In a world that is constantly changing, the one thing that should remain the same is your vision for the future – and it needs to align with your personal values.
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A clear vision has always been a cornerstone on which people build businesses. You need to be able to communicate an understandable, unambiguous concept of what you want. Otherwise, trust and effective strategy are pipedreams. But especially over the past year, we’ve all been tossed into a pit of uncertainty that makes it hard to know what direction to go in. To lead fearlessly and overcome doubt, it’s more important now than ever that your vision be not just clear, but deeply personal and empathetic, too.
Why it matters so much that you make your vision personal
Let’s not beat around the bush. Manifesting a vision is hard work. You’re going to have naysayers telling you no or to quit. There is beautiful potential in the diversity around the world, but you can’t tap into it unless you find ways to overcome the differences that unique experiences and backgrounds create. You have to figure out all kinds of logistical puzzles, think about ethics and magically make the ideal supply of resources appear on time. Oh, yeah — and you might get tired once in a while.
What’s going to motivate you through all this? It comes down to your reason, or “why,” for striving for a better future — one that has real meaning to you. When you personally understand and crave the change that your vision is going to bring, then it doesn’t matter how many or how big the obstacles that stand in your way are; you can stand before them with the courage to keep fighting. You can keep pushing for what others say is “unattainable” because your belief that you can and must, and that there is no alternative, is genuine.
Making a personal vision of your own
So, you know why it’s critical for your vision to be personal, but how do you ensure that you’re really connecting the vision to who you are?
1. Define your values to set your ground rules
Everyone has a set of values and philosophies that dictate what they do. The trouble is, people can pressure you into compromising your values and philosophies based on what they believe. This is why you have to connect to your ideals in a really strong way and be willing to stand your ground with kindness, automatically setting boundaries that keep you on a straighter path.
If you’re not sure about what your values really are, then look at your habits. Your actions will clue you in about what matters to you. Then aim to be as consistent as you can in the values you prize. If your values need work, change your habits through small steps until you’re living the way you want. To ditch the anxiety that may result from making those changes, focus on how much more powerful your future is going to become.
2. Stop focusing so hard on the trends
Business professionals are taught that they have to pay attention to trends or they will fail. They have to be agile. They have to be adaptable. They have to be flexible.
This isn’t total hogwash, but innovation is arguably the willingness to intentionally toss trends out the window. Fearless leadership requires that your motivation not die just when you need it the most. It cannot be a reed in the wind that bends at every shift or opportunity. Your “why” has to be something that can drive you regardless of what the circumstances around you might look like.
So, set aside what everyone else says. What is important to you? What is so pressing and unique to your mind and heart that it keeps you up at night? Those are the things you can cling to as your compass.
3. Pay attention to your emotions.
When you really connect to a dream you have, the feeling of joy should be so strong that it blocks out fear and erases the word “can’t.” If you talk about the vision you’re trying to build and you don’t feel real energy, then you’re probably trying to build a vision that doesn’t actually speak to you. If it doesn’t speak to you, then others will be able to tell, and they won’t easily follow where you lead.
No work situation or business will ever be 100% perfect. But dreams don’t feel “off,” even if others tell you those dreams are impossible. So, don’t try to force it based on what others tell you it “should” be. Think about and admit which activities lift you the highest. Listen to your gut and use your head to find logical ways to stay oriented toward what makes you happy.
The vision that works best is the one that matters uniquely to you
Any business leader who wants to succeed needs a vision that’s personal. It’s what allows you to stay motivated no matter what life throws at you. Defining your values, letting go of your death grip on trends and being hyper-aware of what makes you joyful all ensure that you can create a vision that will always have meaning for you. Once you have that vision, share it far and wide with the transparency, confidence and empowerment others around you are looking for.