If you want to go from feeling unsure about your future to purposely moving toward a life that lights you up, there are two things you’ll need to do: clearly define your life vision, and craft a plan to start moving towards it.
To illustrate what a life vision means, I often use the example of the late Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs. Jobs wasn’t someone who was wild about computers; he was a man who spoke with great passion for providing customers with the tools that allowed them to tap into and use their creativity to the greatest extent possible. That’s vision.
It was Job’s vision that inspired his many employees. Anyone and everyone should have a vision so clear that anyone can understand it.
Take this explanation of clarity of vision from an entrepreneurial resource,
“Entrepreneurs are driven by an overriding purpose when starting their business. Successful entrepreneurs take it one step further and develop a vision for future growth. This vision helps guide the day-to-day operations and strategic decision-making necessary to achieve success.”
Feeling inspired to develop your own life vision that can guide your day-to-day decisions and propel you toward the kind of growth you want to experience?
Below are four questions to help guide you through that process.
1. What are your desires for yourself (or your business, if you’re an entrepreneur or leader)?
Take some time to empty all your ideas onto the page:
- What is it you really want?
- What inspires you?
- What do you want to feel more of? Less of?
- What are your core values?
Once that section feels pretty complete, you’ll also want to make sure your life vision holds space for your future.
2. To further clarify your vision, take some time to visualize where and what you’ll be in the next ten years.
Take some time to really picture it, and fill in some details. Write down anything that came up for you, and you might even explore how your values play into that vision.
3. Next, picture yourself five years in the future.
Now that you have a better idea of where you want to be ten years from now, let’s look at just five years into the future:
- What will take you toward that vision?
- How do your values come into play, and how might they lead you there?
- Can you still see yourself reaching the ten-year plan from the five-year perspective?
4. Finally, picture yourself one year into the future.
The final step here is to think even more short term, and envision your life one year from now.
- What are your goals for yourself in the next 12 months?
- How do your values get you there?
- What in that journey will take you towards the five-year vision?
One year, five years, ten years—you can visualize your life at any point in time in different ways. The point to take away from this exercise is that, in doing so, you’re also visualizing what it takes to get you there.
Having a life vision of where you want to be is one thing. Having the confidence and commitment to reach your goals are often areas where we run into challenges.
Ask yourself these questions:
- In terms of confidence: on a scale of one to ten, with ten being supremely confident and one being not at all confident, where are you right now?
- In terms of commitment: on a scale of one to ten, with ten being absolutely committed and one being not at all committed, where are you?
Many times people will be committed, but they will not be confident. Other times they may be confident, but not fully committed.
Why is that?
How to deepen your commitment to your life vision
If your commitment isn't at a ten, you need to look for what is holding you back. Being committed comes down to the old “buy-in” question: What’s in it for me?
Sometimes people even create goals and visions for themselves, but they’re not fully committed to it because they’re not fully bought in. They don’t fully see themselves in it.
Make sure your goals and vision are truly yours. Make sure you’re expressing them:
- as part of your motivation
- as part of your values
- as part of your purpose
- as part of what you stand for
The more these are in alignment with your life vision, the more committed you’ll feel.
How to build up your confidence around your life vision
What are you afraid of?
Confidence is often linked to fear. What might be an internal block, in terms of how you see yourself? Where may that doubt come from? Who or what are those inner “naysayers?”
Answering these questions will help you discover what may be contributing to this lack of confidence.
From there, you can start to transform the naysaying that diminishes confidence into something that creates confidence: clarity.
So often, a lack of confidence isn’t about a disbelief in our energy or ability to do something, but a lack of clarity. We just tangibly, at this moment, can’t see exactly what it is that we need to do. By understanding and exploring these blocks to confidence, we begin to see the steps that lead us to our goal.
Once we remove the blocks of fear or lack of clarity and stare into the face of uncertainty, then we can see and understand what’s in it for ourselves.
When we're confident and committed, then we're ready to go full out.
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