COLUMN: F.O.C.U.S. Time — Check please!

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Reviewing my mental list, I made sure that the checklist was complete.

Outfit – check.

Hair – check.

Teeth – check.

Confidence - check.

My list was in order. Heading out the door to a job interview during my 20s, I looked and felt great. Well, so I thought.

Parking my vehicle in front of the business where the interview would take place, I stepped out with a skip in my step and a smile on my face. Walking across the long parking lot and then through the lengthy lobby toward the elevator, the looks I received from those I passed by seemed perplexed. Some people were smiling while others were raising an eyebrow. My focus overshadowed the glares.

As I was about to enter the elevator, suddenly out of nowhere a woman ran towards me repeatedly yelling “Stop! Stop!” I held the door for her believing she must be late for an appointment. She looked at me and with a smile said, “Please turn around.” I stared back at her just as confused as the glances I received earlier from those I passed by.

Without question, I turned around only to have her excuse herself as she shyly and graciously zipped up my dress that ran from the lower hip area to the neck. Yep! I walked out of the house, through the parking lot, through the main lobby of a busy business, towards the elevator unzipped!

What a valuable lesson I learned that day! Moving forward, checking all details of my wardrobe became a top priority.

At that moment, I began to reflect of other areas in my life that needed checking. What about finances? What about relationships? What about mental and emotional health? What areas have I been failing to fully care for and just walking around while others are noticing what I am not?

Personal growth involves taking time to check areas one may be neglecting. Whether it is work, relationships, finances, mind, body, spiritual … choose to set aside time to investigate these areas and discover the possibilities for improvement. It begins with a simple CHECK:

C – Caring for oneself. This takes the form of being intentional in seeking and securing the best care for one’s body. Such as providing ultimate health activities that will give the best results, thinking, speaking, behaving in a way that portrays self-care, and care for others well-being. Securing time for self-reflection will assist in developing self-awareness which is of importance for personal growth.

H – Highlighting skills and areas of strength. When checking those areas of neglect, one may become focused on the negative. Take a moment and focus on personal skills, strengths, and enjoyable activities. Make a list of the positive attributes that you possess. Emphasize and notice ways to utilize them to improve those areas of neglect.

E – Enlisting help. We may not realize those areas we are neglecting. Talking honestly with a trusted friend, spiritual advisor, life coach, counselor, or someone who is qualified to offer feedback and advice, can bring about life changing discoveries. Be open to listening and analyzing the feedback received. Enlisting help can also take the form of attending workshops (online or in person), seminars, reading relevant material, or listening to motivational podcasts. What helpful information can be useful toward those neglected areas?

C – Changing and correcting areas to become a better version of oneself. Looking at the neglected areas and looking forward to a better tomorrow, what harmful habits need addressing and correcting? What attitudes are holding you back? What mindsets need refocusing? The outlooks of today that may be changed or corrected, will make positive impacts to those areas that need attention for a better tomorrow.

K – Keeping alert. Life happens. Days may be busy. It may become easy to forget and care for what is important. Relationships, finances, spiritual well-being, mental health, good nutrition, exercise, setting goals, are some examples of what might be neglected during life’s busiest moments. Keeping alert is a daily process. This will help avoid walking around unaware facing uncomfortable and embarrassing moments.

The key to personal growth is keeping a balance in life. Working and keeping focused will do the body and mind good. It also helps to keep a proper perspective in life. Balance work with activities that will nurture and bring about positive results that will benefit oneself and those around you.

When facing and balancing life, do not forget to check front and back. And if others are giving you a confused look, quickly find a mirror and make sure you are all zipped up!

Diana Jaworski, F.O.C.U.S. Coaching Services, is a certified coach, teacher, trainer and speaker with Maxwell Leadership Certified Team. Learn more about personal growth by visiting her website at www.dianajaworski.com.

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