Sometimes it takes courage to move forward in the face of a career challenge. If you’re feeling some fear, that’s natural, but when it stops you in your tracks, finding a solution is not optional.
What you need is to have the heart of a lion.
I don’t know anyone who displays courage 100% of the time. I certainly don’t. My “heart of the lion” is often prowling around in the jungle somewhere when I need it! If that could describe you as well, welcome to the club!
However, let’s not stop there. As I’ve learned, you can’t move forward and overcome your career challenge by standing still–letting your fear immobilize you.
As you probably know, negative self-talk drains energy and throws roadblocks in your path to career success (or any other success, for that matter). When you face a daunting challenge, fear has you telling yourself, “That’s a BIG canyon opening up in front of me! There’s no way I can jump it without killing myself!”
Want an example of a career challenge that could hit you hard? You know that unless you position yourself as a valuable resource for your company, your neck will probably be on the line if a layoff takes place, and you also know that could happen at any time in any company. So what do you do?
Stand there with a “deer in the headlights” expression on your face? Not recommended!
I’m not the world’s most courageous person, but I’ve learned that putting a challenge into perspective helps. Is the career challenge you’re facing life-threatening? Probably not.
That means at least you’re not facing extinction! So what’s your next move?
The opposite of negative talk is, of course, positive talk. It takes more than just saying some positive-sounding words to yourself, but that could be a step in the right direction. Facing up to all the “I can’t” thoughts and refusing to accept them as unalterable facts can give you a much-needed boost.
Look with an open mind at the negative suggestions and search for ideas to refute them. In the case of a possible layoff, evaluate what you have to offer from the viewpoint of your employer. If you seem a little “light” in key areas, start working on the most critical aspects…NOW!
Even if the worst happens and you get caught in a layoff, the work you’ve been doing to reposition yourself as a valuable asset will still weigh in your favor when you launch your job search. You will have acquired some new skills or sharpened existing skills, potentially increased your reputation for getting results, developed a stronger professional network, and more.
As long as no one is literally tying you up in knots, the career challenge in front of you can’t stop you from moving forward. It might slow you down sometimes or even force you to find an alternate path to your career goal, but it won’t stop you permanently–if you refuse to let it.
If you’ve ever seen a mother cat defending her kittens against an aggressor, you know how fierce she can be. She thinks she has the heart of a lion, and she won’t back down from the fight. You can do the same!
When something is really worth having, it’s worth fighting for. Take your stand and hold your ground until you turn that career challenge into a non-issue.