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Hands On: Stop, Start, Continue Worksheet

One of my brothers works for a large US company and he explained a few months back about how he had to do a Stop, Start, Continue exercise with his colleagues, where they each identify habits that they need to stop, start, and continue as part of their career and job role development plus within each team. They then give one another feedback in the same areas, which I guess is a useful and no doubt slightly scary way on getting a view on how others see their interaction with you. You might think, for example, that you're really patient and then next thing, a few people all mention that you need to stop being impatient. It's actually a good lesson on giving and receiving feedback and not viewing it as harsh criticism, but things that people potentially think may help you to do your job better.

Anyway, we're obviously not going to go to that level here, not least because you don't know one another (!!), but I do see Stop, Start, Continue as a way of having a quick, honest conversation with yourself that lets you step back for a moment and look at you from a somewhat more honest perspective...if you're willing to look.

 Stop, Start, Continue is a positive means of giving yourself constructive feedback on how to achieve personal growth. It's you that has to be behind you and it's you that you have to take your cues from. Listening to yourself - acknowledgement, reality, and being compassionate towards you instead of being critical - is vital in your journey to better self-esteem.

What many people do is focus on the STOP part of their lives and then blame themselves and get trapped in inaction. They say "How awful that I'm doing such and such", or "I'm not good enough..." to START improving their situation , or decide that the STOP is insurmountable.

When you're being honest and compassionate with yourself, you'll have something to put in all three areas.

Someone said to me a long time ago that when you criticise someone, you should also give some positive encouragement. I've also heard that it should be one part negative, two parts positive, something my own parents missed the memo on... In turn, before I took responsibility for myself, I took up the baton of criticising myself but ignoring where I recognised I could make changes or where I was actually doing something good for myself.

This is about looking at habits - ways of thinking, things that you do, how you physically treat yourself, stuff that you know that keeps you in an uncomfortable comfort zone, and basically anything that you have a tendency to do. But you're just looking at a few things so that you can give yourself a starting point.

I would highly recommend that for all subsequent modules, you do a Stop, Start, Continue sheet for each area - review your progress every 2-4 weeks depending on what you're doing and do an overall review every 3 months like an appraisal.

Guidance On Identifying Habits

Stop - Not working for you, have already done a few or many times and generated the same or similar result, you know its unhealthy and destructive, or it's short-term with little or no medium to long-term benefit.

Start - The things that you know would make a difference to your life and how you feel about you, plus which action(s) you need to take next.

Continue - Positive encouragement and acknowledgement of that 'something' you are already doing, something that's making you feel good, something that's positively beneficial in the medium to long-term, even if in the short-term it's uncomfortable (investing in yourself for the future).

The worksheet is available as an editable PDF and it focuses you on identifying some next steps for what you need to stop, start, and continue to help you in your journey in building your self-esteem.

Stop, Start, Continue - Editable PDF worksheet

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