Boost Your Professional Development

Business Support Professional & Managerial

In my last blog I wrote about your locus of control, and how it can impact everything you do in either a negative or positive manner depending on where you ‘place’ that locus—internally, or externally. Continuing on from that blog, I want to talk about how through owning your internal locus of control, you will also be able to take control of your personal, and professional development.

At some point, most of us have looked at another person and their success and thought “how do I get to where they are?”. I have found myself thinking that a lot lately, and so last week I decided to take the plunge. I would use my internal locus, and take some proactive steps to grow and develop myself.

Relocate your locus

When we look at others and wonder why they are doing so well, we can be tempted to lean towards thoughts such as “they are just lucky” or “they haven’t had the struggles I have had”, or other similar thoughts. This view point negates the hard work that the individual has likely put in, while justifying our current situation in life. We allow our locus to be external, and avoid ownership of our own story. It’s then easy to become jealous, or absorbed in our shortfalls, rather than focusing on how we can develop those areas that could use some improvement. During a recent event I attended, a guest speaker asked each of us in the audience to identify and evaluate our personal values. We were then asked to publicly share a step that we planned take, to ensure we acted on those values, and lived them in our everyday lives. I chose to share my action plan with the audience, and I am choosing to share it again now: I have decided to take steps to do the things that make me uncomfortable, or that I avoid out of fear of failure, or rejection.

My own story of development

So, here is part of my own story. I will share this journey of development with my readers; the good, the bad and the ugly alike. I have no doubt there may be some failures that will test me, and some successes that will make me feel elated and my plan is to share them all, even though the fear of judgement makes my stomach churn.

Since my ah ha! moment at the event I attended, I have taken it upon myself to see how much I can grow before the end of the year. I want to test my limits, by writing down my goals and setting time limits on those goals to ensure I carry out each step.

Setting goals

My first goal has been to reach out to a professional individual I admire, and asked if they would consider mentoring me —a step that made me incredibly nervous! Reaching out to a total stranger who I think is not only fantastic in business, but a great person, put me at risk of rejection and failure, but do you know what happened? They said yes— and we have a meeting early next month to discuss how they can help me grow. That affirmation felt fantastic.

Another goal I set was to volunteer more, and so I have opted to volunteer for a Charitable Trust for a three year period. This will allow me to grow my professional contacts and my personal skills set, and of course, give back to the community that has been my home from 28 years.

My next goal will be to complete a professional development course, to further my experience, and to be able to offer a better service to my clients. Again, I expect this will require a level of personal growth to put myself in an uncomfortable position, and carry out tasks that make me more than a little nervous.

Consider your own path

The next time you find yourself looking at someone and wondering how they got to where they are, or admiring their success, pause for a moment. Think about your own path, be brutally honest with yourself and remind yourself that YOU have control. Your control may be limited or have challenges that I cannot comprehend however I want to empower you to do this for yourself.

You can make a plan to create your own success, then go and make it happen—start making a measurable effort. Take that leap. By doing this not only will you build yourself up, but you will subconsciously give those around you permission to do the same.

I will continue to face my fears, and will be documenting them, so I invite you check back for my next blog to hear about my progress.