In my recent webinar on the reasons why most people fail to achieve their dream career, one of the things I referred to was the list of the top five regrets of the dying, as pulled together by Australian nurse Bronnie Ware. The regrets are:
#1 “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
#2 “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.”
#3 “I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.”
#4 “I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.”
#5 “I wish I had let myself be happier.”
What I love about this is that we have an opportunity here to listen and learn from individuals who are at the very end of their lives, and an opportunity to do something about it. This is huge! It’s as if we could travel into the future and get advice from our older selves and then make the changes we need to make in order to avoid those regrets.
For me, all five regrets come into play when we’re talking about staying in a job that isn’t meaningful to us, playing small, not going for our dreams. Sticking to the expected career path is often a result of both the pressure from other people and the fear that comes with breaking away from those expectations; we work hard as if our jobs were the most important thing in our lives, staying late into the night and checking our emails during our vacations (often in the hope of getting that next promotion, which will have us working even harder); we stay quiet about our true aspirations; we deprioritise friends and family along the way; and, ultimately, we’re not as happy as we could be.
These regrets don’t just apply to those big decisions, though. We worry about what other people will think when we reveal our idiosyncrasies; we hold ourselves back from asking someone out or telling our partners how we really feel; we avoid taking risks that will take us too far out of our warm and snuggly comfort zones.
As we approach the end of the year, it’s a great time to reflect on where we are today, whether we’re really living up to our full potential and, fundamentally, whether or not we’re really happy with the way things are going. If not, then now is as good a time as any to understand the reasons why, and to make some changes!
I’ll be writing much more about this in upcoming posts and resources on the subject of the annual review – looking back on 2016 and looking ahead to 2017 – but in the meantime, I wanted to let you know about an event that I’ve been involved in, which aims to challenge and inspire you to “Master Your Inner Critic, Discover Your Potential and Take Charge of Your Life”.
*DEADLINE FOR SUMMIT PAST*
The event is a free ‘virtual summit’, which means that during the live period 7th-18th November you will get access to 27 interviews with experts in different fields. Each interview is an audio recording of about 30 minutes long and you can put it on in the background while you’re tidying your room or cooking or something that doesn’t require too much concentration, so that you can focus on the stories and tips that you’re getting in the interviews! The topics will include:
- Overcoming limiting beliefs
- Moving from self-doubt to self-worth
- How to take action to create what you want in your life
- Dreaming big
- Letting go of fear
- Choosing happiness
- For business owners: staying organised and productive, self-care and how to say no
As one of the speakers, in my interview I share some anecdotes from my childhood and school where I felt that I was holding myself back; I’m also talking about career transitions, identifying what’s important in your life, and overcoming those confidence issues that keep us from doing what we’re really capable of.
Now the event is the Women’s Empowerment Summit, hosted by professional therapist Heather DeVore, who wants to help people to create the life they desire by bringing all areas of their life into alignment. Man or woman, do please sign up to the summit. It’s free and the short interviews will all be available for the full summit period 7th-18th November so you’ll have plenty of time to dip into these for some inspiration as well as concrete tools and techniques.