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Write Your Next Chapter With These 5 Elements

By Denise Sutter / Guidely

Your career is a journey, rather than a destination; you are the author of this journey and you get to write your next chapter. The trick is to really pay attention to who you are at the core. If you don’t pay attention to who you are at the core then it makes it very difficult to be truly successful, fulfilled, and evolve as an individual. This is how you write your amazing and authentic life story.

It is not often that you hear of anyone stepping into their dream career and amazing life because it was what someone else wanted for them, or what someone else expected from them. So know that this blog is meant to speak directly to you as an individual.

There were 5 key elements that helped me along my own personal journey.

  1. Self-care
  2. Clarity
  3. Vision
  4. Putting yourself in a place of most potential
  5. Receiving

To be clear, this is not a linear model but rather a framework that you are free to move around in as often as you need. However, the core is the Self-Care piece. You have to start with your personal self-care before you can start working on any other element within the framework. Of course self-care, along with all of the other four aspects are constantly evolving and you are constantly editing what that means for you.

Let’s walk through each of the 5 elements:

1 – Self-Care

Like I have mentioned, self-care is the foundation. If you can’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of others. It is also true that if you can’t take care of yourself, you can’t facilitate your own growth because you are constantly pouring yourself into other things, which leaves you with nothing left for yourself.

When you’re not sleeping enough, eating well, drinking too much alcohol, not exercising, that is when it starts getting hard to see your options, or get a clear sense of which direction to take that will most benefit you in the long run. When you’re not taking care of yourself you wind up digging a hole for yourself and it can get pretty dark down there.

You will quickly discover that once you start focusing on self-care, everything else comes together and falls into place. Your energy level will increase significantly, opening up the time and space to do other things that once felt arduous and exhausting. This is why we start with the framework of self-care as a strong foundation. Self-care is the springboard to everything else falling into place for your next chapter.

Some of the Self-Care practices can be:

  • Exercising a few days a week
  • Walking outside during or after work, or in the morning a few days a week
  • Meditation and listening to meditation podcasts
  • Figuring out a sleep routine
  • Reading books on self help
  • A clean diet, cutting out junk and processed foods
  • Tapering how much news you watch or listen to as it can drain your energy
  • Curving how much you read on social media since a lot of it can be very negative

Long term self-care is not about doing something out of obligation to anyone else but yourself. If you are practicing self-care to impress others or to compete with others, it will not be sustainable. You have to practice self-care for yourself and only for yourself. Remember, self-care is not about perfection, it’s about progress.

2 – Clarity or The Knowing

  • Getting some clarity on what your next chapter is going to look like.
  • Doing some inner reflection so you know who you are and what you’re putting your energy into
  • Knowing when you’re putting yourself into a mold to be what others expect you to be because you’re doing what you think you’re supposed to be doing versus knowing who you are and what you need and want authentically. Clarity is about knowing the difference between the two aspects
  • Not putting yourself in the moniker of a label or title such as: I’m a nurse, I’m a manager, I’m a mom, accountant etc. Clarity is about the present moment of who you are intrinsically, at the core, which is not defined by what you do for work and money, or how you are influenced by people and the environment which tends to impact how we respond, how we move forward, and who we “think” we are.
  • When we peel back all the outside influences, we get to the core of who we are

My current answer to this question of who I am at the core is this: I am a lover of the earth and the bounty that it provides, I am deeply rooted in the belief that all people have great potential, I am a creative being and I am strong in mind, body and spirit, I am kind and compassionate to myself and others.

Take a moment to ponder a couple of questions that will help you define what your present core self is. I invite you to write it down. Remember to consider these answers without your external influences.

  1. Who are you right now?
  2. What brings you joy? You, not anyone else in the family, or anyone else at work. Just YOU.
  3. What fulfills you so that when you do it, you feel amazing and there is a sense in your body that you feel completely fulfilled, knowing that this is where you need to be. Think outside of your current standing, don’t think in terms of titles, rather think in terms of what gets you energized, what gets you excited, what makes you feel innovative?

It’s really important to have some degree of clarity along with your “Who” statement in terms of direction. Otherwise you’ll be all over the map which makes it harder for you to write that next chapter.

Write your next chapter with these 5 elements - image has a blank paper on a desk, with a pen on top ready to start writing.

3 – Now For Vision

Vision is all about the future and possibilities, it’s all very positive.

The challenge is that we tend to put a lot of limits on those ideas. For example, if someone throws out an idea at work, they can be shut down with a statement like “Oh we don’t have the budget for that” or “We don’t have the time” or someone won’t like it. We hear this all the time, we are constantly putting limits on what we can and cannot do. Ultimately what that ends up doing is it blocks our view of the potential vision. We want to be careful of putting limits on visions, we want to be able to see all the possibilities.

To give you an example of visions, here is my simple version of a vision:
To live every moment as a Guide, supporting others to achieve their potential.

Vision Reflections:

No Limits – don’t put any limitations on these answers as you think about them.

  • What have you always wanted to do?
  • What do you bring to the table now? The skills, the attributes, the qualities and characteristics.
  • What is keeping you from doing what you’ve always wanted to do now?

These are some big questions that I invite you to think about and write down. Some of your answers may or may not be achievable, but maybe there is something in there in terms of possibilities that you can achieve, don’t limit yourself. For example, if you’ve always wanted to be an airline pilot, and maybe that isn’t realistic for you, but you can always look into getting into the airline industry or take flying lessons for your own personal pleasure.

There are always options, this is why you don’t want to put limits on your vision, that way you can be open to all the potential possibilities. Like I said before, you are the author of your next chapter, so don’t limit yourself.

The idea is to keep evolving the potential possibilities. Once you put limitations on your thoughts and ideas, it almost immediately stops the brain storming and the inner creative and excited dialog. You have basically shut yourself down with “No” and the idea of that vision is dead on the table. Don’t put limits on the answers to these questions.

4 – Most Potential

“Put Yourself in the Place of Most Potential”
– DeWitt Jones, National Geographic Photographer & Leadership Speaker

This idea of putting yourself in a place of most potential is not saying to get yourself someone who would put you in a place of most potential or for someone else to give you that full potential, as in a manager giving you a promotion. What he’s saying is that it’s about you being proactive and action oriented. It’s about you putting yourself out there in the place of your most potential.

So when you think in terms of your overall vision and clarity that you have for your next chapter in life, the question you need to ask yourself is how do you put yourself in your potential? What do you need to look at?

So there are a few elements that you need to look at. First and foremost is to train your technique, which is about building your skill set.

  • What skill sets do you need to focus on in order to move to your next chapter?
  • Who is your tribe? Who do you know that can help you with your skill sets, networking, or help you build a business if that’s what your goal is? If you’ve never started a business before, what skills do you need to train in order to do that?
  • What visibility opportunities do you have? These are opportunities to get your name out there, it could be a webinar, blog writing, e-Book etc. Anything you can do to give yourself some exposure which allows for more opportunities to meet the people you need around you in order to move forward.
  • What are your development opportunities? How can you grow? What can you grow into? How do you do that?

Putting yourself out there and getting connected is very difficult. Start with your immediate circle and see who can help you get to the next layer of your networking. See if there is a local association for whatever profession you are getting into and go to some of those networking gatherings. You never know who you’re going to meet. Try to make one connection and get involved in conversations. Be confident with yourself.

5 – Receive

Be fully invested in your goals, dreams, and vision. When you’re not fully invested, it’s like pushing a gold coin away that’s right in front of you.

You have the skills and knowledge to pursue what you want so why are you pushing that away? It seems that we all do this all the time. Sometimes the thought of doing something that you know you can do, but it evokes a lot of fear, so you don’t do it or you procrastinate and dance around it. That is a gold coin that you’re pushing away.

It’s right there, so the question is: What is keeping you from grabbing ahold of it? A lot of it is fear, we may not believe we can do it, or that it will be sustainable, but if you keep holding on to your personal gold coin you will find that eventually it will become enjoyable if not immediately.

In terms of finding your next chapter, what’s right in front of you may not be exactly what you’re envisioning, or maybe it’s not completely what you were expecting because something unexpectedly presented itself out of nowhere.

When this happens, ask yourself: Is this an opportunity? This is a simple yes or no question. If the answer is yes then ask yourself if this unexpected opportunity will get you closer to your vision of your next chapter? Is it an opportunity that you would enjoy doing? If you can’t come up with any reason not to do it then why not do it?

It’s all about being fully present and in the moment, looking at, and seeing what’s right in front of you. Within that awareness, all kinds of opportunities will arise for you to receive.

Your story is valuable and it’s yours to write. If you want to do something totally different than what you have been doing, then look and see what items in your previous career link to what your future aspirations are. There is always connectivity between what you were doing and what you want to do.

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