*This blog is part of the May 2023 Thought Leader newsletter
The post-tax-season tax glow is shining bright. You have renewed energy to work on your firm. You’re rolling up your sleeves and digging into improving the areas that aren’t going so well.
But first, have you celebrated the successes?
If not, stop now! Celebrate and document the wins to make sure they carry over to future tax seasons. Congratulate and thank your staff for all of their hard work and accomplishments and gather feedback from them. What do they feel went really well? What could be better?
Now, let’s get back to the sleeve-rolling and to where the bulk of your post-tax-season energy should be focused.
First, take a look at your list of improvements and to-dos. If you’re like many of us, there are plenty of items that exist far outside your comfort zone—and guess what gets pushed to the bottom? Yes, the uncomfortable tasks. After all, it’s much easier to check those boxes when we don’t have to challenge ourselves to think differently or tackle difficult changes.
But consider this: When we continuously push those items to the bottom of the list, they continue to loom over our heads, thereby becoming sources of stress and overwhelm because they never get that check mark.
Recently, we were given the opportunity to hear Dr. Margie Warrell speak about tackling fears. Her words, “Growth and comfort cannot ride the same horse,” stuck with us as she repeatedly emphasized stepping out of our comfort zones to unlearn, relearn, grow and improve.
Dr. Warrell’s words got us thinking. What if we looked at the list of uncomfortable to-dos as opportunities to evolve professionally and personally instead of discomfort roadblocks?
We know that the hardest part of checking off those to-dos is knowing where to start. That’s why we’ve put together a list of suggested steps—and questions to ask yourself as you move through each step.
Identify one uncomfortable task and move it to the top of your priority list.
Try to understand the fear behind it. Then, to shift your perspective to growth and relearning rather than fear and discomfort, consider these guiding questions (keep in mind; not all will be relevant, and you may not have all the answers):
Be sure to document your new approach, and ask yourself:
Unlearning, reframing and shifting your perspective isn’t easy—but then, riding the same horse and staying in the same zone is too easy. But when you start small by focusing your attention on attacking one uncomfortable item, that means you’re already making progress.
Keep those sleeves rolled up and keep tackling that list, one task at a time. The personal and professional growth you accomplish will only bring positive outcomes in the future.
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