What Do You Already Know? The Power of An 'Experience Inventory'
by Robin Sacks
What do I already know?
That one question magically gets me unstuck quickly.
When we feel stuck, we tend to begin thinking about what needs to change or what we need to learn or do differently to get "unstuck." We being to think about taking a class or going back to school or trying to "start over" or change careers.
If you can relate, this one shift in thinking may save you hours, months, or even years!
Consider this - maybe you don't need to upend your life, gather new skills, or change industries to add value, change the trajectory of your career, or create a life dripping of self-worth and confidence.
Maybe you just need to take a moment to honestly look at what you already know and can do.
Even though I've been a speaker, writer, and coach for a long time, I routinely make an "experience list" for myself to see where I have new or more experiences.
As time goes on, the days, weeks, and months are chock full of new experiences for all of us...but most people don't pay any attention to this constant growing and learning. These new experiences fill your toolbox with a myriad of tools that you can use to continue building your own life, or to help others to build theirs.
That's why taking an occasional "experience inventory" can instantly put you ahead of the pack without needing to go get more tools or toolboxes!
Here's how to do it.
First, take out a piece of paper and pen, and write "What do I know?" at the top of the page.
Next, write down anything you can think of that you have done or been through in your life! (Yes - anything and everything!)
Finally, take a look at that list as if a friend wrote it. Why? If we look at it for ourselves, we are more apt to discount what's on it as 'nothing special.' However, when we look at it as if a friend wrote it, we will find things that make us say, "Yeah, you are good at that!"
I'll give you an example of what a list of mine would look like:
What Do I Know (experience I've had) - in no particular order (just mind dump it!).
- athlete (mental and physical aspects)
- public speaking
- writing a play and going through a submission process
- intentionally changing careers
- leading a team
- being part of a team
- on-camera work
- using a computer (multiple programs/apps)
- home-schooling our daughter for several years
- writing effective copy
- behind the camera work (how to frame a shot, headroom, etc.)
- producing/directing short videos and live shots
- motivating others
- being able to see different perspectives
- problem solving
- finding answers to questions I have (research)
- helping people see the other side of things when they have tunnel vision
- exercising for your specific lifestyle (time, effectiveness)
- eating mindfully
- positive self-talk
- building self-confidence
- helping people get clarity and build a plan for goals (create systems)
- making and using a habit tracker
- owning pets (dogs, cats, guinea pigs)
- keeping a calendar/staying organized
- using Zoom
- working remotely/from home
- creating a home office that is effective
- using an Android phone
- cooking with an Instant Pot
- self-publishing books
- making building my own website
- using LinkedIn for business connections and work
- pitching freelance articles to various publications
- managing meetings
You get the idea! If you just start listing everything you already know how to do, you will be amazed at HOW MUCH YOU CAN DO!
Every one of these things can be something I can share, teach, or create a short course for.
Knowing that YOU know how to do some things that someone else do NOT, but wants to learn how to, puts you in a position to be able to add value and get paid for it.
Do this exercise for yourself. Create an 'experience inventory' and see how many abilities you can tap into if you just value your own experience and knowledge instead of always believing you need to go get more.