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Break is the important part of breaking through

Margaret Beaton

Break is the important part of breaking through when you make any significant life-career change. You need to leave aspects of your past behind to move on, out or up. And when you make the break you will find new energy and creativity emerge, enabling you to think and act differently. Here’s why and how to make your break.

Breaking up is hard to do

The words ‘breaking up is hard to do’ in one of Neil Sedaka’s great songs echo the many colloquial uses of ‘break’.

These phrases refer to the necessity of letting go of something, including the past, to be able progress into the future.

Break with tradition. Break the mould. Break out of a situation. Break into new space. Break away from your peer group. Break through in your thinking. Break with old habits. Break out of your comfort zone. Break your mindset.

Break in all these uses is a necessary condition of letting go. Cognitively it’s easy to understand recognise the logic of making a break. Whether a break is self-made or externally imposed, it forces you to focus and to use the resources you have. You tap your knowledge, skills, networks and determination in creative ways in making your life-career break.

How to make your break

The work of Robert Dilts provides a practical approach to how and where to make your break. In Skills for the Future: Managing Creativity and Innovation Robert Dilts and Gino Bonissone explain the ‘logical levels’ at which change can be made.

Your currelogical_levels_400nt environment is at the base of the pyramid. Your environment sets the scene for where and when and with whom you want to break.

Behaviour refers to what you need to do to make the break.

Competences refer to the new knowledge and skills you’ll need to acquire in the course of making your break.

Values address the depth of your intention and confidence about making the break.

Identity asks you to visualise yourself after you have made the break.

Purpose is the new meaning in your life the break will give you.

Your next step

To take you forward – either up in a job promotion or out into a new organisation or role – you need to break at one or more of these levels.

Breaking is a release and turning point, enabling something new and different to emerge.

Remember ‘break’ is the important part of breaking through.

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This post was written by Dr Margaret Beaton, a director of Beaton Executive Coaching and Beaton Research +
Consulting
. You can also find Margaret on LinkedIn.