Are you feeling a bit confused by strategic thinking? You know it’s essential for your career and your business, but how do you actually do it?
Most people will know why they should be using strategic thinking, but knowing why you need to do it and how to actually pull it off are two completely different things, so let’s look at how you can get started thinking strategically.
5 Questions You Can Ask Yourself To Clarify Your Strategic Thinking
Here are five questions you should ask yourself to really sharpen your strategic thinking.
Yes, there are probably way more than this, but by keeping it to five questions, this shouldn’t look too overwhelming.
What Do You Want?
The most important thing to work out is where you want to be. Everything—goals, strategies, steps, should all be pointing to your desired destination.
Do you want to be CEO, or be running your own company?
Get it all down on paper and think big! And don’t limit yourself at all; let your imagination run riot. Some ideas may seem silly, but it is really liberating to get it all down.
Once you have everything down you can start planning what you need to do to achieve it, but without an end in sight, you will probably never even get started.
Where Are You Starting From?
Do a survey of exactly where you are right now.
What skills, resources, and assets do you have? What are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and risks in your current job or business?
What connections do you have? Map out your network and what value you provide to them, and what they offer you. Write up your self-inventory.
What Do You Have The Power To Change?
Think about what is in your control at the present moment.
This can include anything from training, networking opportunities, to investment advice or strategic career planning.
What Do You Need To Move Ahead?
Take another look at your self-inventory.
If this is difficult or overwhelming, consider finding a mentor or life coach who can help you find your way.
It can be scary to even considering mentoring, but it could be the right move for you if you keep getting stuck on your own.
Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make, so at least consider it if you are struggling.
How Can I Reach My Goals And Still Enjoy Life?
Really going for success shouldn’t make for a joyless life, totally focused on getting ahead.
Make sure you take time to have fun and do the things that give you pleasure.
Write down all the fun things you will do, whether it’s staying in 5-star hotels or being able to work for only half the year. Imagine driving your dream car. See yourself in your future executive suite.
See what elements of your future life you can start to incorporate in the present and build on those. Before you know it, you will be toasting your success!
Now, one of the biggest issues that stops you from planning and building for the future is by staying in the past.
Remember: the past doesn’t equal the future!
If you keep looking back, you will never move forward, so let’s look at how you can let go of the past and build a fantastic future!
How To Let Go Of The Past
You have probably read a lot about why you should let go of the past. However, it’s more important to know how to do it.
They get stuck on actually taking steps to make it happen. So, let’s look at 7 things you can do to finally rid yourself of the past and to use it as a tool to help you mould a better future.
Give Yourself Permission To Let Go Of The Past
That is an important step. Your brain can latch onto something and is waiting for you to release the responsibility.
That release comes in the form of telling yourself to let go. If you can master this, you truly can be free of the grip that your past has on your life.
Is it easy? For many people it can be incredibly difficult, but if you can do it, the results are truly liberating.
Learn From Your Past Experiences
There are learning nuggets contained within your past.
Anything you have done or tried before is up for grabs in the University of your past and there are so many lessons that you can use to grow into the future if you will let them.
The way to use them is to determine why they happened and how to avoid them in the future. All experiences are opportunities for growth and they don’t ll have to be labelled as “failures” either.
Consider Learning Meditation
When you are relaxed, you will have an easier time of purging your past. One of the best forms of relaxation is meditation.
Don’t expect fast solutions with this. The key is to keep doing it until you feel the effects.
If you are a person of faith, you can try prayer too; the results will similarly give you a peace of mind and you can relax because you have shared your issues with God.
Don’t Hide From Your Past
People try to pretend certain aspects of their past did not happen, especially the more embarrassing moments.
However, this may cause them to come back to you with a vengeance since they are bottling up within you.
Hiding from the past solves nothing and can cause bitterness to develop if you keep looking back at what you don’t have; instead look at what you have now and you will see that you have grown so much already.
Keep A Journal Of Your Experiences
Be as detailed as possible so you can refer to the journal when faced with similar circumstances in the future.
Don’t treat your journal as a bible, however. Just use the journal as a guideline.
Journaling can be a really great way to bring clarity and focus into your life and helps you to put things into perspective when you look back on them.
And if your life is worth living, it is worth recording, right?
And you can show these to your kids so they can learn from the journey that you have gone through during your life.
Don’t Expect All Changes To Occur Immediately
Your past habits may be difficult to break. Therefore, don’t try to change everything in one shot.
Give it time. It took a long time to develop those bad habits.
It’s okay to acknowledge that you made some mistakes but don’t get overly critical of them.
Concentrate On The Good Aspects Of Your Past
Sometimes, you may focus on your mistakes and mask the fact that you had some wonderful experiences in the past as well.
These are equally important. So, don’t forget to look over the good times too.
It appears that human nature is hardwired to dwell on the negative, but take the time to look at the positive things in your life and you can feel better instantly.
Just try it and I’m sure you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can make yourself feel better by focusing on the positive 🙂
OK, I hope this article will give you some pointers on using strategic thinking to move ahead in your life and also to help you to let go of the past if this keeps holding you back.