- Every business leader needs a personal mission statement, says Melody Wilding, executive career coach.
- A mission statement is your personal definition of success that embodies your values and goals.
- If you’re struggling with impostor syndrome or doubting yourself, remembering your personal mission statement can help.
- Visit Insider’s Business section for more stories.
Companies have created mission statements for years to explain why they exist and why they do what they do.
Google’s mission statement, for example, is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” For Zappos, it’s about “providing the best customer service possible”.
These manifestos affirm the core beliefs and values of an organization and reinforce the long-term vision of the company.
A personal mission statement is a lot like a corporate mission statement: it describes your beliefs, what you stand for, and how you plan to create a life that embodies your values. In other words, it becomes your personal definition of success – a separate definition of the approval of others.
Your personal mission statement is a short statement, usually a sentence or two, that indicates the direction in which you intend to move. It’s like a compass that helps you stay on track, in the direction you want to go.
When you experience impostor syndrome, self-doubt, or resistance to change, you can turn to your personal mission statement, like a polar star, to reconnect with your deeper purpose and motivations.
How to write your personal mission statement
This exercise will guide you to reconnect with your goal. Your task is to create a personal mission statement that describes your “why”.
1. Brainstorm your “why”, thinking of the following:
- What inspires you and gets you out of bed in the morning?
- What are your innate strengths?
- How will you measure success in your life?
- What do you advocate? What are you against?
- What setbacks have you been through and what have you learned from them?
- What values, positive character traits or skills do you want to develop further?
- What phrases guide your daily actions?
- What important relationships do you want to cultivate in your life?
- How do you want to feel every day?
2. Keep your personal mission statement clear and short – no more than three sentences.
3. Use positive language. Instead of saying what you don’t want to do anymore, focus on the type of person you want to be.
4. Use the sample mission statement phrases below to get you started, and then write your mission statement. Feel free to combine the sentences to create a manifesto that is unique and personally meaningful to you.
Examples of personal mission statements
“TO… [what you want to achieve, do or become] … so that … [reasons why it is important]. I’ll do it from here … [specific behaviors or actions you will use to get there]”
“Living every day with … [choose 1-3 values or principles] … so that … [what living by these values will give you]. i will do it by [specific behaviors you will use to live by these values]”
“To appreciate and appreciate … [things you want to appreciate and enjoy more] … through … [what you can to appreciate and enjoy these things on a daily basis]”
Defining your “why” and becoming clear on the larger goal that fuels you will be the anchor that will help you overcome future changes and setbacks.
When the going gets tough and your momentum wanes, remembering your personal mission statement will help you believe in yourself, stick to the plan, and get through hollows and valleys so you can progress to the other side. .