Anyone who has ever played a video game knows that the fun is in advancing to the next level
Overcoming the obstacles thrown at you unlocks new features, allowing you to experience new adventures and improve your speed, skill and resilience. And it also requires that you face new and increasingly difficult challenges and more daunting foes.
The same is true in life, especially at work
Each of us has ideas, dreams and visions that call to us — whether advancing to the next level in our career, launching a new project or program, becoming more visible, or simply making a bigger difference. And every day gives us a new opportunity to reach a little higher and get a little closer.
But in real life it is far too easy to get lured into playing small and staying where you’re at
We don’t intend to do that, of course. Our intentions are often grand. But a myriad of reasons keep us from acting on them.
- We don’t give ourselves permission to dream big (and to pursue those dreams)
- We are too busy doing things that could/should really be delegated to others
- We don’t know where (or how) to start
- We fear we don’t have what it takes (and stay in our comfort zones instead)
- We are waiting for the right opportunity (instead of creating one)
- We think no one will support us (and then act in ways that make that true)
- We worry that too much is at stake if we “fail” (and forget about what’s at stake if we don’t try)
Anytime you endeavor to do anything worthwhile, you will meet with resistance
And while this resistance may take the form of real obstacles and foes, more often than not it is our own fear that is the most formidable of them. Because this fear makes the roadblocks appear much more imposing and immovable than they really are.
The good news is that any obstacle you impose upon yourself is within your power to overcome
You must simply decide that what you want (what you are moving toward) — is more important than your fear (and/or what you are moving away from). Exercising and acting on this courage allows you to unlock something within yourself in much the same way that advancing to the next level of a video game gives you superpowers you didn’t have at the previous level.
But you have a lot more to lose in real life than you do in video games
You don’t get three lives and super power shields that keep you (or your projects) from getting shot down — this is true. But most of the things people are afraid of are far less likely and impactful than the consequences of withholding themselves and failing to take action on the visions and dreams most precious to them. That will kill you silently over time and suck all the joy out of living in the process.
And a funny thing happens when you muster up the courage to act in spite of your fear, doubts and resistance. You find that as you do so, you gain the confidence and competence necessary to respond to challenges in ways you never thought you could, and the resilience to bounce back from any setback and start again. And you learn and accomplish things that dramatically improve the quality of your own life as well as everyone around you.
Once you learn to work through your fear and other obstacles, you inspire others to do the same
And there is nothing you cannot do. Every great accomplishment — in science, art, technology, medicine, music, business or any discipline was a result of someone moving through fear, doubt, hesitation and a myriad of other obstacles to do something they didn’t know how to do and achieve what many never dreamed possible.
The true thrill of the game is allowing it to stretch us into something bigger than we were before
When we look at our lives and our work this way, every obstacle becomes a stepping stone. And every achievement a doorway through which we discover ourselves and our worlds to be something greater than we ever imagined.
Below are some steps that you can take and resources you can utilize to make a bigger impact in your organization (and beyond)…
Check out these articles
- The Often Overlooked Danger of Being Too Results Oriented
- How to Transform Overwhelm and Frustration into Enthusiasm and Engagement
- The Expecto Patronum Method of Working Through Fear
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