My friend, Dan, is the kind of guy you can’t help but root for. He’s a humble, salt of the earth-type who works and serves harder than most. Over the years, he’s become a master in his work and has carved out a comfortable niche at his company, where he’s well-respected and appreciated.
When the executive position over his division opened up, he was intrigued by the possibilities of what he could do in the role. But as quickly as he was dreaming about it, he began talking himself out of the idea. Sure, it was giant steps ahead of where he was, but he already had a job he liked. And at this point, he could do it easily.
The new position would be like starting over. He’d be out of his depth in many areas, regardless of what he’d have to offer in others. It would require a new skill set, one that wouldn’t be easily gained. He tried to push it from his mind, but couldn’t escape two thoughts.
1 – He’d be living some version of the same day for as long as he stayed in his current job.
2 – It would be a very tough road, but succeeding in the new role would be a game changer for his career and his family.
Step out or stand still? Safety or risk? Coast or grow? He was confused, and almost didn’t try… but he did. He went for it, and I couldn’t be happier to tell you that he got the job!
But what now? One bold move and some great interviews won’t catapult him into the next stage of himself, or make him capable of what’s ahead. How will he become the person who’s able do the job before him? How do you succeed beyond what’s familiar?
What comes after a bold move?
Another bold move.
And then another.
It’s an uncomfortable truth – Dan is out of his depth. He is in over his head. Behind him is a career that came easily. In front of him, one he’ll have to rise up to meet. Progress isn’t automatic. It costs us something every time. For Dan, it will require new skills, thinking, habits and relationships… He can’t retreat into his old patterns. Much of what worked in the past won’t work in his future. To uncover his awesome future self, Dan has to continue stepping out.
He’s gotta keep letting go of fear and taking hold of faith.
I see my friend changing right before my eyes. Admitting he wanted something more, believing he was worthy of it, and convincing others he was the guy for this opportunity has changed him. Dan has shattered a glass ceiling he’d built out of his own beliefs. And now he’s discovering a part of himself that wasn’t there before, as well as a future that holds more than what he’d previously dreamed.
Each of us is standing between who we once were and who we’ll someday be. Sure, it’s true of our careers, but this reaches far beyond our work and into the most important aspects of our lives. We get to choose. Pursue the safety and predictability of what has been, or step out with hope for something more.
Maybe you have stepped out, or maybe you’ve been ejected from your comfort zone. If you find yourself asking, “What do I do now?”, let me remind you -
What worked yesterday won’t work tomorrow. You can try to replicate what’s behind you, but progress is always forward. It’s never over your shoulder. So you can leave your old thinking, habits, and propensity to play it safe where they all belong – in the past. You won’t need them where you’re going.
Make a bold move.
And then another.
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