When I was little I dreamed of being _____ (you fill in the blank.) You are who you are. You are special. You are important. You have a purpose. And you must fulfill that purpose. There is always more. You have potential that lies within you, and some of that is fighting to come out. You can repress it for a long time, but don’t let it keep you from becoming the person you were meant to become.
I wanted to have a position where I could make a significant contribution to the direction of an organization. When I realized that I wasn’t getting to that point fast enough, I looked for other opportunities. I even looked for a different job. I interviewed with a company that processes soybeans, and I was just getting back from a second interview — nearly home, when a city bus, with a big logo on the side of it was advertising that it was powered with soy diesel. I took it as a sign. I was sure that I was going to get the job. One week later, 9-11-2001. Two planes flying into the Twin Towers in Manhattan, and the economy shifted. The job stalled.
I moved on. I applied for, and was accepted to begin training to become a Presbyterian Lay Pastor. At that time, the process involved a direct mentorship and training that lasted for 2 years. I then did pulpit supply (filling in for pastors on vacation) for another couple of years. Then I was asked if I would consider being the Commissioned Lay Pastor for a small church 50 miles north of where I lived. I accepted, and did that for nearly 9 years.
All of this molded me into the person I am.
You have to decide, first in your mind, who you are. Then you act according to those beliefs. When others give us feedback that agrees with our mind’s perception, we continue happily along our path. And when the feedback is contrary, we have two choices: (1) change our belief system or (2) ignore the information.
If we consider changing our belief system, we say “See, told you, this was all wrong! You thought you could do something special. You were never going to make the difference you wanted.” And we turn away from opportunity to fulfill our destiny. We push the “future self” back into the hole. We let ourselves off the hook. We go back to the same old, same old.
Know this: Average people want others — especially, their “friends” — to remain average. If you become something more, then they should have the capability to become more. But becoming more, requires effort. Effort requires change. Change is uncomfortable. And many people don’t want to move outside their comfort zone. Thus, they are where they are. That’s not necessarily bad, but it’s not great either.
What is average? Half is worse, but half is better. Average is right in the middle. A group of students was surveyed, and 70% of them thought they were above average. Their teachers were also given the survey, and 80% of them thought they were above average. Most people believe they are above average. Physically, that is not possible.
Life is so much easier if we can convince ourselves, that we are where we are and we are not going to get any better (and neither are you). Life just didn’t deal us the cards of greater success.
Throw in your cards, and get a new hand! Can anyone do that? Yes!
Ignore the initial feedback, and keep on getting ready to be the person that is expected to show up for the situation. Be the person you wanted to be now; and continue becoming a stronger version of that as you step out of that old comfort zone and stretch the boundaries to become everything you were ever designed to become. Focus on growing those skills needed to be the person you want to be: attributes, characteristics, actions, and appearance. Be that person and grow your wings on the way down!
If you are looking for help – Leadership Harbor – we help you grow in a safe environment (Harbor), and prepare you for the rest of the world. Lead! Be bold! There are others that need you to help them find their way as well.
Take care, my friends.