I attended my first YPC (Young Professionals Connection) Professional Development meeting on a Tuesday night in August of 2008. I didn’t know anyone, was nervous, and wasn’t sure if I would fit in. I had never been a huge fan of “networking.” This insecurity led me to enter the restaurant, walk right by the meeting I was there to attend, and walk out. But that made me uncomfortable as well.
I stopped once I got in the parking lot and thought about what I was doing. I remember saying something to the effect of “Jason, stop being a @$#%&!!! and get back in there. I knew this isn’t what I wanted to do. I knew my fear was irrational. I knew that if I allowed it to dictate my actions I would never reach my goals and have the life I wanted to have.
So, I walked back in. I cautiously and playfully approached the group and introduced myself. As you might have expected, everyone was great and welcomed me to the meeting. I enjoyed the meeting so much that not only did I continue to attend, but four months later I submitted my application to join the board as the next professional development chair and fulfilled that role in 2009 and 2010.
Insecurity sucks and keeps us from doing the things we really want to do and living the lives we want to live. Professional adversity in my early 20’s forced me to take a step back and reevaluate how I was approaching the world. I put myself on a mission to better understand success and the characteristics of success. I’m still on that mission today and have spent the past 14 years studying personal, professional, and leadership development.
When I started my journey it became clear that one of the most critical characteristics a person needs to be successful is confidence. Growing up wanting to teach elementary school, this new education I was giving myself reconnected me to my passion of helping people and I knew I wanted to spend my life teaching, training, coaching, counselling, and speaking. I wanted to help people overcome insecurities and live with confidence.
In a nutshell, this is what my new book FOCUSED – Your Future Starts Now! is all about. It’s about helping people be confident by focusing on the right things for the right reasons. One of the most valuable things I have ever learned is the concept of values based decision making. This means we understand our values and what is really important to us and we allow them be at the center of everything we do. When we live our lives in alignment with our values, everything we do will be meaningful, and we will experience greater engagement, motivation, and resiliency.
In the first few chapters of the book I talk about things like self-respect, self-worth, and self-confidence. Some of you were fortunate to grow up with people around you that talked about this stuff; however many of us didn’t and there are positive and negative consequences to both. Confident people see the world differently than people who lack confidence. They tend to have greater focus as they aren’t burdened with the anxieties, worries, and self-defeating thoughts that comes with insecurity.
In an effort to help people focus on the right things for the right reasons I take readers through exercises that will help them define their values and better understand how they can impact key areas of their life. In the book I say sometimes life can feel like a messy desk with some papers scattered all over and others in random piles. Sure, you might have an idea of which pile your important “stuff” is in, but your lack of organization makes it hard to find and leads to mistakes and stress. To overcome this I provide readers with a simple life organization model that will help them know what they need to keep, what they can file away for later, and what needs to be tossed in the trash.
Finally, FOCUSED guides readers to dream, define their vision, and understand what that they need to do and who they need to be to confidently achieve whatever it is that success means to them. This is where the rubber meets the road. There are too many good, smart, and talented people who have dreams and goals, but either aren’t sure how to achieve them or don’t have the confidence to do so. I truly believe FOCUSED can help you be more confident and live a higher quality of life.
Are you FOCUSED?
Your Future Starts Now!
More about Jason
Jason has been studying personal, professional, and leadership development for over 14 years and is passionate about helping people confidently pursue and achieve meaningful results. Today he travels throughout the United States working with leaders in the areas of strategic planning, Success Skills Mastery, and high-performing teams. Learn more at JasonKiesau.com.