Catchy phrases and cool slangs have always been attractive to people trying to ensure that they are “in the know” and/or keeping up the times. And so, in professional circles you might have heard your colleagues drop phrases such as “Lean In” (made popular by Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook titled book), “circle back”, “weigh in” and/or refer to “serial tasking” (Instead of multitasking) and so on and so forth.
“Level Up” or “levelling up” is the one of the newest and trendy phrases now being used in various circles across the globe to describe an attitude or mindset towards upgrading oneself or performance and/or the desire to go to another level in one’s personal or professional development or career journey. The Urban Dictionary describes level up as “To make a move in your life or career for the better”. Based on that definition, who among us could not think of an area(s) in our lives that we want or need to level up or improve ?
Why Level Up?
According to Business Wire, there is a $9.9 billion market for motivational self-improvement programs and products that seek to improve us physically, mentally, financially or spiritually. A quick at YouTube quick look at Amazon’s platform or YouTube respectively, will reveal a plethora of self-improvement books, podcasts on everything from how to improve finances, learn a new skill, motivational content on personal development and how to videos geared at people who want to try something new. So, regardless of where you fall on Maslow’s Hierachy of Needs , the concept of “levelling up” appeals to individuals who are looking to their improve skills or performance, advance in their career or wanting to step outside of their comfort zone. It also provides motivation for those of us seeking to pursue bold new goals whether its buying a new home, starting that degree, taking a relationship to the next level or taking steps to improve nutrition and fitness for improved health and well-being. Additionally, the organizational environments in which we operate and the tools and technologies we use are always changing. Failure to adapt and our agility in responding to such change can affect our success and progress in the varied roles we perform.
What Does Levelling Up Look Like?
This truly will depend on your end game and what you are trying to achieve at this stage of your personal life or career. One of the things that I learned very early in my leader development is that, development is dynamic. Our strengths can become weaknesses and gaps in skills that we have (that were not critical at one time) can suddenly become urgent. Simply put, the skills and talents that got us to one level, may not take you to your next or ‘What Got You Here Won’t Take You There’ . Plus, we all have blind spots, those things that people know about us that we don’t know about ourselves. For example, the way we make decisions, how we ‘show up” when working with others or perform everyday tasks, that can potentially undermine or derail our very best efforts.
For me, I have identified a couple areas in my interpersonal and technical skills where I am seeking to grow and level up. For you, the area(s) for improvement will be different. What matters most is that you take the time to process feedback you might have received, and or spend some time reflecting on where you are vs. what you want to achieve. Once you’ve identified your opportunities to growth, challenge yourself not to focus on the barriers but instead, commit to taking little steps as you work towards change.
So, ask yourself- what is one area (s) in my personal /professional life that I would like to or need to grow/improve? Whatever you answer might be- that is the place to start becoming the person you truly want to be.
Until next time, Remember, It’s A Learning Life!