When you’re offered an opportunity to do something you’ve never done, what is your normal reaction? Do you embrace the new opportunity and say “Yes!”? Do you become reticent and say let me look at my schedule or do you utter, “let me think about it?” Maybe you respond flat out “NO!” I’m too busy or I don’t think I can commit to this at the moment?
So many people miss out on new opportunities simply because they appear to be out of their normal scope of work. They miss out on making new connections, increasing their breadth of experiences, and stepping out of their comfort zone.
All too often we forget how we originally got to our current level of expertise. We have forgotten how we pushed the envelope early in our careers to make that huge jump to where we are today. We said “YES!” to almost every new opportunity and we’re regularly asked to do things we’ve never done in order to push our careers forward.
We have forgotten how we originally met the people we know now. How we arrived at many of our challenges both completely inexperienced and unprepared for what we were facing. But we showed up and excelled by utilizing massive attitude, energy, and indistinguishable passion.
We faced down our demons and we did what we had to do. We showed up and performed to the best of our ability that we possessed at that time. This is how we grew. This is how we progressed and this is how we got better.
There’s an old saying that goes
“if you forget where you came from then you’ll go back there quick.”
Meaning that we are always building on our experiences and if we aren’t paying homage to all the chances, hard work, and seizing of opportunities we fought for and sought after when we were on our way up then there’s a big chance that we could be heading for a great fall because we may have lost our drive and our momentum and we’ve been playing it too safe.
I implore you to keep pushing, keep growing and keep searching for new experiences both personally and professionally. In other words, “sharpen your saw” which is one of Covey’s principles in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Some questions to ask yourself each month:
- What new opportunities am I pursuing this month?
- What new opportunities have I said “Yes” to that brought me either a new contact or valuable knowledge?
- Am I allowing time in my schedule and making myself available enough to pursue new contacts, attend events, and set personal challenges? If “no” then make sure you schedule something new in your calendar.
- Is there any external or internal sign that I or my company might be experiencing stagnation? If “yes” then seek to identify new growth areas and pursue them this month with a passion and intensity that matches your early career ascension.
There’s a wonderful quote that goes:
“A ship in harbor is safe but that is not what ships are built for” – John A.Shedd
Humans weren’t either. You go You!!