Diane Baranello – Guest Blogger
Success seems to come easily to some people. They know what drives them, where they’re going, and how to connect the dots along the way. It’s as if they have a personal compass to help them take the most direct route and navigate around obstacles that could potentially derail their careers. Their stories are always positive and full of possibilities. If asked how they’re doing, they don’t answer ‘busy’, they say ‘great!’.
Well, what we know for sure is this: there is no magical career compass or we’d all have one. So what do these beacons of positivity have that many don’t? Resiliency, tenacity and a whole lot of focus.
They’re clear on their very personal definition of success, not some textbook definition that guides herds of followers who can’t figure it out for themselves. They don’t get hung up when things don’t go the way they planned. And they definitely don’t let anything stop them when the road is blocked. They change direction, bob, weave, and pivot their way to the next stop on their career highway. If someone says they can’t do something, they do it anyway. If they don’t know how, they find someone who does. If they’re unsure, they don’t stop to ask permission. They’re on a mission.
So what about the rest of us? If you’re feeling like you’re always making excuses for being in the same place or inching forward, here are three keys to unlock the door to a world of possibilities.
Key #1 – “So what?” – When something gets between you and where you want to be – a stumbling block, a detour, the possibility of failure, say “So what?! So what if I try and fail?” Failures aren’t permanent. We learn from them. We overcome. We get stronger. Failure and success become part of our DNA and stepping stones for the future. Often, challenges look a lot bigger before we tackle them.
Key #2 – “Now what?” – All careers have stops and stalls. There are times when we seem to have plateaued. We’re not growing, not moving forward. Remind yourself – if I keep doing what I’ve always done, I’ll always have the same results. So, change something! Challenge yourself. Commit to something new. Take on a responsibility that stretches your skills, partner with someone whose talents are unlike your own, volunteer for a job that will become your next most compelling story. Getting uncomfortable is often the first step to jump-starting your career.
Key #3 – “What if?” – Change one thing in your life and imagine the possibilities. Get clear on what matters most at this career and life stage. Then ask yourself why it’s important to you, how life would be different, where the road might lead you. What if I stop doing something I’ve always done? What if I challenge myself in a new way? What if I rebuild my network? What if I become a spokesperson for what I believe in most? How would that change my life and my brand? Imagine where the road would take you.
So what are you waiting for? The keys are in your hands and the curvy road in front of you holds a world of wonder, opportunity, and possibilities.
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Diane Baranello is a Personal Branding/Career Coach and Accountability Partner for Mid-Career Women, and the founder of Coaching for Distinction