Years ago a client asked me, “How will I know when I am SOMEBODY?” It was such a well-phrased and poignant question. It emanated from a place of pain and struggle for her. It was clear she was not alone, as many of my clients expressed similar dilemmas. In fact, it is just part of the human condition. You want to know that you matter. If you think about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the theory in psychology proposed by Abraham Maslow about human motivation, that quest is identified as Self-actualization. If you are unfamiliar with Maslow’s work, check this out: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. It was such a compelling question that I created a workshop entitled “Kick Up Your Self-Esteem: How Do You Know When You Are Somebody?” ™
My actual answer to my client was, “You won’t know if you are SOMEBODY unless you do two things: 1) Identify success for yourself and 2) Pay rapt attention to your progress. What does being a professional mean to you? Your definition of success will likely change over time. Your goal as you entered the workforce will probably be quite different from your goal now if you have been in the workplace 5, 10, 20 plus years. This is YOUR goal, not one that your boss or employer identifies for you. If you are a business owner, it’s not necessarily what your professional association or industry considers successful. This is all about YOU! Plus, life is busy, your career is busy and you likely have made strides but they have gotten lost in the busy.
For decades I have done a process at the beginning of every year to reevaluate the age old question, “Who am I?” This is a process that I recommend to all of my clients. This is a pause, a time for self-assessment, for reflection. I do not have a gambling bone in my body but I’d still bet you will surprise yourself with this endeavor. What you will be doing is writing, at the beginning of the year, a statement of who you are as a professional. If you have never done this before it may seem daunting. Take a deep breathe and relax, you will not be graded. This is not about right or wrong. You don’t have to show it to a darned soul. This is an opportunity for you to acknowledge, celebrate, revise, and revamp. It’s a great time to look at the gap. Huh? What gap? Take an assessment of who you see yourself to be today and compare it to who you really want to be.
Reinvention is possible! I dedicate this article to my Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority Big Sister, Kathleen Clarkson Frey. On February 20, 2020, after a brief stay in Hospice, she transitioned out of this life as we know it. I watched Kathy reinvent herself as a young woman in an extraordinary way. What a role model of possibility she was for me. Can you reconfirm or reinvent yourself? Yes you can! Need more help? Please read Kay’s Corner for some action steps. If you would like some professional guidance, please call me at 513-561-4288 or email me at Kay@highheeledsuccess.com. It just so happens, that’s what I do for a living.