As you look back on your career path you can likely see elements of both wisdom and errors as you’ve progressed. A sudden career crash can set you on a hero’s journey.
The paradox of the hero’s journey is that career and life challenges can force you to accept the parts of yourself that you’d rather not acknowledge, but as you do, you become more authentically you, your best self.
While we may never become heroes like Mandela, King, Churchill, or the Dalai Lama, everyone can become more authentic and capable of heroic acts. This requires attention and mindfulness as well as connectedness and compassion.
The journey doesn’t have a final destination. It meanders, so you need to be vigilant, pay attention, stay connected and focus your intentions in order to transform and create a life full of meaning.
Three Steps to Self
How do you become your best self? How do you learn to act like a hero? According to author Greg Giuliano in The Hero’s Journey: Toward a More Authentic Leadership, the journey to self is a perpetual three-part process, abbreviated by the letters A.C.T:
Attend to Who You Are.
First, we pay attention to who we are and where we are right now. This involves being mindful and engaging in honest self-reflection.
Connect with Your Best Self.
Second, we connect with ourselves and recognize when we are our truest and best self.
Transform Your Life.
Lastly, we seek to transform, to be intentional and create the life that is the most accurate expression of who, what, and where we want to be.
Who You Are
Can you make an honest assessment of where you’re at in life right now, career crash and all? How do you perceive yourself intellectually, cognitively, emotionally, physically, socially, and spiritually at this point in your life? What opportunity lies just below the surface of this crisis? What would a superhero do?
Many people find having such conversations with a coach to be revealing and helpful. Sometimes tools such as the Wheel of Life can help elucidate your different roles and how you experience a sense of meaning and fulfillment.
When you find that some of your answers cause sadness or disappointment, this suggests that you want your answers to be different. Ask yourself, “What will it take for me to be able to answer differently?”
If you’d like to talk about these important questions, ask your coach. Thinking about getting a coach, learn more about the coaching services I offer and feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.
Want to read more about it? Get the book. The Hero’s Journey: Toward a More Authentic Leadership, by Greg Giuliano
Oh, and hey superheroes… before you go, let me know what you think. Post a comment below!
Author: Cathy Shaughnessy
Cathy Shaughnessy is a PRISM award winning ICF Master Certified Coach and author of the book series The Really Competent Coach. Cathy coaches senior leaders, mentors credentialed coaches, trains fledgling coaches and helps organizations build strong coaching cultures.
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