If there is one thing we know about life, it’s that people’s paths aren’t linear.
At every juncture, we choose a direction based on what seems like the best next move. We pursue interests, gather skills, and hope we eventually land where we belong. But there’s nothing that says that we will only be drawn to work and learn skills that fit our natural abilities and talents. We could very well end up doing work that causes friction with our very being. Our talents may not be wasted as far as the world is concerned, but you could end up wasting hidden potential…and experiencing a lot of stress along the way!
Let’s Clarify Potential The idea of living up to your “potential” can either be motivational or, more times than not, antagonizing. Who decides what your potential is anyway, right? We’d like to think that you do. You hold the key to knowing what lines up with your personality traits and natural strengths. Those might be very different than your level or intelligence, the number of degrees you hold, or the experience you have acquired thus far in life. Your true potential can only be realized when you understand who you are at the core, and, as it happens, that can be unlocked through psychological assessments and other tools of behavioral science.
How to Choose a Career Path Let’s take a quick look at some of the things you might consider when choosing a career to pursue. While all of them are valid and important, the behavioral considerations are what give you the best chance of aligning yourself with work that will be fulfilling in the long run.
Legacy / Family Business
Passion / Motivation
How You Like to Work
It’s Not Too Late to Get “Aligned” No matter where you are on your life’s trajectory, there is still time to enhance your future with behavioral considerations. They can help you figure out what your innermost strengths and weaknesses are and align them to what you do. Perhaps it’s not too late to completely change course in your career. But even if your chosen career isn’t an ideal match for you, there are things you can do to adjust your role and make things better. You’d be surprised by how much things can change with some minor adjustments to how you approach work.
"What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself."
Succeeding Despite Misalignment Between Career and Nature Can you succeed in fields with acquired skills that don’t match your natural behaviors and talents? Absolutely! With the will, opportunity, and ability to do something, it can certainly be accomplished. In fact, sometimes people choose projects, roles, or even careers specifically to challenge themselves to achieve success beyond their comfort zone. Sometimes they choose it because it’s what the family has done for generations, be it a lawyer, a farmer, an electrician, or anything else. Often, an opportunity presents itself that is too good to pass up and you find yourself on a path that kind of “chose you” without putting much thought into it. Human beings have incredible potential, and typically have many roads to success to choose from.
The Dark Side of Accomplishment Here’s the thing. Success that is achieved despite misalignment with our inherent nature requires sacrifice, and often that sacrifice is to our mental and physical wellbeing. Instead of feeling confident, excited, and joyful while working, and ending the day feeling accomplished, successful, and energized, you are left with stress and exhaustion in their place. Objectively speaking, you may be at the top of your game, but personally speaking, you may feel unenthusiastic, to say the least.
How Do You Know You’re on the Right Path? Our bodies have a built-in barometer that tells us when what we are doing is in sync with our nature. You’ll know if you’re on the right path by whether it’s causing stress or, conversely, filling you with energy. Ask yourself some of the questions below and see what resonates with you.
How do you feel after a day of getting everything “done”? Are you just glad it’s over, or do you feel satisfied and ready to tackle the next hurdle?
How do you feel after a team or client meeting? Did you have to force yourself to go, then feel exhausted when it’s over, or are you excited about going forth and doing?
Do you feel valued? Are your ideas appreciated by your boss and/or peers, or do you feel undervalued for your insight and/or approach?
Do you have a good work relationship with peers? Are you doing your best work beside like-minded people who “get you,” or do you spend too much of your day bumping heads?
Is your team balanced? Do you feel like your differing opinions are respected and considered, or do you feel like your team only appreciates conformity?
How’s your confidence? Do you feel good about what you’ve achieved each day, knowing you are performing at your best, or do you feel boxed in and held back from truly shining?
Bring Your Team Along on a Behavioral Journey The questions above may be ones you’ve asked yourself, or they may be ones asked by people working under your leadership. If anyone is experiencing behavioral friction, it doesn’t bode well for a person’s ability to lead, their ability to perform at their best, nor their job satisfaction. Imagine, however, if you and all those who work alongside of you had a better understanding of how each other was hard-wired.
Roles could be better aligned.
Teams could benefit from diverse perspectives.
Careers could be more fulfilling.
Employees and/or clients could be more satisfied.
Performance and innovation could increase.
Health and wellbeing could improve.
Leaders could tap into not only their own potential, but everyone’s!
Do you want to uncover what comes naturally to you so you can make decisions that direct your life and career accordingly? Would you like to be able to reach a potential that is in sync with who you are at your core? Would you like a tool for your business that takes every employee or client on this same path to personal and professional growth?
Let’s make sure your human assets are more than wasted talent. Find out what’s possible!