Leveling-up is both a moment and a practice. It’s the notion that I cannot move forward any longer, that a shift is required.
For me, this is literally a physical experience: clenched jaw, stiff neck, pit in stomach, and overall feeling of frustration and being stuck. This is my indicator that I have reached the end of something.
The work of leveling up begins with identifying what I’ve reached the end of, and where I should be putting my energy instead.
The technique is not sophisticated, and anyone can do it for any reason. Professional trajectory, family change, personal challenges, financial planning, etc.
Leveling Up Exercise
Below, I’ve shared an exercise I use to evaluate where I’m stuck, and where I’m ready to grow. You can download this free Leveling Up Worksheet to use for yourself.
While it’s easy to censor, try to get out of your head and out of your way. Be honest, you are the only person who needs to see this list. In addition, be kind to yourself. We are often our own worst critics.
Begin in the left column, jotting down the things you do really well. Don’t’ get caught up on the word “really” just go – brag a bit.
Next, brainstorm the things that you can do, but that others can do better. These might be things you do just because you’ve always done them but you don’t necessarily specialize in the skill or task and they often fall to the bottom of your to-dos.
Finally, in the right column, write down the things that you have absolutely no business of doing. These things take a ton of your time, the result is usually not worth the effort and cause great frustration.
Don’t worry about “how” you will level-up. Don’t even worry about where you’ll find time to level up (that will come next week). Today, just lay the groundwork.
Reflecting on the Results
I like this exercise because it reveals how much I have on my plate. More than I acknowledge, most times.
Of those things on my plate, only some of them I do “really well.” It’s not a coincidence that those things also feel really good when I do them.
We have a finite time on Earth, and if we try to do everything, we won’t accomplish much. As such, we should spend our energy, talent, and time in ways that feel good – what a privilege.
Once you’ve identified your strengths – areas to level up and grow in – as well as what others can do better and what you have no business doing, you can begin the work of transitioning.
We’ll be back next week with an exercise to help you get the things off your plate that don’t belong there, and to make enough room for your whole pie.