I am proud to write this in honor of my youngest son! Depending on when you are reading this… he is 12 years old and suffers from Alopecia. It began with a small dot of missing hair two years ago and escalated rapidly. I remember the day he decided to take control of IT instead of IT controlling him… and chose to cut all of his hair off! As a father, a man, and person… I couldn’t have been more proud of him for what he’s endured and what he will endure in the future; walking into schools and new teams as a young man. In 2013, I lost my health, my weight, my muscle, my vanity… and had to come to grips with who I really was and wanted to be.
We’ve all had our setbacks, misfortunes, and times we’ve felt less-than or broken; perhaps due to losing a job, lay-offs, divorce, health, etc. In these times… it’s important to know, you are more than your hair, more than your loss, more than your job and title, more than your health, and more than your current relationship! We ARE how WE define ourselves, how we impact others, and the sum of the decisions we make daily… Here are 4 Steps to Redefine Yourself, professionally and personally, through periods of transition and change!
Intentional Love refers to you going out of our way to share feelings of love, gratitude, and appreciation for those in your life, professionally and personally… and yourself. It’s easy for to love your way and how you prefer… can you gift your partner, co-workers, boss, employees, kids, and others with what they desire, need, and appreciate instead of only what’s easiest for you to give? In your darkest and hardest times… Love may be the only thing you have to give due to your current financial and/or health situation. So… give it and give it in abundance!
Self-Love may be an even more difficult task in times of redefining… as WE judge ourselves harder than anyone ever could. We are the ones that have placed so much of our self-worth on OUR linear definition of success… whether it’s that job, that promotion, money, our bodies, or… our hair we value so much! The people that truly love us don’t love us for that… WE do! Be sure to give yourself some of that loving and learn to appreciate the other things you do great and are of value within you!
Here’s a formula for redefining and loving yourself professionally and personally:
Acknowledge – Acknowledge the change and who you are, how you are, and where you are because of it. Not where you WANT to be, WHO you want to be, or most dangerously… where you believe you SHOULD be. Simply acknowledge the truth of where you are due to the situation of transition and change. Yes, it’s sobering but a necessary first step!
Accept – Accept it! This doesn’t mean you like it or plan to stay in the situation; rather you are choosing to accept it without shame and being honest to yourself and others. This is who I am and where I am right now and that takes us into Step Three… Decide!
Decide – It’s time to decide on a plan to allow a personal and professional evolution through the transition and change. Be sure this plan works to enhance your value; making you an asset to the people around you and for where you plan to go!
Do – Be mindful to START and do something about your evolution daily! You will begin to talk about and be about what you do daily. Have you ever realized, people who do nothing all day will keep telling the same stories from the past? It’s because they’ve allowed nothing new in. You want to say something new… do something new and be consistent regarding your DO!
Want to redefine yourself… then intentionally choose to grow! In my darkest and most helpless time of physical recovery and life recovery; as I laid in a bed and sat in a chair for three months… Intentional Love was all I could give and Intentional Growth was my fuel. I had little control over what I once valued but I had, and you have, total control over what you choose to learn and who you choose to become. Choose to learn something, anything, and everything about your passion, yourself, and the people in your 4 P’s a person, partner, parent, and professional!
This is the process of becoming the new you, enhancing relationships, and preparing for what’s coming next. If the dark time persists… it’s no longer the “Dark Thing” that is everything; rather a piece of your story. When the dark time passes… you now have your “It Thing” back… plus a new and EVOLVED you to go with it. Now… you are unstoppable!
For the most part… no matter what you have going on right now; there are a million people out there, RIGHT NOW, that would trade places with you! This is not to minimize whatever you’re currently going through… but perspective is an amazing thing! As a former therapist, the stories and life events I’ve heard always brought perspective to life. Be grateful for what you do have, where you live, the opportunities you have, the job you have, and the relationship you often complain about and at the minimum don’t praise enough… as someone somewhere would trade all they have for what you’re complaining about. This is hard to remember while going through transition, but it helps!
As you’re in the process of redefining yourself… be grateful and honored for your employees, bosses, co-workers, family, friends, and others who are on your team. With that said… it’s now time to begin evaluating! Rarely do you have to cut people from an organization or your life; rather we may benefit from modifying and leaving the ball in their court… challenging them to Acknowledge, Accept, Decide, and Do!
Professionally, through change and transition, what made you or your people valuable may have become obsolete or not as useful. How do you modify? What their superpower, how can it fit now… if possible, what’s the right seat for them within the organization… if possible, and go from there. If it’s a fit, great! If not… As a leader, can new skills be offered for your people to learn; or it may be time to part ways for the time being.
Personally, in redefining yourself be careful not to ask… what do I want to be? Instead ask… WHO do you want to be? What kind of person do you want to be? What kind of worker, significant other, friend, etc. do you want to be? Now that you have your answer… Be it, look for it, and acknowledge it when you see it in others… actually compliment them on it… and add them to your Team! Adults may offer a coffee meetups, lunch… while the younger generation will connect on Snapchat or TikTok. Whatever your means… be intentional about connecting, staying connected, and starting a small circle of positive-minded and inspired people just like you hang out with. When times are great, these will be the people that celebrate you! When things are coasting these will be the people that motivate you! When things are bad, these will be the people that listen and then give you the kick in the ass you need! Leaders minimize the amount of time they spend with the negative, uninspired, and lazy… and increase time spent with the energized, motivated, inspired, thought-producing, and excited… Be Mindful!
“We ARE how WE define ourselves, how we impact others, and the sum of the decisions we make daily… Be Mindful” – Andre Young
Written by: Andre Young
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