5 steps to a support system to help you get Wild About Work
We humans are social critters. When social connection is missing, it impacts both our mental and physical health.
Given that, it’s not surprising that an important component of Getting Wild About Work is creating a support network.
I have interviewed many people who have successfully pursued their passion over the years. To a person, they all said some variation on, “I couldn’t have done this alone.”
As you look at creating and continuing a career that lights you up, spend some time with these five key questions.
1. What support do I need?
Being aware of what support you need makes it easier to reach out and find it. Look at it from multiple angles. It might include:
Emotional support: Friends and communities where you can show up, be authentic, talk through challenges, etc.
Goal support: Do you need help keeping your focus on your goal and taking action? (This might be professional, like a career or life coach, or personal, like a friend or colleague who is also working towards goals of their own you can mutually support.)
Clarity support: Do you need someone to help you sort through things? Do you need a sounding board for ideas, or someone to help you unravel points of confusion? (This could be either a coach like me or a friend/colleague with a gift for diving in and sorting things out.)
Inspiration support: Do you need to spend more time around people who inspire you? Remember that in many ways we become who we spend time with. Do you need more people around you who inspire you to be your best, to achieve your goals, etc.?
Professional support: Are there specific areas where you need the expertise of an expert? (e.g., a marketing consultant, and accountant, a career coach, a dietician, etc.)
Authenticity support: This isn’t an area people tend to think of when they think of the support they need, but having people around you who encourage and celebrate your showing up authentically can play a hugely important role in creating a career and life that aligns with who you really are.
Fun and play support: Again, not a stereotypical support role, but for some people life gets entirely too serious. Having people around you who don’t can be an important part of lightening up.
Activity support: Having people around who are always on the go and initiating things can be a great spark of energy, especially for people whose inertia leads them to couch-sitting blobdom if they’re not careful.
This is far from an all-inclusive list. It’s just something to get you started. Spend some time exploring those, then ask what other forms of support to mind. Keep adding to the list as forms of support spring to mind.
2. How do I currently get that support?
Take stock of where that support already exists in your life. This is the low-hanging fruit that is already there and available.
3. What support is missing?
Looking at those first two questions together lets you do a gap analysis of sorts. For example, maybe you feel inspired to think big and make a difference, but that mindset isn’t one most of the people around you share. You might realize you need the support and energy of others who are inspired and driven by making a difference.
4. Where can I get that support?
The beauty of identifying what’s missing is that you now have a starting point for exploring how to find that support. You can think of this in a couple different ways.
- Individuals: Who can offer specific assistance or play a specific role? For example, if you’re self-employed and realize you need help on the business side of things, who can offer that? Or if you need more social time with like-minded individuals, who are the people you currently know you can reach out to?
- Group: What are the groups or communities where the kind of people who offer the kind of support you need hang out. Maybe it’s a professional organization, or a spiritual community. Maybe it’s a meetup of people with a common interest.
5. What action can I take now? (Then take it.)
Last but not least, you have to do something! Pick someone and reach out to them. Schedule a time for coffee, or schedule a meeting. Send out an e-mail blast and get together a group of people to go to listen to a speaker sharing insights you all have a common interest in.
You don’t have to create a full-on support system all this week. Instead, think of it as a regular, recurring part of your process. Make a date with yourself once a month (or however often feels right for you) to ask the questions I outlined above.
Make a deal with yourself to come out of that meeting with yourself with two things. First, identify what support is critical for moving forward right now. Then commit to figuring out how to find it in the next week/month/whatever time frame works.
Second, identify the next steps you can take to keep building a stronger, more robust support system. Remember, this isn’t about doing it all at once. It’s about consistently, persistently building that support into your life, one step at a time.
[Want to get Wild About Work? Take the first step with my FREE audio course.]
Brought to you by Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst TM
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