“What do you want to be when you grow up?” Odds are the way you answered that at 5 years old changed by the time you were 15, and perhaps a few more times before you arrived where you stand today. The question to ask now is “Are you were you want to be?” and if not, “What’s keeping you from getting there?”
Naming the roadblocks that are holding us back is not often the challenge. We can point to a lack of resources or opportunities. We can identify missing skill sets or a row of doors closed off to us. It can be easy to point to those things that we perceive to be halting our progress. The truth, however, is that our future lies in our own hands.
No one said the path to success was going to be easy. There could be long stretches without progress. There could be detours. Ultimately, however, with hard work and dedication, you can reach your own personal definition of success. Unless, of course, you’ve set your sights on the wrong horizon. Before you plot a plan to tackle the speed bumps along your path, take a long, hard look at where you’re headed and evaluate whether you’re even on the right road. Has your climb up the corporate ladder stalled because your talents and strengths are better suited to a different role than the one you’ve been focusing on? Are you pushing forward because you should and not because you would if left to your own devices?
Be Open to a New Course
Your honest gut check may have you rethinking the trajectory you’ve been on. Take time to replot your course. Remember, it’s not about “what you wanted to be” or “what you should be.” It’s about “who you are and who you would like to become.” Take time to redefine or re-affirm your personal definition of success. Now, make a plan to get yourself there; remember to incorporate measurable milestones and achievable, can’t-miss goals.
Dream Bold with Honesty
Of the thousands of players lucky enough to enter baseball’s minor league system, there are only 750 positions on the every-day rosters of MLB’s 30 major league teams. You may be the star of your company’s softball league but that doesn’t mean all the hard work and dedication in the world is going to land you on the Yankees’ starting day line-up. Dream bold dreams. Stretch beyond your comfort zone, but take a dose of pragmatism, too. Setting yourself up for success requires an honest assessment of your skills, talents, potential, and interest.
Put In the Work
The key word is potential. Today’s abilities are not the end of the story. Set your goals in the ‘stretch’ zone and then identify where you need to grow to reach them. Take a class. Find a mentor. Challenge yourself to develop your talents and strengthen your weaknesses. Work diligently and make it happen.
Don’t Go It Alone
Whether you’re embracing your entrepreneurial dreams or you’ve identified a path of career growth working for an existing organization, having a support system is important. Build yourself a cheerleading squad. Identify a mentor. Join a networking or professional support group. Create a tribe of people who can gently nudge you through any self-doubt, challenge you to go farther, and offer you an honest sounding board to bounce off from time to time.
If you’re looking to build your support network, let’s talk. Contact my office for a chat: 917-992-2928. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.