Sometimes finding your own way in your life or career comes naturally. One thing leads to another, and when you look back you know why you’ve made certain choices. Sometimes, the next step needs a little bit more attention. For example when you unexpectedly lose your job. Or you get stuck because you have learned to do what others thought was good for you, but you don’t know what you actually want. You can also lose your way because you’re no longer passionate about what you do.
Where does your path start?
In the beginning of your life, what you do or don’t do, is mostly determined by your parents or your caretakers. You’re dependent on where you grow up and what resources are available there. As you get older, you gradually gain more control over your own life. You decide what you like, who you like or what you would like to do. Step by step you will find your own way.
When do you choose a different direction?
Sometimes it turns out that the path you chose, or that was chosen for you, no longer matches what you want or who you are. This doesn’t have to happen overnight, but can happen gradually. If what you do no longer suits you, it is time to go your own way and to reinvent yourself. Investing in yourself and your talent can help you with this.
How do you find your own way?
But how do you do that, finding your own way? The next seven tips will help you:
1. Understand how your brain works
Your brain is a thought machine. Thoughts pop up all the time, they come and go. If you pay attention to your thoughts they grow. When you let go of them, they disappear into the background. Your freedom is in the space between what you think and feel, and how you choose to act on that.
2. Pick the right mindset
The way you look at the world is very important: your mindset determines whether you see possibilities and which ones you see. There are different types of mindsets.
People with a fixed mindset believe that capacities are fixed: you can either do something or you can’t. Believing in such a mindset gives you the feeling that you do not have control over your own development.
Other people have a growth mindset. They are convinced that you can develop capacities. Believing in a growth mindset makes you trust in the positive influence you have on your own development.
Where a fixed mindset stands in the way of growth, a growth mindset offers a good basis for continuous learning and development. So it’s a much more flexible and positive mindset!
3. Think about what you’re already doing
Quite often there is a gap between what you think you do and what you actually do. It is good to think about what you are actually doing. What agreements do you make and with whom? What are the activities you plan? How much time do you spend on this and what does it do to you? In order to change, it is important to first become aware of what you are already doing. Are these the things you would like to keep on doing? What do you want to do more of?
4. Find and keep your course
Where do you want to be, what are your talents and what are you going to work on? How do you know you’re going in the right direction? Is it necessary to make adjustments? These are the questions that will help you find and maintain your course. You know you’re on the right track when the things you do energize you, and when time seems to fly by.
5. Ensure a good match with your environment
Finding your way is about who you are, what you want, what you can do and the environment in which you find yourself. Do you have a good match with your environment? For example, if you need a lot of variety and like to be on the move, it is not good to be locked up in an office every day. What really suits you? And can you actually do the things that suit you?
6. Research what is needed for your development
Do you know what you need for your further development? What brings you closer to what you want? What knowledge and skills do you need for that? How can you acquire this knowledge and these skills?
7. Keep on going!
Finding your own way is a process of trial and error. It won’t always be easy, but try to remember that this is part of the journey. It is a process and eventually you will be closer to where you want to be.
Find this article interesting? Here you can find more blogs written by Ard van Oosten.