Get Your Motor Running…with your CARs

Let’s switch gears this week and talk about a key that will get your motor running and wheels turning in the right direction, steering you smoothly toward success – the CARs in your garage.

Now while the Jeeps, Toyotas, Fords, Acuras and Chevys are useful, the CARs I’m talking about are powerful tools for building self-confidence (although a shiny little Porsche would help me feel pretty darn good). I mean long-term confidence, that unwavering “knowing”, that helps you face anything and keep moving toward what you want in life. And the garage? That’s that mental space where you store all those supportive thoughts about yourself.

CARs is an acronym, a tool used to help people write effective resumes, put focus on their accomplishments, which in turn helps them get interviews, and ultimately great jobs.
C is for Challenge, A for Actions, R for Results and s is for stories.

What I’ve realized over time is that this tool is beneficial for ALL of us, at ANY time and we need to stock our garage with lots of CARs.
Here’s how it works:

Ready? Start your engines: Engage memory, poise your pen and smooth out your paper:

1. Think about a Challenge you walked into – you took over a low-performing team at work; an unhappy customer demanded their shipment TODAY; a bill needed payment RIGHT NOW or else.
2. Next, list the Actions you took – met one-on-one with each team member to determine their morale and insights; calmed the customer by talking about solutions; contacted the company with a plan for payment.
3. Then, write out the Results – the team came together and won recognition; the customer got their shipment the next day and returned with more business; the payment plan was accepted.

What you have now is a story about an achievement. This story helps you remember that YES, you walked into an adverse situation, AND you did some things to make it better, and THEN there was a positive outcome. The story reveals the skills and talents you used – communication, negotiation, conflict resolution and others – and how you walked away with a win.

4. Now write another story, and another and another, until you have a collection of accomplishments from the course of your career or present job or life in general.
5. Review these stories regularly. They give you…SELF CONFIDENCE. You did that thing then – You can surely do something else as amazing in the future.

Having trouble remembering the challenges? That’s okay. Life moves fast and we don’t even remember this morning’s breakfast. Write your CAR story from the other side – think about the Result first. What did you win, achieve, receive an award for, or feel very proud of yourself for? Then work yourself back into the Actions you took, and then the Challenge. Slightly different approach, same powerful effect.

Did I mention the importance of writing these down? Preferably with pen and paper, though a Word doc will do. The bonus to this exercise is that now you have information for your own resume, bio, sales presentation, networking meetings, and especially for those days when you need a little reminder, a “pick-me-up”, about how skillful, talented, and accomplished you are. Might I add, amazing? Yes, you are all those things.

Oh, and these don’t have to be big, monumental, impressive challenges. What matters is that YOU felt like you’d really achieved something after it was complete.

So, get those CARs in your garage tuned up and ready to hit that road toward success!

Choose to have a great week!

P.S. Maybe a song will help you get started on your CARs exercise! Remember Born to be Wild (with the “Get Your Motor Running” phrase) by Steppenwolf? Here’s a link to the video. Enjoy!

P.P.S. I’d love to know about your CARs – email, call me or comment below!

One Comment

  1. Robert Speakman says:

    Thank you for another incredible blog!

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