During Barbara Sher’s scanner retreat in Puycelsi, France, we spent a lot of time figuring out what our “Wish” was. As Barbara put it: making your wish a reality is the easy part. Finding your wish is the hard part.

And she was right.

Did I find my wish?

You bet. And I’ll let you in on it in due time…  ;  )

For now, some major take-aways from a lady who is refreshingly different, down-to-earth,  funny, and wise.

  • Forget self-improvement

Basically, you don’t need to spend years or – god forbid – decades trying to better yourself before you can go after your dream(s). Most of us are already “better” than we think we are. (Unless you are some arrogant jack*** but most of us scanners aren’t!)

To realize your dreams and goals, you need a support team, a network, and a plan. You don’t need some sort of fearless super personality.

  • You really don’t know what’s possible. You think you do, but you don’t.

Barbara proved this point to us over and over again when someone would come up with some “crazy, out there” wish. For each one of them, she personally knew someone who had realized the same – or a very similar – dream. After a few days, you start to get how limiting your beliefs really are. And how much you limit yourself in dreaming. Most of us limit ourselves with practical objections. But it’s important to first dream big. The “how” of your wish is next.
Then, join an idea party to brainstorm and you’ll get the ideas and contacts you need to turn your wish into reality.

  • You know you found a real, big dream when it makes you scared to pursue it.

Resistance is bound to come up around real, deep wishes. This is normal. Sometimes it’s a warning sign you need to pay attention to, but most often it’s something from the past you just have to deal with. Or not. Acknowledge it, create strategies, and move on regardless. Just realize that it will surface so it won’t catch you off-guard. And don’t let it stop you.

  • Ask yourself what the 1 thing is about your dream you can’t do without.

This part of your wish is always attainable. You just may have to keep it as a hobby or make money off it later on. If you can lighten up about those aspects, you really can fulfill any wish!

What do you think?

“I only wish I figured out I’m a Renaissance Personality a long time ago…”

If there’s one thing I consistently hear newly-found-out Renaissance Personalities say, it is that.

Often, parents are the ones who are then being brought into the mix. How they didn’t understand you. How they pushed you in the wrong directions…

Cue video by Barbara Sher (the Grande Dame of scanners aka RPs) that I recently watched on YouTube. You can see it here: http://bit.ly/hZEsQx

She talks about how no parent is able to truly understand who you are. “There’s no way of knowing who your children are because they’re not a copy of you,” Barbara says.

When I first saw this video, it gave me a sense of relief, even though I never blamed my parents for not understanding my personality type.

But there’s something reassuring to know that you didn’t – somehow – miss the boat because YOUR PARENTS (for crying out loud…those parents again…don’t they screw us up anyway?) didn’t figure you out when you were young. There could have been no other way.

So I figured that if this video made me feel better, it might definitely help those of you who are walking around with parent issues.

I personally know a few RPs who grew up with RP parents – or at least 1 RP parent. These folks were fortunate not only that their parents are also RPs but that they chose careers that were off the beaten path. Therefore, these people had examples of what life can be like when you make “different” choices.

For the rest of us, it was just plain tough. Right?

We had to figure it all out for ourselves.

That’s also what Barbara is talking about in the video.

What say you?

The video is less than 4 minutes…go watch it! (Barbara’s little doggie’s hooded outfit alone is worth watching the video for!)

Well…

In reality, some multi-talented people (what I call “Renaissance Personalities”) feel awkward about telling their friends and family that their “problem” of not feeling fulfilled in their current career originates in being multi-talented. After all…they reason, if you’re good at so many different things, why not just pick one and stick with it?

Other Renaissance Personalities feel selfish because it seems such a nice problem to have; “too many” talents.

Others feel like they need to see a mental health specialist. Or are told/forced by their loved ones to see someone about their “issue.”

And when you think career or aptitude tests will bring you solace – think again. I have yet to find the RP who has found the magic answer in a test. For obvious reasons; you’re good at – and interested in – highly diverse fields.

So here are the most common mistakes I see “newly discovered” RPs make, and of course I’ll tell you how to avoid these mistakes…

Still focusing on career direction, believing there is one magic solution that fits your personality.

I can’t blame you – that’s what we’ve been taught to do throughout high school and in society. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” It starts there.

Even though there are a few lucky bastards that get to combine multiple passions into a so-called “umbrella career,” it doesn’t mean you’re there.

They say that even non-RPs change careers on average 7 times throughout their lives. For RPs, career focus is a work in progress that will never end.

An RP who emailed me last week is on to her 16th career!

Here’s how to avoid the mistake of focusing on a single solution…

You will have to get used to the idea – better yet; get comfortable with it – that you’ll have a lot of changes in your professional life. And you won’t be able to figure it all out from today until retirement.

It’s a changing world; professions disappear, others are born. Technology develops at insane velocity. We’re all getting more global and linked together.

For most RPs, the real question of what to do next is a combination question:

What are the different things I want to do?

Which of these do I want to do for money? (And which do I keep as a hobby?)

In which order am I going to pursue the things I want to do?

Answers to these questions will vary widely, even among RPs.

You see, there are vast differences among RPs.

This brings us to another major mistake I see RPs make: Not recognizing that there are many different types of RPs, each with their own preferences.

Here’s how to avoid this mistake…

Read up on the many different types of RPs in my free report (see below) and in Barbara Sher’s “Refuse to Choose.”

For example; some RPs like to skim the surface of a topic and then move on, not staying in any particular field any longer than necessary.

Yet others like to specialize – contradictory as it may sound – and move on to the next thing after maybe 10 years. What makes them an RP is that they tend to move on to something completely different. Also, they’re not motivated by money or status. Once they reach success, they feel “done.” And thus move on. The challenge has been mastered.

Some RPs make the conscious decision to engage in all their passions in their free time. Not commercializing your passions can be a big advantage too. These RPs pick a rather simple, steady job that doesn’t cause them stress or require long hours. This way, they have enough time, energy, and money to enjoy their true passions in their own time, on their own terms.

A more esoteric “mistake” I see RPs make is not fully accepting and embracing their trait. This is such an important aspect that I spend a lot of time on it in my Renaissance program.

Especially after believing for such a long time that something is awry with you, it’s hard to let the truth sink in, namely that you’re simply a multi-talented, multi-passionate person.

Here’s how to avoid this mistake…

Keep at it. Reread the Barbara Sher and Margaret Lobenstine books. Keep reading my newsletter and blog, and others on the topic. Try to connect with other RPs. Talk about it with supportive people.

The more you keep the whole concept front of mind, the more it will feel normal to you and the more ingrained it will become that you too are very normal!

It just takes some time and practice.

Bottom line: have patience with yourself! No one said it’s easy to create a Renaissance life but the important part is that it CAN be done! And it can be exciting and fulfilling, as long as you’re willing to accept the ongoing nature of it. This is why it’s important to have support around you. Hopefully from your loved ones to begin with and from a good coach at times to get you going in the right direction and gain momentum.

For a more in-depth overview of these – and other – mistakes RPs commonly make, download my free report “3 Massive Mistakes Modern-Day ‘Renaissance Personalities’ Make-And How to Avoid Them” on my website: http://www.CareerBranches.com – if you hadn’t already done so…

Question for you: Are you confident?

About yourself? About your competencies? About your professional status? About your career in general? About switching careers? About your ability to make changes when needed and do what you truly love?

I watched a video by Marie Forleo last week about this topic. (She focuses on women business owners so you may not know her. But the same principle applies to career professionals.)

Marie said that confidence is overrated, and I agree.

Why?

Because, if you let it get in the way of moving forward, you’ll never get anywhere.

It’s nice to be confident and build your confidence up when you feel insecure, and this is something that usually happens when I work one-on-one with my clients – but it’s true…if you’re waiting until you’re 100% confident to take that next move to take that next move, you won’t go anywhere.

Confidence is a great good in America; it’s often seen as a must-have to succeed at anything. Of course, how you project yourself influences how others see you, so there is definitely a psychological component there.

However, it’s better to take a shot at something with the possibility of succeeding, than just day dreaming about it because you’re not 100% sure of the outcome.

Guess what – you never will be! And even confidence will not guarantee success.

I think that especially for us, Renaissance Personalities, it is important to realize that we’ll most likely feel some apprehension whenever we embark on something new. We spend a great deal of our lives outside our comfort zone. Not because we want to, but because staying put in something boring or something we don’t enjoy is just not an option.

So please realize that it’s ok and normal to feel hesitant and insecure about your next endeavor, or about aspects of your job or a new project.

I do.

It’s about keeping it moving.

So, as much as I like to help my clients boost their confidence and make them feel better – which is still very valuable – I agree that a warning is in place: don’t confuse not feeling 100% confident about your next step with some sort of “sign” that you shouldn’t move forward with your plans or projects.

In fact; usually, it’s the other way around. You push yourself out of your comfort zone and watch your confidence grow as you take steps toward your goal. Often succeeding, don’t you?

My tips for taking the next step anyway, even when you don’t feel 100% confident:

  • Get some real perspective; what is the absolute worst that could happen? Could you die? (If yes – forego the above advice.  ;  )
  • What is the “cost” of not doing what you want to do? Is it …  staying stuck in a field you hate, forever wondering what could have been, taking up mental space by obsessing how you’ll do it once….?
  • Ask yourself what you want to look back on – 5 years from now…10 years from now. Truth is – what may seem so awkward or scary now, you tend to forget the second these feelings vanish. Looking back, you typically remember the things you did, the things you tried, and the things you wanted to do but never did. Especially those. So try to keep that list as short as possible.
  • Talk to people who have gone before you, and ask them what it was like. Was it what they expected? Were they confident about their move beforehand?

Do you have additional tips to get past that “lack of confidence block?” Post them as a comment and we’ll compare notes!

Do You Push Too Hard?

December 15, 2010

Have you given your job search or career change your all yet you’ve still got nothing to show for?

When people come to me and tell me this, it typically comes down to 2 things:

  • They either thought they did all the right things but in reality they lacked a solid strategy. Or any strategy.
  • They pretty much did all the right things – and may have even enlisted the help of a coach or counselor – but their attitude wasn’t right.

I want to talk about the second scenario.

So let me explain “attitude.” Or maybe “intention” is a better word.

When you look at the people who land new jobs, despite a bad economy, the thing they typically have in common is an upbeat outlook. Or at least a non-desperate one.

While this is something that is partially personality-based, you can teach yourself to adopt a more positive perspective on something that can seem very daunting, such as a job search.

Whenever you act based on fear and desperation, you start to rush yourself and you are more prone to making mistakes. Not to mention you’re giving off bad vibes. I don’t want to get all airy-fairy on you, but it’s easy to spot the difference between someone who feels good about him/herself and who has faith in the future vs. the person who feels panicky about securing their next position.

Is this tricky?

Of course it is.

When you’re suddenly out on the streets and you have a family to provide for, “zen” is not the most likely state of mind.

I see a lot of panic in the people that come to me after they’ve lost their jobs. (Again, a great reminder why it’s so vital to be prepared at all times with an updated resume and an active network. And to start a job or career transition when you’re still employed if you know you want to make a change. But that’s food for another article.)

So how do you go from panic to peace?

Sometimes, it’s by realizing what’s “likely” to happen, what the worst case scenario is, and what’s possible. Often, the worst case scenario is highly unlikely or not as bad as you thought. Or it turns out there are other options. For example; if you do stay unemployed and your benefits run out, you could take on any kind of job just to pay the bills, until you find something you truly like.

Some people get there by getting confident about their abilities and their value to employers. This is a great place to start from.

Others focus on their faith in God or the universe to help them in finding what’s right for them.

And sometimes, it takes going through the different stages of “mourning” – disbelief, anger, depression, acceptance. Not necessarily in that order. Can you see anything good coming when carrying out a job search during the phase of disbelief, anger, or depression? But once you hit acceptance, you open yourself up to new possibilities.

The thing is…when you operate from a feeling of hope and faith and positivity, you are also better able to see what’s right for you and make better decisions all along. When you’re in a panic, you’re more likely to make rush decisions that turn out to be not the greatest after all.

Having said all this…what I hope you get from this article is that devising a solid job transition strategy is a must but the great results will come when you combine it with an attitude based on calmness and faith (primarily in yourself but also in things turning out just fine for you).

I’m curious…have you experienced either scenario?

Do You Say This?

December 8, 2010

“No one hires during the Holidays.”

I hear this quite often.

Yet it’s not true.

In fact, because this seems such a stubborn myth, you can be assured of less competition!

Here are some tips to make the most of your quest during the last few weeks of the year:

  • Employers may be easier to reach during the holiday season because it’s quieter in the office. Take advantage of this and make a personal connection with key people at the companies you’re interested in.
  • Attend the holiday parties and get-togethers you get invited for. No better time to mingle and meet new folks in a relaxed atmosphere. It’s like networking in overdrive.
  • Send holiday greetings (cards, little gifts, an email update – whatever is appropriate) to the people in your network. A great way to thank those who have helped you throughout the year and to give them an update. This is all part of maintaining your network.
  • Remember the contacts close to you: your family and friends. It’s not what they can directly do for you, but who they know. An often-forgotten source of leads! They may also invite you to their holiday parties (see above).

Best of luck! Some of my clients have landed their dream jobs during the holiday season. You just never know what’s around the corner…

This week, I have another question for you…

How did you get your last job(s)? Was it through networking? By responding to an ad? Through an online posting? Or did you “cold call” on a company?