Is your vision and are your goals supported by your resources?
What you need to change and learn.
Because if you don’t align your goals with your resources, you won’t be able to accomplish them.
Alignment – Is Present-You Ready For Future-You?
At this point, you must feel pretty pumped and ready to jump into action. I commend you for that. You’re supposed to feel this way, and you should take a day or two to enjoy the emotion. You’ve come a long way, but before you leap into massive action, there’s one more step you need to take: alignment.
To best exemplify what that means, think about the goal of running a marathon. That’s a pretty noble idea, but if you’ve never run a yard in your life, you won’t be able to complete a long race no matter how much you psych yourself up into believing that you could. Instead, you need to first learn how to train. Then you must train, eat right, buy running shoes, and run several shorter races. In other words, you need to align your capabilities with the task at hand.
Also, to run a marathon, you need discipline and consistency in training. If those two concepts are not present in your list of values, you will have a tough time sticking with the training program.
Therefore, the alignment process first reveals any misalignment, and then it helps you identify what you need to change. That usually involves increasing or improving your resources; in the example above, it would be your running skills.
The other option to obtain alignment would be to lower the target. In this example, you could decide to run one mile instead of a marathon. Obviously, during this program, you won’t do the latter because that would mean you’d negate the vision you just created.
Everything you have worked on from a discovery perspective is almost like a snapshot of where you are today. The vision you have imagined is a projection of where you will be in the future. Your mission and goals are the bridge between them. You need to make sure that both ends of the bridge are solid enough to withstand the journey.
Your values, beliefs, skills, and strengths need to be the right ones to support that journey. Lastly, your vision and purpose need to be powerful enough to fire you up and motivate you to go for it. They are the fuel that pushes you along that bridge, so that you can go from one end to the other.
Because your values are the compass by which you determine what is right and wrong, you cannot set goals that would require you to take any action against those values. More importantly, ranking your values is also critical. For example, a person who holds physical fitness as more important than health might behave in a way that is conducive to proper fitness, but detrimental to their overall physical wellbeing.
On the other hand, a person who doesn’t value health at all will have a tough time taking any action toward becoming healthy. Therefore it is vital to make sure that your set of values supports the goals you’ve set for yourself.
To align your values, you must look at your short-term goals first; it’s easier to have a one-year look-ahead because the idea is to be very practical from the start. Put those goals alongside your current list of values and ask yourself this question:
“What values do I need to have in my value system so that I can accomplish these goals?”
Start from the goals, not from your values. Brainstorm the values you think you’d need to have for these goals to be within your reach. Once you have that list, look at your values: are they present in your list? If not, ask yourself why. Reflect on whether you’ve attempted to accomplish similar goals in the past and failed because those values were not on your list.
At this point, you must recreate your values list to incorporate the missing ones. Then, re-rank the list, redefine it, and write once more why these values are important to you. You can use the same worksheets you used when you first went through the values exercise.
What is most important, though, is to understand that going forward, you need to learn how to live by these values and incorporate them into your current everyday life. That’s why it’s important to define the values in your own words because by doing so, you will be able to connect to their meaning and invite them into your life.
By the same token, are all of the previous values you’ve held still relevant? They probably are, but run through the exercise of making sure of that. By now, you have a new awareness and understanding of your personality and character. You know a lot more about yourself than what you knew when you first did the values exercise. Make sure that the list is valid, and it’s in perfect alignment with your short-term goals. Specifically, make sure that there’s no value in your list in direct conflict with your goals, because that would be a disaster.
In the section on beliefs, you’ve identified several limiting beliefs that you must change in order to live a fulfilled life. At this time, with much more knowledge about yourself and about the future you, revisit those beliefs. Notice if there are any others you’ve missed in the light of the new goals you’ve just set for yourself.
This is the time to ask yourself whether any of your limiting beliefs represent a genuine hurdle to your goals’ accomplishment. Remember that those beliefs represent a prominent part of your personality; they have been holding you back for a very long time, and by now, they are not only subconscious but even unconscious. They act below your level of control, and they’ll take over in a heartbeat.
It is critical that you understand what they are and how they influence you and your actions. You need to start catching them as they happen and shifting your mindset. This is one of the hardest things to do because it’s a lot easier to uphold new values than it is to reverse old beliefs.
Once more, since your goals require accomplishment, any time you have a strength that fits in with a goal, your chances of success increase exponentially. In this situation, you must understand which one of your strengths will act as a support to your goals. This process is not about creating strengths—which you can’t—but figuring out which existing strengths you can leverage or how you can optimize that leverage for best results.
Go back to your strengths assessment and note those that you can match with your new set of goals. How can you take more advantage of those strengths? What can you do to make those strengths even more potent? Define a practice plan and be very clear about what those strengths are, and where you would like to take them.
This is the most practical part of your alignment. The skills represent your performance or the things that you can do well. If your goals require you to perform skills that you are not familiar with, that is a misalignment. In this section, you will identify the skills that you already have and that will assist you in your journey, but also the skills you lack, which will appear in a further section called the Learning Plan.
Because skills are very practical, and you can develop them through learning, this is an exceptional opportunity to take stock of what you already have in your bag of tricks, but also to determine what you must acquire. Your goals give you a perfect hint as to what you need to learn in order to perform better.
Last but not least, you need to look at weaknesses with a very open mind and a critical eye. Now that you have your goals in front of you, which one of your shortcomings possesses the most significant threat? What are the impediments you see?
Please don’t disregard this step. By hiding away from your weaknesses, you are no different from a cyclist who starts a race with a flat tire. You need to make sure to arm yourself with the right systems and tools to overcome those weaknesses.
Make sure you look at your weaknesses and your beliefs together as one block. Which ones are genuine weaknesses, versus mere beliefs about your potential weaknesses? In other words, which weaknesses have manifested in the actual world, and you have clear, empirical proof that they are a weakness? For example, are you honestly a bad public speaker because you’ve done it in the past and it didn’t go well, or are you just afraid of public speaking although you’ve never done it before?
Remember that limiting beliefs translate into self-imposed weaknesses through the power of self-suggestion. You need to be aware enough to understand that. You cannot label a weakness as such until you try it out. If you are merely thinking about it, it’s not a weakness—it’s a thought. In time, it becomes a limiting belief. You have to distinguish them and attack them differently.
Are You Aligned?
The Alignment Worksheets will allow you to connect your goals with the different resources you’ve identified during the Discovery Voyage. Make sure that each one of your goals is supported by your resources, and identify those that are not. For the latter, you will set up a personal learning plan which will ensure that you can get yourself ready for those goals.
Remember that you can train your skills and strengths, and you can get better at them. You can overcome your weaknesses with practice and patience. In time, you can figure out creative ways to work around them. However, for your values and beliefs, it’s all a mental exercise. You need to update your mindset and be sure to embrace a system of values and beliefs that supports your goals and vision.
Once you have completed the Alignment exercise, you are one step away from finishing the Creation Voyage. Head on to the last stop, Create Your Learning Plan.
Feedback, Comments, Suggestions, Testimonials
Do you have any feedback, suggestions, comments, or ideas about the Self-Growth Journey Program? Or perhaps, you’d like to leave a testimonial for others to see? If so, please visit the feedback and testimonials page and let me know your thoughts. Thank you!