Your most important business relationship is the one you have with yourself.
Have you ever put your life skills on paper in a life matrix? Chances are you’re used to looking at your life by recalling people, past events and memories that are significant to you. Here’s a fun exercise that requires you to look at your life quite differently. I dare you to try it!
(By the way, if you are a coach yourself, this makes a great workshop exercise. And if you’re a mom with a child experiencing a heart-breaking period of self doubt, it’s a great self-esteem booster too. Just sayin’.)
Create a table with 100 cells numbered 00 through 99 organized as a matrix. Each cell represents 1 year of your life; the columns key stages in your life. (You do not have to put an equal number of cells in each column.)
You can create the matrix in any way using any tool you wish. I recommend designing it based on your intuition (e.g., 4 columns of 25 cells, 10 columns of 10 cells or whatever makes the most sense to you).
In each cell (and for all 100 cells), list the skills you can recall starting to learn in that year (whether or not you mastered them in the same year is irrelevant). For those cells greater than your current age, list the skills you intend or hope to acquire in that year of your life.
Friends and family can help you identify past skills for your chart. Future skills can be anything you want.
Consider all 9 aspects of life mastery (physical, emotional, intellectual, social, moral, sexual, professional, financial, and spiritual).
When you have completed your life matrix as best you can, consider each skill you listed individually.
If you have mastered the skill AND are still using it to support present day living in any way, highlight it using coloured text, bold, or italics to distinguish it from other skills. (If you used pencil and paper, grab a highlighter pen and start colouring.)
Here’s how to interpret your life matrix.
The columns you set up in your chart show when you’ll most likely make a major shift in life direction. For example, my chart has 10 columns; that’s roughly how my career mapped itself out as I followed my instincts with it over time.
The skills from past years show how many things you have mastered already coming from absolutely nothing. The skills you highlighted show you mastery that can carry you through for many years. This mastery is often transferable to other areas of your life as well.
When you experience moments of self-doubt in your business, review your life matrix! It shows you are already skilled at mastering the unknown… your chart proves it. Although you don’t know when life will end, you can move through the rest of it with confidence knowing you can successfully master the unknown. The same principles apply to your business!
Finally, for the years past your current age, it doesn’t matter what you put down, only that you plan to continue the learning all your life.
More next time. Until then, remember to LOVE YOUR WORK, whatever it may be.
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