In my coaching practice, I work with clients who are most often looking to change. It may be a job, a career path, or a different way of approaching something. Whatever the reason, we work toward establishing a viable plan. Once in place, I always ask the most important question – what will you take with you and what are you going to leave behind?

Most often the client is surprised. Why? Because they don’t realize they have a choice.

Up to this point in the coaching process, many attitudes, habits and behaviors that may not have worked well for them have been revealed. It is up to the client to consider what is best to leave behind. Of course I ask them to also consider what they will take with them, but I find the most powerful part of this exercise is the realization that the way they have done things can and often should change as they move forward.

Call it a fresh start.

Here’s what to consider when packing your suitcase for your new path:

  1. Be honest with yourself about those habits that have built up over the years – are they nasty and holding you back? Or have they provided results and are likely to be critical in your next position?
  2. Has your focus narrowed over time creating an insular perspective? If so, would it be helpful to open your view and become curious again?
  3. Has your attitude become stale, cynical or destructive? How might you shed the negativity and hold the glass half full?
  4. Think back to when you felt at the top of your game. What skills and behaviors did you demonstrate that could be useful again?
  5. Align yourself with what will be required ahead. This could be certain skills, approaches, behaviors, attitudes etc. and start practicing them right now. These new habits will pay off in spades moving forward.

The most important thing to understand is that what has worked in the past may not work in your future. We seek change because we want to give some things up. Choose wisely and take with you only what will support your future success.

What are you taking with You?