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The Greatest Piece of Advice I Can Give to Anyone is…
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“I want to do x in five years.”
“I’ll focus on my big dream later when…”
I hear these stories, or a slight variation of them, over and over again in my line of work. If you know what you want to do but are prepared to wait for years, which often really means never pursuing the goal, my question is: why?
Why are you putting off a dream that you know will make you happier?
Why wouldn’t you pursue a role that you will truly love and enjoy?
Why aren’t you jumping at the chance to try something new?
Most people are stopped dead in their tracks by one thing bubbling away strongly beneath all of their logical reasoning: fear. So, what are you afraid of? Is it failure? Maybe you’re concerned that your dream will never live up to your expectations or that is it just too hard.
When I ask people to tell me what they are waiting for, I usually get answers along the lines of:
- The kids are at the wrong age to move schools.
- I need to hone my skills more and build my experience in this field.
- I don’t have x, y or z.
The reality is, we are always building and acquiring skills over the course of our career and lifetime. This never stops – and it definitely never should. If you are at a place where you are no longer learning, that’s when you know things are stagnant and it is time to look for a new challenge. After all, learning is a life skill in itself.
Over the course of my career, I’ve seen people apply all sorts of strategies and I can very confidently tell you that waiting is not really a good tactic. Life is always full of twists and turns. What you hope for may never eventuate. The last thing you want to be left with is regret. What if I had… you fill in the blank.
In life, we have to back ourselves with the knowledge we have spent our time investing in ourselves – our skills, networks and, ultimately, our employability. Investing in yourself is a constant work in progress for people who consider themselves a success and are happy and content.
Get yourself out there. You can be the best ___ (fill in the blank) out there, but if people aren’t aware of who you are and what you’re capable of, you are doing yourself a disservice. We all have moments of doubt, but when fear strikes, remind yourself that you are capable. You have a can-do attitude and you can make things happen.
Don’t wait or think that the perfect opportunity will fall into your lap. It’s unlikely to do so. Give whatever that dream is a real go and do whatever you have to in order to make it happen. Relocate, move jobs, start your own business, switch careers, retire early. The choice is yours. It does not matter what age you are or what stage of life you’re in. The principles remain the same: if you really want to do something, make it happen!
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” – Albert Einstein
How true! Create your own journey. Invest and believe in yourself. Confidence is huge and it can take you places if you trust yourself.
Deborah Wilson is a Thought Leader and a Career Strategist. She takes a personalised approach to strategic career coaching and career transitions, mentoring and leadership development. Deborah provides expert guidance for individuals while supporting organisations through change and connecting people and purpose. Call Deborah on +61 403 779 746. www.ontalent.com.au
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