This past weekend, I observed my 9-month-old, Ryder, and how quickly he shifted from laying down and barely sitting on his own to standing up and holding on to the Pack and Play with just one hand.
It was amazing to witness and made me realize that progress can happen quite fast.
There are several things I observed watching him. I wanted to share it with you because it made me see how the older we get, the more we allow fear to get in our way.
You may miss opportunities or delay making a needed change instead of trusting the path that’s laid out in front of you or allowing things to take their natural course.
The ability to navigate your career journey with fearlessness is already inside you. If you are nervous about making a change or anxious to get unstuck, I want you to read this article.
Follow these three steps to help you find your fearlessness.
1. If you fall, get back up.
Tara Mohr, leadership expert and author of the book Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead, writes in her blog:
“Human beings have a powerful source of wisdom and guidance within… There is a voice in each of us that is unburdened by fear and untouched by insecurity, that has utter calm, that emanates love for oneself and others, and that knows exactly who we would be if we were brave enough to show up as our true selves… The tricky part about being human is that we are – most of the time – disconnected from that source of inner wisdom. Fears, self-doubt, stressors, other people’s voices, our own wounds, and simply our lack of slowing down to tap into that wisdom – all keep us from staying connected.”
No matter how many times Ryder fell, he kept getting back up.
He tried holding on to the side of his Pack and Play with two hands at first, but he couldn’t do it. His arms weren’t strong enough. He’d fall, but he tried again and then again.
This was a bit scary to watch. I had all these thoughts going through my mind: what if he hits his head? What if he falls badly?
But he wasn’t concerned. He just kept trying. And each time, he got better and better.
I know as you’re navigating your career, you may want to give up. That end goal may seem so far away. But if you commit to enjoying each step as a learning process, you’ll discover so much about what works for you along the way.
2. Try something different each time.
Ryder was really strategic with his efforts! Each time he fell down, he tried a new method to improve his balance.
One time I observed that he was holding on with both hands, then one hand. This allowed him to get stronger.
On his next try, he’d grab onto a nearby object to help him with lifting.
He would feel into what he was doing, trying a movement fast, then slow. He’d tune into what worked and what didn’t.
This is not different from being strategic with your career: try different steps, and see what works. Notice what you need to shift each time.
If you’re amid informational interviews, what’s working for you? What connections seem to flow, and which ones seem more challenging? What’s energizing you in the process, and what’s draining your energy?
Tune into these observations. They’ll help you improve your process along the way.
3. Set short term goals.
I knew Ryder wasn’t worried about running when he could barely stand on his own yet. He concerned himself with the thing right in front of him: learning to stand. He focused on improving only that immediate step.
We can get so caught up in the big picture that we lose sight of what we need to improve in the short term.
I know the end result you’re looking for is your dream career, but getting there is made up of many baby steps.
For example, if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, what do you need to work on today to get closer to launching your dream business? Do you believe that your dream is possible? If you don’t, start with your mindset. How can you build your confidence?
If you’re already confident and you believe that your dreams are completely possible, focus on how you’ll get from A to B. Break it out into baby steps and do one thing at a time.
Consider what you need to shift if you just focus on the near future.