Have you ever felt as if you’re trying to be someone else to get to where you want in life, but for some reason it’s not working? You could be holding yourself back from achieving your dreams because you don’t believe you’re good enough or are afraid what others might say. But what if you were able to banish imposter syndrome once and for all by becoming Fearlessly You? Tracy Forsyth is a certified Executive Coach and Career Consultant (www.fasttracktofearless.com) and believes that to do this – you need to harness self-belief and confidence. Here are her seven steps to help you become the best possible version of yourself:

Tracy Forsyth

Tracy Forsyth

The first thing I want to say is that you must take personal development SERIOUSLY. If you are not happy with where you are now in your life or career, if you have a feeling there is more, if you know you want to grow but don’t know how then you MUST make time for personal development. If you are wanting to grow your career and become fearlessly you then I reckon you need to devote 20% of your working week to Project You.

If that sounds like too much, consider this: how much time do you think some of the most successful brands in the world devote to research and development? How much time and money do you think Apple spend on product development and growth strategy? Hold on to your hats: ‘Apple Inc. spent a record 18.75 billion U.S. dollars on research and development in its 2020 fiscal year, increasing by about 2.5 billion from its 2019 total.’ And that’s probably why they remain a market leader in innovation and products. How much time and money do you spend?

Before you say you don’t have time, let me tell you, if you are unhappy in your career and want more, you can’t afford NOT to make time.

So, what do you do with that 20% of your working week?

1. Who are you? First, take an honest and compassionate look at who you really are underneath all the labels society gives you and answer these questions: Who am I? What do I stand for? What moves me? What do I really care about? The clearer you can be about these questions, the better understanding you have of yourself.

2. What are your factory settings? Imagine you were a brand-new computer or a toy like Buzz Lightyear and you’d been bought from a shop. There would be instructions that came with it. Some would be an explanation of the factory settings and how it worked best, others would be about what not to do e.g., Do Not Submerge in Water. Make a list of your ‘factory settings and the conditions in which you thrive. And don’t forget the list of hazards - list out the conditions that make you malfunction.

3. Identify what sparks joy for you. What is it that you are doing when you feel in your element? Make a list of the ‘doing words’ e.g.: planning, organising, collaborating. What are the favourite top three of your doing words across everything that you do? In your current role, are you able to use your top 3 doing words? If not, it might be why you are not happy. Ideally, you want a career that allows you to do the things that spark joy.

4. Confront your Inner Critic and get to know what danger, fear, or value it represents. Okay, so this is a biggie. Your inner critic may have different voices. Take time to separate those voices out and write down what they say, almost as if it’s a separate person or people saying it. Next to each one, list the fear that you think that inner critic represents and what value it’s linked to. For example, fear of looking stupid is often linked to a value of Recognition or Respect. The inner critic is fearing that you won’t be respected. If this, is you, Respect / Recognition is likely to be a value of yours. So, ask yourself, in what ways can you build up the feeling that you are gaining recognition and respect to quell that fear.

5. Get in touch with your values. Make a list of your top five values. If you don’t know what they are then it helps to think about people you admire, books you love, characters you resonate with - all of which will illustrate the kind of values you admire. Another way is to think of the opposite - what kind of behaviour really irritates you? That’s likely to be opposite to your values. Once identified, keep your top five values in mind and live as much as you can according to them.

6. Clarify your purpose. What is it that gives you meaning and satisfaction? Why do you do the things you do? What result are you hoping for? Coming up a sentence that lays out who you are, what you love to do and why you do it is an incredible way of creating a guide-rope to help you through life. It’s something you can use when making big decisions - am I living my purpose, does this resonate with my purpose, does this feel purposeful?

7. Perfect a personal elevator pitch. Craft and hone a summary that encapsulates who you are, what you want to do and the impact you desire. Use language that is natural to you, rather than job-speak or official language that only exists on CVs. Practice your pitch, say it out loud, do it in front of a mirror until it trips off your tongue and you smile saying it. Make sure it feels authentic. If you’ve followed the other steps, your self-awareness about who you are and what you want will be clearer so use the words you’ve uncovered in the process. And then you are ready to go!

Follow these steps, and then get out there - network, research career opportunities, deepen your skillset and broaden your horizons. Remember to devote 20% of your working week to personal development and you will soon be on your way to Becoming Fearlessly YOU!

Tracy Forsyth is the Founder of Fasttrack to Fearless, a virtual academy devoted to building career confidence and fearless leadership skills. She is renowned as ‘life & game-changing’ executive coach and career mentor. Having had a successful career as a global TV executive, she now runs her own company with the mission of empowering talented people to become fearless about their lives and careers.

For details of free resources and available paid courses, visit fasttracktofearless.com

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