People are Funny_IconWhether about a key result or our own self-awareness or effectiveness, having a breakthrough is energizing. In my work, we are always seeking a breakthrough, big or small, one or more. The breakthroughs are in self-awareness and effective action. A breakthrough is defined as “an act of overcoming an obstacle or restriction. Over the last weeks, I’ve been reflecting on the many breakthroughs of my own and my clients. Excited about the recent ones. And interested in whether and how to sustain those in progress or long ago achieved.

The Many Different Breakthroughs in Progress

Breakthroughs come in many shapes and sizes. We might breakthrough to a new way of thinking. We might reshaped our emotional triggers and reactions. We may put some new practices into place. Here are the top five that come to mind:

  1. I have real personal and positional power I haven’t been owning or using.
  2. I create the resistance I experience with key stakeholders.
  3. I am not right in my opinions, rather my opinions may be shared by others or not.
  4. Hey, what are they going to do, fire me?
  5. I have time now that I’m not blending into other’s work accountability.

Tactics for Sustaining Breakthroughs

Once broken through, new ways of thinking and behaving have to be woven into our ways of operating.  Three tactics to support sustaining a personal breakthrough could be:

  1. Developing a “mantra” that we say in anticipation, during or as we take another pass at a situation. For example, starting your day or a walking to a meeting repeating “I will get out of my own way and be intentional…”
  2. Using a framework or tool, something simple. For example, the 5 Questions tool that I’ve shared with you could be used in hard copy or as a set of questions. Download the 5 Questions here.
  3. Digging in deeper, developing even finer distinctions in our breakthrough area. With  new awareness, we can observe ourselves even more keenly and explore the underlying source—with support or on our own.

What breakthrough are you most excited about? How are you sustaining the process of integrating into your operating style? What breakthrough has fallen away from your consciousness? Or, may there is a breakthrough you want to pursue.