By changing and taking risks, we learn something new about ourselves; we develop new skills and open the door to new opportunities. You need to be bold and just do it as nobody else can do it for you.

What would be your ideal situation? What would you be doing differently, what would you notice about yourself, what would you be earning… specifically? Be specific about what you want… instead of saying you want to be successful in your career, tell yourself what specifically success means to you. Visualise where you would be, what you would be doing, how you would be feeling, what you would see around you and be specific about the detail to make it real for you. When you are clear about what you want, and you are specific about it, even specific about the date you want to achieve it by, then you start to notice how excited and motivated you become. Then take action… this is not going to happen overnight, that’s what makes people feel daunted sometimes.

First steps. Focus on what you want. Decide when you want to achieve it by. Write down the negative consequences if you were not to achieve it and write down the positive consequences when you do achieve it. Research the skills or experiences you need to achieve it and the time plan you need to work towards. Avoid doing it alone, find a mentor or coach who has achieved what you want to achieve so that they can guide and support you as well as to create accountability.

Be aware of the barriers now and create contingency plans so that you are prepared to deal with them and keep focussed.

Never look back, be prepared for change and be excited about it… this is your chance. You never know what’s around the corner. Change yourself and you will attract the opportunities you desire.

Carmen MacDougall came from a corporate background as a PA and Office Manager before establishing her VA business over 12 years ago after redundancy. She since established herself as one of the leading trainers on setting up and running a successful ... (Read More)

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