How to Anchor In Your Career Goals

In September 2018, our family evacuated for Hurricane Florence. We are so grateful to be home safe and sound, and dealing with just minimal damage. So many lost everything.

I finally had a chance to capture a few reflections on the experience, and some of the positive anchors I put in place to help keep my mindset positive during this difficult time. I am sharing them here with you, because I believe they will help you get to the next level in your business analyst career.

 

For those who like to read instead of watch, here’s the full text of the video:

My name is Laura Brandenburg from Bridging the Gap, and we help mid-career professionals start business analyst careers. I have a personal story to share with you today that really has a lesson in it that’s relevant for how you approach your business analyst career, and your goals, in particular.

Back in September 2018, our family was significantly impacted by Hurricane Florence. We evacuated for nine days, and there were points in time, especially before we left, that it looked like a Category 4 hurricane.

It was going to have a direct hit on the area in which we live. Our house, our home. We just bought this last year, and we love it here. We love being on the ocean.

There are two things I did that seemed a little quirky from the outside but were very inspiring to people in my community. I want to share them with you and have you think about how you could apply them for your own goal.

Of course, we wanted to come back to our home, to our community, to everything being fine, but we knew we had to leave. When the hurricane comes, it’s coming, and it’s slow, and it’s painful.

The first thing I did, before we knew whether it was going to hit or not hit and where it was going to be, the weekend before – before there was a big run to the stores. I went to the stores to stock up on canned goods in case we were going to be here and be out of power for a while or potentially be out of power for a while, and water. Just get all of those essential supplies.

This was Sunday. I walked past the flowers, and I bought the flowers. It was a ridiculous thing because we ended up evacuating on Tuesday, and things were looking like we might evacuate or we might not. There was every reason not to spend five or ten dollars on flowers. “We might not even be here to enjoy them.” I bought the flowers. It lightened up our house. When they covered up our windows the next day, the flowers were a bright spot in our house, and it raises your vibration.

What is the beautiful thing you can bring into your life that sets the tone? Is it a vibrant top? This is one of my more vibrant tops. It’s perfect to be wearing today. Is it a piece of jewelry? Is it the flowers? Is it a stone? Is it painting your walls a color? A touchstone? Something that adds more beauty and joy to your life that just lifts you up. The way that that brought more color and joy to our lives just added this flavor. “This is a hard time, but we can celebrate the good, as well.” That’s the first touchstone I have for you.

The second one is as we left, I was packing up the wine cooler because we were still evacuating where we might lose power. We’ve got to have supplies, so I was packing up things like that. I consciously left a bottle of champagne in the wine cooler. “This is what we’re going to drink when we come home and get to celebrate returning to our house.” I posted about this on Facebook.

I posted it with two things. First, I posted a picture of our house and the champagne in the wine cooler and that I had anchored that in, and we left it. It’s an anchor to me. It’s something to visualize besides the pictures of the hurricane coming. “I’ve got that bottle of champagne in the wine cooler, and we’re going home to that.”

It also become this touchstone for everyone in my online community to believe in us because I had people asking me, “Laura, when do you get to go back and drink that bottle of champagne?” and my mom telling me, “Laura, these people are so excited, and they’re so into that bottle of champagne.” It became a touchstone for me. It also became a touchstone for a lot of people, but beyond me, and helping see me coming back to our home.

When we talk about career goals – because it’s the same process whether you’re trying to manifest coming home to your house or to achieving a goal in your personal or your business life. If you have a job title you want to have, start talking about yourself as, “Hey, I’m a business analyst, and this is what I do.” If you have a responsibility you want to hold, “Hey, I do this.” It’s about anchoring in where you want to be instead of where you are because where I was at that time was, “My house is going to fall down to the ground. I better take that champagne with me.”

That was the negative thought that spun through my head. The positive reframe, the choice I made was, “I’m going to leave it here because I’m coming back for it.” How can you take that flip? That flip of your current reality, that current negative thought, the, “Nobody’s going to hire me as a business analyst because…” and go, “No. They’re going to hire me as a business analyst.” Where could you anchor that in? Where could you put that touchstone in place so that you’re seeing it again and again and again. Then, how could you share it with other people so they start to see it for you and they start to believe in you?

There were times I needed people believing in me more than I believed in myself. I needed people seeing that space for me, so having that touchstone out there and having people see it for me and communicate with me and ask about it helped bring me back to that positive space I had cultivated in that random couple of moments as we were rushing out the door.

Those are our anchors. Those are how our touchstones can pull us forward and help us achieve the goal. I hope you take something. This is a little bit of Laura’s “woo woo” side, but take something from this. Something big that’s in your life, something that you really want, something that feels not-here-yet. How can you anchor it in? How can you feel like you’re already there?

What piece can you celebrate now? What anchor can you put? What bottle of champagne can go in your fridge with the tag on it, “For the day I get that XYZ job, or that XYZ responsibility, or host this new and improved stakeholder meeting, or speak up in a meeting in a way I didn’t think I could.”

Celebrating those when they happen and preparing to celebrate them in advance so that you’re telling yourself: they’re important to you. You’re sending a sign for others, too, that they’re important to you. That’s what creates new opportunities.

Again, I hope you have a takeaway. I’d love to hear how this lands with you. Go ahead and leave me a comment below of how you’re manifesting your goal.

My name is Laura Brandenburg from Bridging the Gap, and we mid-career professionals start business analyst careers.

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Comments

  1. Jennifer Inman says:

    It’s funny that you mentioned bring flowers home, in spite of all your worries. I’ve been looking around my home for 6 months now, realizing it’s not me anymore. I need to change it up. Then today, I was listening to a talk by the author of “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers” – https://youtu.be/D9H9qTdserM – and another talk on TedX “Fake it till you make it” – https://youtu.be/RVmMeMcGc0Y. For some reason, they gelled in my head this evening to tell me I need plants in my apartment again. I used to have greens everywhere! Inside, outside, greens, flowers. Right now, I have 2 inside, and none outside. I think I need life in my “living” space.
    Thanks for telling me that I’m not totally off track with figuring out what to call this phenomenon – a touchstone/anchor!
    Hugs to you and your family, I’m glad everything turned out okay.
    -Jennifer

    • What a great take-away Jennifer! It is amazing how small changes in our environment can improve our outlook. I also love decluttering and straightening up. We also just got new curtains in our bedrooms, replacing the generic white ones here when we moved in – added so much life to our bedrooms!

  2. Sarah Flanagin says:

    Great advice! Appreciate you being so authentic and sharing from your heart!

  3. I have been a business analyst for almost 10 years in a very unstructured environment, having to teach myself and learn as i go. Not knowing BA formal knowledge. Fortunately, things worked because of domain knowledge and sheer willingness to help those i was working with (employees of the bank) to benefit them in terms of process, procedure, system usage. This lack of education does not help with confidence. I became PMI PBA certified but that does not give you hands on practical experience. I recently was hired as a BA for a FIN Tech company because they need the business side experience and i am being stretched (which is good) to learn this side of it.. I signed up for BA Essentials course in good faith (this is my champagne). I am determined to learn as much as i can to become a well rounded, knowledgeable BA (that’s when i will pull out the champagne). I realize the value of common sense i have relied on but my goal is to understand the tools and techniques to expand my abilities. It’s kind of like taking lessons to play an instrument after you have been playing for years. It will open up a whole new world for me.

    • What a beautiful insight Linda! You are definitely on the right track and the BA Essentials Master Class can be your guiding light to pull more structure into your business analysis process, which will help you build the confidence that you can do this work in ANY domain or ANY company. So glad you found us – our mission is to help business analysts build real, practical skills that help them succeed in their work.

      My only advice is to get a few of those little champagne bottles for interim celebrations and not way until you’ve met that bigger goal. Pull out some milestones for yourself to celebrate along the way.

  4. Thank you Laura, loved reading your story. I’m glad al is well for you. Great to have such a positive message.

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