In today’s episode, Anna looks at personal and professional development in the third L, LEARN: development and growth, and helps you review where you are today and where you want to get to
I’m a big believer in life-long learning – I like to think that I’ve retained that childish sense of curiosity that we all start out with.
Exploring new things, setting goals and continuing to grow – this is important, whether you’re talking about profound self-awareness and personal development, or learning to play the ukulele! There’s nothing worse than feeling stuck and stagnant and not doing anything about it.
Join us on this week’s podcast episode as we dive into the third ‘L’ of the Reimagining Success model, LEARN: development and growth.
*Resources mentioned during the episode*
The One Step Outside Facebook group– Join us over in the Facebook group to meet like-minded people who are working on reimagining success in their life and business and to get access to direct support and free training sessions from Anna. www.facebook.com/groups/onestepoutside
Hello there and welcome back as we continue to reimagine success, looking at the 5Ls model.
Now this is a model, again, that is intended to help us all to look beyond that conventional definition of success focused on work and career, and prestige and salary increases, and learning things in our jobs and getting that certification, and whatever it might be, and considering all different areas, or the important areas at least, of our lives in more of a holistic way.
So if you have missed the last few episodes, then do go back and listen to those. I’ve introduced the 5Ls model. If that’s not something that you’ve come across before being part of my community, we started with the first L, the second L, and today we’re on to the third L. So, a brief recap, and if you’ve been listening for a while, you can say this with me now, it’ll start rolling off your tongue as it does of mine. LIVE: Wellness and Wellbeing, LOVE: Relationships and Romance, LEARN: Development and Growth, and that’s what we’re here to learn about today, ha ha. LEAD: Career and Impact. And LAUGH: Fun and Spontaneity. So again, these are five areas that I’ve found, in my own experience and working with clients, are really important areas to consider beyond that narrow domain of just work.
Now let’s start then with LEARN: Development and Growth, which is what we’re here to talk about this week.
Now, what does this mean to you? Are you a fan of learning? Do you think with horror back to those days of school when you had to do homework and sit still in class, and you had to go to all those lectures at university, whatever it might be?
Obviously the conventional definition of success, again, on those sort of conveyor belt path that I’ve talked about often tends to be that we go to school, we, in my case, have this kind of good girl syndrome of getting those good grades and getting the right answer, and pleasing the teachers and getting the tick, and, “Good girl, Anna,” and all these things. Of course, we then need those grades to do well, to get into the next school, to get into university. We have to do well there to get a job, job then, certainly at the corporation where I was, we were compared against each other in terms of our peer performance and that then defined whether we got a promotion or a salary increase and so on. So, there can be quite a bit of negative energy I guess surrounding this idea of learning in the traditional sense.
Interestingly as well, I think a lots of us are tied to, again, those conventional definitions of learning, in the sense that whenever I talk to someone about maybe changing career and think about doing something differently, almost always they’ll go by default to, “Oh, I have to retrain. I have to do an MBA. I have to do this new course and get certified and qualified, and all sorts.” Now, that may well be the case if you want to be a doctor or a lawyer, if you want to be a psychiatrist, a therapist. If you want to work in a particular field that yes you do, it’s a regulated industry and you do actually need a particular qualification it’s very possible that learning for you will be some kind of formal qualification. And maybe you get a lot of satisfaction from going to a formal course, and maybe you were that good girl like me and you love that and you’re happy to sit there at the desk and pay lots of money to work with others.
I have a acquaintance, I guess, shall we say, who I’ve seen has very much sort of a master list of accolades in a sense, going from Oxford to Cambridge to some incredible jobs in different prestigious companies, and the civil service, and going to Stanford, and so on and so on. And if that is something that’s important to you and that you value, again, this is your definition of success and that’s incredible and good for you, and that’s something that’s important to consider.
However, I’d love to encourage you to think beyond those traditional ideas of learning and really think broadly about learning in the sense of, just that, being curious, experiencing new things, trying new things, getting out of your comfort zone.
And even if you do need to, want to learn new skill, doing that in a less traditional way, perhaps with an online free course, perhaps going to evening classes somewhere. So perhaps sort of a formal setting, but a bit less sort of hardcore than doing like a two year or four year masters or something. Perhaps it’s finding a mentor to work with, working with a coach. Perhaps it’s sort of a really specific area that you want to focus on in your business, maybe sales, maybe some area of marketing you need to learn about, or perhaps it’s a bigger picture you want to consider. Maybe it’s something more fun like learning to play an instrument or working on a language, whatever that might be. So again, as we talk about learning, we’re really talking about this bigger picture, much broader than just sort of going to school and university.
Now, I am a big believer in lifelong learning. I like to think that I’ve retained that sort of childish sense of curiosity that we all start out with, and exploring new things, setting goals, continuing to grow. That’s all so important, and I hope you agree with me. And again, this is important, whether we’re talking about really profound deep self awareness on the one hand and personal development, or learning to play the ukulele, which yes I have done.
Now there’s nothing worse than feeling stuck and stagnant and not doing anything about it. And again, in the context of career change and potentially getting out of our comfort zones, setting up a business and growing a business, this is really important. And it’s not, I’ve just been doing the 9-to-5 Escape Plan over in the Facebook group and we talked a lot about the fact that changing from working in a job to setting up a business is not just about that initial change. It’s a massive decision, it’s an important big step, but it is just the first step. And this getting stuck and feeling stagnant can come later on in our businesses too. And assuming we’re in this for the long haul, this is something that we need to keep alive, we need to keep learning, we need to be proactive about staying relevant in a fast changing environment, society, economy, and make sure that we are really being intentional and proactive about learning new skills, staying on top of the latest developments, and really being a leader essentially as we continue to push ourselves, grow and develop.
So as we’ve been doing this past few weeks, I’d love for you to stop for a moment, maybe pause my voice as well. Just have a think about where do you feel you are today? How do you feel about this area? How important is it to you? Are you also a fan of lifelong learning? Do you have that negative association with school and you don’t want to be told what to do? Maybe you really think about formal learning in the sense of academic qualifications, or even on-the-job training that you get from your company. You think of these really expensive courses and you couldn’t possibly afford to pay to go to these events and conferences and courses now that you’re working for yourself.
So what does this area mean for you?
How important is it? And let’s ask as well, where are you today in terms of this area of learning? Do you feel really stuck, and you haven’t gone out of your comfort zone for a long time, you’re not challenge yourself, you could do your job, you could do whatever you’re doing, your business right now blindfolded. Not particularly inspiring, not exciting, and it’s almost too easy, you could do it in your sleep. Where are you on a scale of one to 10 in this area in terms of learning, developing, growing, being curious and having fun with it?
So let me give you a few prompts now once you’ve had a thought about it, what it means to you and so on, and these are just some questions to consider, but really something to encourage you to look beyond, again, that traditional sense of having to do a formal qualification, or course, or expensive university education, or whatever it might be.
So first of all, do you have a good understanding of who you are and what’s important to you? So yes, this is a pretty important one for me in terms of personal development. Understanding who you are, it’s a big question. Really understanding your values, big picture priorities in your life, and so on. That’s really an important area of learning, learning about yourself, having that self awareness. So I’d love for you to start there.
Are you addressing any major fears or concerns in your life?
So we talk a lot about mindset. We do free trainings over in the Facebook group on this, and of course it’s always a core part of my both individual coaching and group coaching programmes. There’s usually a whole module on this addressing things like fear of failure, fear of making mistakes, fear of looking ridiculous and being judged by other people, concerns around money, and so on. Again, if we think of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, this, after sort of the absolute basic physiological needs of water and food and so on, we have that sense of safety and security, and financial security for example, is really important. Emotional, do we feel secure and safe wherever we are in the world and our life?
Do you invest in upskilling in different areas of your life? So is this an area that you think is important to you? Are you actually investing? And investing, by the way, means money of course, but it also means time, it means effort and energy and so on. I asked a few months ago in my Facebook group, how much have you spent on training and personal development, and of course people are at different stages of this, maybe just new to this idea of taking proactive control of your own career and working for yourself and so on. And then maybe someone else has been doing this for years and completely understands the value of this.
But the range was everything from nothing, I only invest my time in this and actually some people say I can get a lot of value from free stuff that exists online, which is absolutely the case. I provide, as you can tell, the podcasts, Facebook group, all sorts of free resources, trainings and so on. So there’s a lot of free content out there which is absolutely fine, it’s a really good start. Some people invested maybe a few hundred pounds, and several had invested a few thousand, and then a small handful had then invested more sort of in the five figures, and so on. So just something to consider, are you investing in your personal development, your growth, your business, learning, and so on.
Do you read a lot? And reading of course can be books, Kindle or paperback, or hardback for that matter, blogs. Do you listen to podcasts? So are you really absorbing information?
Now I’m going to say here that I may be a bit unusual, that I’m really not a fan of the news.
So of course I read, well I say of course, but I have the Google app for example on my phone, which really tailors content to me. I also look at some articles on LinkedIn, I do a lot of reading and exploring and so on, and listen to podcasts, but I don’t just listen to the negative news about war and famine and politics, and so on. Now you might say that I’m naive, but in my opinion, and there’s a lot of studies on this, this is not something that is actually developing me in a positive way. It’s creating unnecessary sort of fear and concerns, and unless I feel that, unless I can actually do something about that it’s not a productive constructive way of doing it. Now, yes, it sounds like I’m completely out of touch, but I can guarantee you that if something important happened in the world, somebody will tell me. So I’m not too concerned there, but that’s a decision for you to make.
But I’m really talking here about learning in whatever sense that means for you. Listening, being open, aware to the important big trends, big developments, whether in your industry, and so on. Or to do with, maybe if you have children, schooling, education, and society, and so on.
Do you feel like you’re learning right now? So do you feel like again, are you completely stagnant and, “Oh, I know everything. I’m an expert and I’m getting quite complacent,” or are you actually learning new things?
Do you have clear goals that you’re working towards? Which, is such an important thing in coaching, and in career and business, but that is the way we grow. And when I started as a coach, this was really a core part of the work that I did, setting those goals, really working towards those and that is how we push ourselves, challenge ourselves, learn and grow, both personally and, again, from a business perspective.
Do you feel like you’re moving forward? Again, I keep coming back to the sense of feeling stuck and stagnant, but feeling sort of stationary, plodding along, that’s quite soul destroying ultimately. So do you feel like there’s movement in your life, that you’re moving in the direction hopefully of a definition of success that you have defined for yourself?
Do you have an outlet for creative expression in your life?
Creativity is something that comes up again and again for people leaving the 9:00 to 5:00. I can’t tell you how incredible it is to hear in my group at the moment that, I think without exception, everybody in the group has some kind of so-called secret talent, whether they’ve now wanting to become or they have become, in the case of some people who’ve been working the programme an artist who has an exhibition in New York, or a secret wannabe rockstar playing the drums, or someone who is playing the bass in a stage play in a couple of weeks. So that creativity, whether it’s art or music or whatever it might be, is so important.
Do you challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone? One of my core concepts, “Everything you’ve ever wanted is One Step Outside your comfort zone,” so are you really saying yes to things that usually you’d feel a bit uncomfortable about, but you’re going to do it anyway because, “Hey, let’s try this,” and feel a little bit insecure just to learn and do something exciting, a bit of danger, a bit of adventure.
And do you have a coach or mentor to support and guide you?
Again, it’s not necessarily about that formal learning, about having the teacher-student relationship. It’s about surrounding yourself with role models, whether it’s someone who’s hugely famous and you’re listening to them on a podcast or watching them on YouTube or whatever it might be, reading their book, or someone who’s just a few steps ahead of you who you can really look up to and think, “Wow, they’ve actually done quite a few of the things I want to do. It’s completely feasible. It’s within my reach. So let me learn from that person.”
And there is a lot of free content out there, but I always say there is a point at which we do need to sort of shut out that noise. Focus. Choose one maybe two people or sort of sources that we want to really zone in on, and then sort of single-mindedly focus on that person’s learning and follow that process. And then once we’ve achieved that we can move on to a different area, different type of coaching, or different type of step-by-step process, whatever it might be. It’s so easy to get distracted by all the noise, again, of different ideas, different things, even in business from the beginning I always got confused. Some people said, “Webinars and email marketing! You have to do this and that and the other,” and you end up doing nothing or just a little bit of everything. And so, really important to find those, that handful of people who will support you, cheer you on, hold you accountable, but also guide you. Someone who is a little bit ahead of you who can really show you the way, I suppose, and help you avoid some of those mistakes.
So again, looking back on this year, what have you done? What haven’t you done in this area? How are you feeling about it now? And then what do you want to do differently next year? And specifically of course, really thinking about specific goals to set, specific actions. “I’d like to find a mentor or a coach to work within this particular area as of January.” Or, “I want to get a head start now,” which of course is even better. I want to start listening to podcasts. I just got an email from someone saying they’ve stopped listening to the radio and they’ve replaced that with a podcast, for example, so why not? Reading more books, for example. Or is there some particular area of the business that you’d like to really dive deep into? In which case a formal course in that area might be important.
So this is something to think about, whether it is in business, in career. Again, I’ve learned to play the ukulele in Hawaii a few years ago. I, from time to time, always come back to learning languages and Spanish has been the one that’s been most consistent these past years. Japanese got a little bit sort of crazy, it wasn’t as useful after I’d been to Japan. I figured Spain, Spanish is a bit closer. Lots of people around the world speak Spanish. So it could be just for fun. We’ll talk about fun later, that’s the fifth L, but in the meantime, something that actually is helping to grow you as an individual personally, professionally.
So that’s it for this week, LEARN: and Development and Growth. And we’re back next week for the fourth L, LEAD: Career and Impact. Really important one of course, but again, it is just one of the Ls. So enjoy this week and I’ll see you back here next week. Bye for now.
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If you’re ready to start to reimagine what success could look like for you, here are some of the ways in which Anna can support you:
Get private mentoring for your business – Partnering with a business coach can help you see those blind spots and get both external accountability and expert guidance to take your business to where you want it to be. www.onestepoutside.com/freeconsultation
Get private career coaching – Individual coaching is fully tailored to your specific goals and desires so we can create the programme that works best for you, with the support that you need to move forwards. www.onestepoutside.com/claritycall
Grab a copy of Leaving the Corporate 9 to 5 – After interviewing 50 people who have left the corporate 9 to 5 to forge their own path, Anna has collected their stories in a book that will inspire you with the possibilities that are out there and reassure you that you’re not alone in looking for an alternative. www.leavingthecorporate9to5.com
Join the One Step Outside the 9 to 5 Business Incubator – This is your roadmap to transitioning from a corporate job into setting up a meaningful business that will bring you more freedom, flexibility and fulfilment outside of the corporate 9 to 5. www.onestepoutside.com/9to5
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