What Jay Williams describes as his “worst mistake” in this conversation with Oprah, we at Now What?® would call an Interrupted Dream – to the extreme.
This story shows how one man overcame a devastating loss in his life, where he found support, and how he connected his past passion with his current career. So much goodness here to inspire us all!
Being coached in front of an audience is not an easy task for anyone. I get it, but that doesn’t cause me as the coach to take mercy on anyone who volunteered for the task. After a weekend of leading a seminar and coaching live, it was once again drummed home to me how often and easily we betray ourselves.
I do it too. Make a joke, tell a story about my woe or otherwise deflect—all ways to avoid pain or face the truth. During this seminar, the person in the “hot seat” was insistent on sharing the drama of the wrongdoing done to her instead of recognizing next step was right in front of her.
Dariah was performing a role within a corporation that spoke to her passion for diversity and empowering women. She reported loving her work, feeling alive and finding meaning in the task at hand. BUT (and there is always a BIG BUT) she had been forced off the upwardly mobile executive track and that was causing her to feel marginalized. Furthermore, she took that to mean she didn’t matter. She could not get over the loss of the chance of reaching a high executive level, and so was ready to walk away in order to prove her merit.
When she addressed me in front of the group, she did what I have seen countless people do: get silly and self-deprecating as she explained her scenario and answered the coaching questions with more rhetoric about what had been done to her. True or not, that was not the issue. What mattered was whether she cared to move forward or not. She claimed she did.
She wasn’t happy with me for interrupting her story. I did so anyway. I refocused her attention away from the problem and reminded her of what she said: “I love what I do. I feel alive.” She had also said she wanted to do more of it on a larger scale.
Her demeanor, partly due to being shocked out of her anxiety, became serious, focused and centered. I made her repeat what she had said. When she did, she suddenly had a lot more options. She could keep the role where she was (if she could get over her “should” about being on an executive track); she could look for a better one doing the same thing elsewhere as an executive in HR around diversity and inclusion; or she could even create a new role/department at her current company.
She went from justifying her story of being “stuck” and “helpless” to very powerfully grounding herself in what was already true: She loved what she was doing and wanted to have even a bigger impact with it. Drama, anxiety, executive track be darned! She was doing exactly what she wanted to be doing!!!! Now, she could move forward with the intent to grow the impact she could make. She could leverage what she was doing to reach more people and maybe even attain the title and recognition she craved. She was getting paid well to do what she was doing, but perhaps she could even be paid more. Now she knew who she was, what she wanted and how she could go about getting it. She was more passionate than ever about the mission she was on to make a difference.
Do you play this game with yourself? Do you get wrapped up in how you’ve been wronged or how things aren’t going as you think they should so that you miss all the good stuff right under your nose? I know I do sometimes. We can all be blind to the pitfalls we choose to stay stuck in.
JUST STOP! It’s not cute. Or funny. Or totally true.
Need help getting unstuck? Give us a call.
Here’s a funny reminder that our fears, though very real, can put us over the top.
A little lightness helps to get perspective.
That nagging feeling? What nagging feeling?
Oh! You mean that one?! The one where I really know I need to make a move or change something, and I just don’t?!
Yeah, that one.
The only way to make it stop is to do something about it.
It’s funny. If you don’t take action when you know you should, life will take care of it for you. You know you hate your job and need to move on but do nothing about it? Don’t act shocked and dismayed when you get let go. Or perhaps you really can’t stand a client, but endure it to get the paycheck and then something goes horribly wrong and you have to refund all their money? Yeah, you should not have ignored that.
I’m in one of those right now. I knew I had to leave an organization that sends me on the road to do small speaking engagements. I kept telling Kelly, my awesome righthand woman, that I’m leaving the group, but I didn’t pull the plug because I decided to wait until I finished one more commitment and get paid so I can give notice. Well, wouldn’t you know, they are weeks behind in paying me and it’s the first time EVER I’ve had trouble getting paid by them. It was time to go a year ago and I didn’t listen.
How many times have you done that?
Whether It’s changing jobs, leaving a relationship, or speaking a long-held truth to a friend (or family member), once you know the truth, it’s better to act on it. There really is no better time than the present.
You know the feeling. You’ve had it. That little nudge, that nagging boulder, whatever form it comes in is the impetus to gain awareness.
Slow down. Pay attention. What is this feeling?
Am I unhappy? Am I bored? Do I know what I need to ask for? What’s missing? Do I need to take radical action or does a small adjustment need to be made?
Do it. Don’t linger on it. Ask. Research. Discuss with trusted people. And ACT!
I put off my action because I didn’t want to disappoint the person who kindly brought me in to the organization. I needed to trust that is wasn’t right for me and take the risk of being judged for it. I wish I had not waited. But alas!
If you’re not sure what to do or even if you are perceiving your nudge as a call to change something, join me for our FREE Now What?® Community Call on WED. March 14th, 9pm eastern.