Why What Used to Work May Now Be Working Against You (and what to do instead)
Imagine finding yourself in a dark room…It’s a room that was once lit but has since dimmed.
And you have been doing everything you can to turn that light back on. You’ve even gone so far as to build a contraption that allows you to generate electricity through your own manual effort, sort of like a giant hamster wheel.
The problem is you have to run continuously to produce the smallest splinter of light. And you find yourself pushing harder and faster to get that light to grow so that more of the room is illuminated once again.
Off in the distance, there is another room that glows brightly and warmly beckons to you. The radiance coming through the doorway of that space is pure and beautiful and you can almost feel its glow. But despite the draw of that warmly lit room, you stay right where you are. Instead of getting off the crazy hamster wheel that requires constant exertion and toil, you just keep running faster and faster.
And you are becoming exhausted.
This metaphor came to me in a moment of reflection. I had noticed a theme that I’ve seen echoed among several of my executive coaching clients – and in my own life as well, from time to time.
What used to work well no longer produces results. And that’s a problem. What was once easy and energizing begins to feel cumbersome and draining. And rather than moving you forward, in some cases it actually thwarts your progress.
But when it’s all you know, it can be difficult to let it go. You worked so hard to perfect those ways of being, of working, of relating. And it paid dividends in the past. You might have thought to yourself, “If I could just double down, and put a little more effort into it, a little more discipline, I could turn it all around,” right?
That’s what many of my clients thought. Maybe you can relate…
For some, the work they did won them a promotion. Their intense operational focus and ability to dig in and get results merited them an increased scope and elevated role. They became responsible for leading and empowering others to do the work they once focused the majority of their effort on. They were being called to make a bigger, more strategic impact, but their fierce and intense focus on operational details was preventing them from making that leap.
For others, it was work that once excited them but was no longer stimulating. They could do it in their sleep. Sure, they were good at it, but it was becoming a boring, tedious grind. It was harder to get out of bed in the morning. There was nothing to look forward to. And in their quiet moments, they dreamt of doing something bigger, bolder and more impactful.
Some even had ideas and projects they longed to pursue or propose. But they just couldn’t get themselves to break out of the ruts they were in, and/or doubted whether they really had what it took to do anything different.
And for many others, it was about working in a way that was simply not sustainable. They had a tendency to take on more than most, prioritize everything equally and live in constant fear of letting people down. So they continued running a race that was increasingly difficult to keep up with, let alone win. The stress and pressure of their environment was high, but small in comparison to the anxiety they heaped upon themselves.
Regardless of which group you find yourself in, there is a better way not far off in the distance. At some level you are probably aware that something has to give… You dream of feeling energized again, of being unencumbered and inspired and engaged in meaningful and fulfilling work. But you can’t get to that new place without being willing to leave the old one.
You can choose to stay in the dark, dreary room because it’s comfortable. It may no longer be satisfying, or even pleasant, but it’s familiar. Do you ever shy away from the light that is beckoning you to leave that space because you are afraid of what you’ll see or whether you’ll be able to handle it?
We all do that from time to time, even though…
The light reveals new possibilities for growth, significance and satisfaction. It not only illuminates the challenges and opportunities, but also your strengths – including some you may not have realized you have. And it ushers in new vitality, new energy and new clarity. When you summon the courage to leave your dark, dull room and follow the light, you’ll be filled with vigor and joy, and you’ll find your enthusiasm renewed, your passion reignited, even if you don’t believe that yet.
The light of new possibilities brings both freedom and flow. No more running like hell without getting anywhere. No more banging your head against a wall only to end up with throbbing pain. No more feelings of being trapped by your circumstances. Once you summon the courage to follow the light into new possibilities and ways of working, you’ll experience a momentum that propels you forward in a sustainable way.
I know this because I have experienced it firsthand myself. And over the last twenty plus years I have helped hundreds of executives just like you experience it too. I can tell you that there is simply nothing like it. And it has to be experienced to be believed.
That light that beckons to you is a call to step into something bigger and more satisfying. It invites you to release old, outworn ways of working that no longer serve you and step into your personal and professional best – to unleash your greatness, to make a bigger impact and a bigger contribution. And it brings with it not only new levels of performance and effectiveness, but also fulfillment that enhances your life both on and off the job.
The sad reality is, some of us stay in our dark rooms longer than others. But there is always a way out. Making that move requires resolve and determination.
It starts with a conscious decision and a commitment to yourself. You don’t have to have it all figured out. All you need to do is give yourself permission to be curious about it. Once you begin to entertain the idea that there is a better way, you are already on the road to finding it.
You can ask yourself, “What would it look like if things weren’t so hard? What small shifts could I make that would allow me to enjoy my work (and my life) more — without sacrificing my performance?”
Your reticular activating system will kick in and help you find the answers to your questions. You’ll notice things that previously escaped your attention and find yourself drawn to resources, people, and potential solutions. You’ll tap into your own wisdom and begin to discern what you must do next – what small changes you can make that could end up having the biggest impact.
And then you’ll need to summon the courage to act on those insights.
“The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.” – Mark Caine
When you answer this vital call to realize more of your true potential, magic happens. You can make a bigger impact doing meaningful work without sacrificing who you truly are. Best of all you’ll enjoy your life more. You become a shining example and a far more effective leader to others who will learn to make the same improvements in their own lives and careers.
The process can be unnerving. It requires you to let go of something you know in order to move into something you don’t. And though the rewards of making that move are profound, it isn’t always easy.
Having someone to guide and support you through the process can really help. I created The Pinocchio Principle Unleashed: The Real Leader’s Guide to Accessing the Freedom & Flow of Your Authentic Genius to assist high achieving executives just like you in making that vital leap with professional high level support and guidance, so you can move through it very quickly, with courage and grace.
The program is a distillation of the most impactful approaches and techniques that have helped my clients over the last twenty plus years to successfully affect their own personal and professional transformations. These are powerful methodologies I repeatedly utilize in my own life as well.
I’ll be personally guiding an intimate group of executives through this process over the next thirteen weeks utilizing a powerful blend of online training (that you’ll have lifetime access to), small group mastermind meetings and one-on-one coaching support.
What differentiates this program from all the others out there is that it isn’t about blindly following a recipe for success that attempts to make you someone you are not. The program is designed to help you move more deeply into who you truly are, so that you can connect with your own wisdom and allow it to guide you in ways that are authentic and natural to you, and lead you to your own personal uniqueness and strengths.
You’ll learn to leverage your experiences in ways that bring clarity and focus into your life, and experience lightness as you begin to let go of things you’ve been making yourself do all these years that have weighed you down and created unnecessary pressure and anxiety. All this while enjoying unprecedented levels of performance and energy that is sustainable – because it comes from the inside out.
Whether you decide to join me, or opt to go it alone, I encourage you with all my heart to exercise the courage to answer your own personal and professional call to greatness. Make the decision now to step out of that dimly lit room and into the light of possibility, expansion and growth.
If you’d like to chat about The Pinocchio Principle Unleashed program and get answers to any questions you may have about it, you can click here to schedule a call directly with me. But don’t wait too long. The fall session will be kicking off on Wednesday, September 22 and there are only a few seats remaining. To maximize interaction and individualized support, registration is capped at 8 to 10 people. Click here for more information or to save your seat.
Does your organization sponsor professional development? To assist you in getting approval to use corporate funds for your registration in the program, download the business case for participating in the program.