I am on an email newsletter that comes out somewhat infrequently, but when it does, rarely does it not grab my attention. My friend, Ben, is a dreamer and innovator who I am glad my life has crossed paths with. It is an opt-in newsletter and I have no idea how many people receive it. Ben helps people follow their dream and turn it into what they do for their life. He recently wrote a book called “Dream Year” and is having a great impact on many people.
So, back to this newsletter. Ben talked through an interesting situation for one of his projects and how he was close to shutting it down. There were many factors, but he was not seeing a way through to continue this project. Then, he received a text message from a friend and everything changed. There was a way forward, maybe even better than before. He experienced a ‘break you’ moment before he had a ‘break through moment.”
Ben is always encouraging people to follow their dream. Not unlike how I try and encourage people to use their strengths in a passion area for their life. Ben does this in spades. He is his own boss. He writes his own ticket. But, Ben works his tail off to make things happen. Even in his own area of strength and passion, he works hard. There is no shortcut to his success.
As some of you know, I left a successful career in higher education to pursue what had been a smaller platform in my life – doing strengths based organizational consulting. Helping people understand their StrengthsFinder results and how they fit in their organizations, etc. Our aim at Leadership Vision Consulting is help empower strong people in strong teams to become strong cultures. Cultures based on what is right about them and not focused on their weaknesses. I love doing this work. It has been completely gratifying to make this leap and start on a new journey.
Has every moment of leaving the perceived ‘safe’ job at a big organization been rosy? No. Have the positives completely outweighed the negatives? Yes.
Last week I had one of those ‘break you’ moments. We had a client say no to a proposal and I started to focus on when people have said no over the past 10 months. I started to get into the dark side of my personality which makes me worry about failure. One of my strengthsfinder results is Achiever. We are wired to get things done. Every day starts at zero. I always think about what I need to get done each and every day. I get a lot of things done. People affirm me in this strength. But, it does have a dark side. The dark side is that in spite of tremendous evidence to the contrary, I fear I will fail. Fear of failure can be paralyzing to me. Has this ever happened to you?
I run into people far too many times who are paralyzed by fear. This can cause them to get stuck in jobs that are bad fits. They justify staying in these jobs in a variety of ways, but they are always justifying. If you are having to justify why you are in a job over and over, should you really be in that job at all? I used to work with someone who actively complained about how much they did not like their job, but would do absolutely nothing about it. They eventually got laid off and celebrated that they got laid off. Why did it take someone else to tell this person that they were done before they left? Try and never let someone else tell you it is your time to go.
Last week I started ever so slightly down the path of being paralyzed by fear.
You know what I did with that fear? I embraced it as real in my head, thought about it, and figured out a way to move forward.
My friend Ben argues that you may very well experience a break through moment after you have a break you moment. I wonder how many people get stuck at a break you moment and never experience the break through moment that may be lingering in the future that requires fortitude, resilience and action?
When you are developing business for any company there will be break you moments and hopefully, break through moments as well.
If you get paralyzed by fear you may never experience the break throughs.
Embrace that fear is real, figure out a way forward, and don’t be afraid if you do fail.
This week I am focused on doing little things in hopes of a break through moment in the future.
What are you doing?