This post is inspired by a LinkedIn message I received from a post graduate Social Work student who was disheartened by what she described as negativity around the social work field. As I responded to her message, it occurred to me that this is good advice, not just for graduates, but for life.
It takes a conscious and deliberate effort not to allow negativity to invade our mindsets. When this negativity surrounds your chosen career path, it is important to remember where you do, or do not, have control; so that you are not pulled off course. To that end, we have to be centered and determined.
To maintain laser-focus remember these five important guidelines, which, along with a keen sense of self-awareness, will take you through without loosing course:
LESSON #1: Accept that You Have No Control Over the Perceptions, Perspectives, and Thoughts of Others
Focusing on anything outside of your control is a power-usurping ruse because there is no selector switch that will alter the thoughts and perceptions of others. Only they can make that change and it is not your responsibility to do so.
You have control of yourself, your perceptions, perspectives and your decisions. The degree to which you master this aspect of who you are fully determines the degree of influence you have on that over which you have no control. A simple shift in perspective is powerful and empowering. Refocus.
LESSON #2: Stop Focusing on that Over Which You Have No Control
This is a complete waste of time and is often at the root of cyclical worrying. The time we spend wringing and twisting over that we cannot control is time we should have used toward mission and purpose. Stolen focus equals stolen vision. Without vision you cannot stay the course. Stay in your lane.
LESSON #3: Never Judge Yourself by Anybody Else’s Opinion of You
Take a what you think is none of my business approach to negativity. Period. Always come from the heart understanding that it is what lurks in your heart that will determine your outcomes. Always test your own motivations. Always have at least one truthful, trusted other in your tribe and never make a decision that is not held against the guide of your core values. Play toward the end-game in all your decisions. As long as you can sleep at night, nothing else really matters.
LESSON #4: Dealing with Falsehoods about You or Your Career
Your only part in addressing miss conceptions, lies, and negativity around any given matter and any lie ever uttered about you or your career path is this: make sure what is said is not true of you. If it is, deal with the truth in the message, no matter how wrongly communicated. Once you have addressed the truth in the matter, leverage the lesson going forward, and keep it moving.
Set the Course. Stay the Course
These are three questions to truthfully answer for yourself:
1) What is my life purpose?
2) Why is that my life purpose?
3) Am I committed and values driven in that purpose?
The answers to these questions will set your GPS and take you to your destination no matter how many wrong turns you might take in life or career. If your career choice is based on these three things, lift up your head, stand firm in your convictions, and go forward with excellence.
I HOPE YOU DANCE
Below I am sharing the outcome of a story that stood never to happen had Alicia Young, a former student of mine, not leveraged the principles I shared above. I made this video as a gift to Alicia. She graduated with her Masters of Social Work in June of 2016.
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About Coach Linda
Linda F. Williams, MSW CCLC CPLC is a FOX News Contributor, behaviorist, Certified Personal and Professional Life Coach, author, and motivational speaker. As founder of Whose Apple Dynamic Coaching Services, she is creator of The Whose Apple Dynamic™ GPS Road Map to Destiny™. Linda is author of Whose Apple is it, Anyway: Empowering Purpose to Achieve Your God-Ordained Destiny; and Too True to Tell (Why What We Don’t Say is Leading Us Down the Path of Stolen Vision); and Triple Threat: Definitive Battle Plan for Ministry Leaders.
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