WOW Advice to Millennials from a Millennial, Part Two

Posted In: Soft Skills
Posted On: 1/26/2016

For part two of the three-part series: Advice to Millennials from a Millennial, Greer Van Dyck tackles the other side of my What Obviously Works journal - her own WOWW: What Obviously WON’T Work.  I love her honest approach to what she has not done right and how she has learned from it.  And that is such an important takeaway—we are all going to screw up in our lives and careers, but how do we rebound and learn from those failures?  Read on to get more of Greer’s wisdom! - Jane

What Obviously (Won't) Workcareer advice for millennials, soft skills

It is as gift in this life to know what does work but it is equally if not more important to know what doesn’t work. So much of what we strive to learn about ourselves leans toward betterment and what we CAN do to make this happen. I challenge you to look deeply within and also discover for yourself what damaging and unhealthy patterns can stand in your way.

1. Letting your fears determine your behaviors - fear is inevitable, it exists within all of us and is a natural human emotion to experience. Where we fall into trouble is when we let this emotion take over and influence our behaviors. For example, as a young child I picked up the story that I couldn’t achieve my goals. So for a portion of my young adulthood, I avoided having to strive for certain benchmarks so that I wouldn’t have my story validated. I told myself I didn’t need to go to grad school, didn’t need to take that certification exam, didn’t need to interview for that competitive job, because I was so afraid that my story was true. When I looked within and saw the story for what it is (just a story and nothing more), I started to put myself in situations to negate the fear. And it has cleared the way for opportunities I never thought imaginable.

2. Not being present - this moment is all we have, so if you aren’t in it, where are you? It is very easy to focus on the past or the future and consequently very difficult to stay in the present. But if we are marinating in something that has happened OR something that has yet to happen, then we are fully missing out on life. As an exercise, if you find yourself getting stuck, draw attention to what is actually happening, see what emotions/fears/anxieties are arising for you, and speak to them. Tell them they aren’t worth your energy and that you are going to choose to stay in the moment. For if you let them, those emotions will take over with powerful force.

3. Acting before thinking - one of the most significant and impactful daily lessons that I face head on each day. I have a tendency to get so caught up in emotions that I will act before I really think something through. And the fair majority of the time that happens, I look back and actually feel like I should have handled the situation differently or really considered my words. In the vein of maximizing opportunity and minimizing regret, this is a great tool to carry with you.

4. Being ambivalent about your greatness. Within each of us is unlimited greatness - no matter who you are, where you’ve come from, and where you are today, there is greatness inside of you. Perhaps you are in a spot where you know your greatness but don’t know how to express it, or perhaps you haven’t yet harnessed the awareness at all. Regardless, it is there, so search within yourself and become partners with your inner workings to unleash that person inside of you who has worlds to offer.

5. Being distracted - a clear and unwavering sense of who you are and what you want is key. The difficult piece is getting clear about who you are and what you want, and this is where the real work comes starts. Remember that who you are and what you want can always be changing, the important component to remember is staying true to it no matter what.

6. Letting your ‘story’ rule your life - we were all born with a set of stories about the person we are, and we carry those through into adulthood even if they are made up by us. It is important to piece apart your true self and your stories. As mentioned previously, these stories are powerful and they can even influence our behaviors. There is nothing wrong with having stories, but getting caught in them can become unhealthy and destructive.