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Why you can achieve more than you think


Where could you go in your career?


Think about the person you were five years ago. What have you done and how have you changed since then? Think about the work that you have done, and the new skills have you learned. Do you think that your personality has changed, or your ability to handle certain situations? What about things outside of work – relationship changes, running a marathon, or living abroad? Are there any hurdles that you have had to overcome? And what about those smaller changes: perhaps you now dress in a different way, or have a different hairstyle? Note down everything that occurs to you.


You may be surprised at how much has happened, and how much has changed for you. Generally, if we’re asked to think about what we might achieve over the next five years, most of us struggle. We assume that things are likely to stay much the same for us, with a fairly linear path from where we are at the moment – perhaps a promotion or two. We have generally achieved far more looking backwards than we believe ourselves to be capable of looking forwards. In other words, our future selves are underachievers, and our past selves are overachievers.


Reflecting on our past helps us to be much more ambitious about our future: imagine what you could have achieved over the last five years if you had a stretching goal in place. And so with that in mind…. what goals are you going to set yourself for the next five years?

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