Last week, as we moved our eldest daughter into her out-of-state college dorm room, it occurred to me that her life was about to change.
After countless hours of hard work, test preparation and college applications, our girl was about to embark on the most significant growth journey of her life. And I couldn't be more excited for her.
Of course, none of this would have been possible had she not decided to swing for the fences, putting herself out there.
Sadly, as adults, we often get to a point in our careers where we stop pushing ourselves. We plateau and settle for less, incorrectly believing our time for growth has passed and that it's too late.
But it doesn't have to be that way.
Zig Zigler famously said:
There are three Cs in life: choice, chance, change. You must make a choice to take a chance, or your life will never change.
If you'd like to make career progress, (and really, who doesn't want that?), let's break down each of those three elements:
Choice is all about shifting your mindset. It can be tempting to ride that wave of familiarity, especially if everything in your career is going well. But at some point—and maybe you've already experienced it—you'll decide that good isn't good enough. Perhaps you have a gnawing feeling in the pit of your stomach telling you something needs to give. You want something more, something different, something new, even if you're not sure what that is.
Rather than feel guilty about this, it's helpful to think about change in positive terms. When you make a conscious choice to do something, you're taking the first step toward growth. Action is empowering and contagious; inaction breeds stagnation.
Have you been hemming and hawing about taking a leap of faith? Harboring some fear about the unknown is understandable, but don't let it paralyze you. Challenging yourself to leave your comfort zone helps you stretch your wings and gain new skills, experience, and confidence. You could:
Muster up your courage to take on that challenging new assignment
Volunteer to lead a lunch and learn for your department
Offer to put together (or deliver) that new business pitch for your boss
Still unsure about taking a chance? Ask yourself if what you're doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow. As hockey great Wayne Gretzky said, "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
Change sometimes gets a bad rap, because it's often viewed as a disruptor. When one thing changes, others usually follow suit. But if you flip that around, you'll see that change is the antithesis to the status quo. Change shakes things up and breathes new life into old methods and routines. We're forced to get out of ruts we may not know we've been in, to view things differently with a fresh perspective. It's about envisioning what's possible, not just what is.
That said, change requires a degree of focus and intentionality. If you're seeking a true transformation, clarity is key. When you know what you want, you'll better be able to map out a plan to get it. And when you can articulate it, you can enlist the help of others to achieve it.
Here's the thing about change: if you want something you've never had, you have to do something you've never done. And it's not too late.
Remember, it starts with a choice; choose wisely.
Make a choice to change your life by joining our Who Am I program.