Welcome to 2020! Every year is a turning point, but starting a whole new decade provides even more incentive to make big shifts and create new, powerful visions for yourself and your business. 

However, the science is clear: Most New Year's resolutions are forgotten within a few weeks. After a month or two, you're back to operating in the same way you have for years. So, how can you make 2020 different? 

Make being yourself your number one goal. 

That sounds pretty simple and obvious--aren't I already who I am? Well, I'm glad you asked. Because actually, in my work helping hundreds of business leaders build habits that allow them to maximize their potential, I've found that one of the biggest barriers they face is that they don't know who they truly are. And, even if they do, they aren't very skilled at being that person in their day-to-day life. This can make it really hard to lead others well and to achieve the success they really want for their business.

Here are four universal barriers that prevent people from being their true selves. And don't worry, everyone experiences them:

  1. It's hard to resist the urge to conform.
     

  2. Most of us have been raised to be (or act like) someone we aren't versus being our true selves.
     

  3. Traditionally, society has judged people for being different, which causes individuals to downplay the qualities that make them unique.
     

  4. We haven't been taught that one of the most important daily habits is building confidence. Everyone must learn how to do this--especially leaders and entrepreneurs! 


 

Because of these four barriers, most people have developed the following bad habits:

  1. You compare yourself to others constantly, and your drive in life or business comes from keeping up with others rather than from an internal desire to live life as who you really are.
     

  2. You try to live up to others' expectations--those of your parents, spouse, friends, siblings, you name it. During that process, you end up molding yourself to what they want rather than what's right for you.
     

  3. You measure your success based on external opinions, and when you receive constructive feedback, you feel like you're not good enough.
     

  4. You have no clue what it is that you do best, or you have a nagging feeling that the hard work you do is never enough. 

Sound familiar? If you're interested in making a shift, here's what I recommend to my clients. 

First, learn your Zone of Genius, or the intersection of the type of work or thinking you're best at and your purpose. It's a critical part of your identity, and it'll help you not only identify but also value who you are as a leader. The sooner you embrace it, the faster you'll experience more joy, success, and fulfillment from your work. The kind that comes from within, not from external forces.

Next, download a copy of a tool I developed called The Performance Tracker. It will allow you to develop a habit of tracking your behaviors every week, which will help you see what's working and what's not, and where you're feeling confident, fulfilled, or (on the flip side) frustrated or unproductive. 

Fill out this tracker every single week. And most importantly, use the insights you gain to start making small shifts in your work and business. 

After all, it's small shifts--not sweeping resolutions, that make the biggest changes.