As a career coach, I obviously see lots of people coming to me wanting to make changes in their career and life…and they are not sure why it is not happening. I hope this article gives you some insight into your own process helps you on your path.
I always tell my career coaching clients that everything we do is based on agreements we make with ourselves, so when you want to make changes, you need to make new agreements. But that can be hard. When we attempt to design a career or create a new path in life, many of us are not comfortable stepping out of our customary boundaries. Our minds and hearts are often set to “comfort.” We want to avoid risks or think that we aren’t qualified for that new dream. Changing your mindset, and committing to a new way of thinking can help you get the results you want. This is what I work with my career coaching clients to do.
In his book, The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz suggests four ways to liberate us from the fear and the illusions that create a belief system that can hold us back from going after what we truly want.
The Four Agreements are:
1. Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally: Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions: Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
4. Always Do Your Best: Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.
After reading Don Miguel’s wisdom, my eyes were opened to the realization that I am the only one in control of my thought patterns. I realized that I can shift my mindset from the assumptions that have produced self-doubt to assumptions that support trying something new. Once this realization was made, I was able to shift my paradigm from a fear-based “what if” scenario to understanding the agreements I create with myself will influence my present and future.
For most of us, we have had habits in place for a very long time. We have learned behaviors that date back to childhood. Our parents rewarded us when we did what they wanted and they reprimanded us when we didn’t. The opinions of others, and their reactions to us, became a very strong force in the patterns we formed. Through this process, we created agreements in our minds of who we should be or who we shouldn’t be. Over time we learned to live according to the agreements of others.
If you decide to make changes in your life, you will be challenging the beliefs learned and the habits practiced since childhood. It seems daunting!! But you can change these patterns.
When you have the intention to practice making agreements with yourself, you can rapidly transition your life by experiencing the freedom to make choices that honor your values.
By nature, I am a realist and recognize that challenging the old fear-based beliefs can be difficult. It takes time and commitment to break free of the fear, inner judgment, and old emotional thought patterns, but this is a minor concern when you realize the long- term strategy of creating fulfillment and satisfaction for your life. Life is short. Why not make it the best you can??
There is almost no limit to what you can accomplish when you are willing to make an agreement to yourself to step outside of your “box.” Get clear as to what you want. Make a commitment to honor your agreement and go for it.
The Best Way to predict the future is to invent it. – Alan Kay