You gather your friends and venture forth. You encounter a fork in the road; the way to the left leads to a luscious, inviting forest filled with wonder, the right leads to an eerie, misty graveyard.
Which way do you go?
Left, right? Looking back, I am sure your own adventure stories of the past often gave you decisions like these to make. While in the content of reality, many, if not most of us, would choose what we perceive to be the safer, better option with the forest. But in the context of a story, many of us may prefer the mystery surrounding the graveyard. What can we obtain there, and what can we find?
Fantasy television, stories, and dramas place us in the position to see the right or wrong options, but the real world doesn’t discriminate. The forest may be dangerous while the graveyard is safe.
The same is true of our own lives; life doesn’t discriminate, and there is rarely a clear ‘right’ option.
Avoiding the Pitfalls Along the Path
When I was a teenager about to finish college, I remember being bombarded with decisions to make, whether I was ready or not. Till then, critical decisions were made for me, but now, I was on my own to choose. Having never made decisions before, it came as a shock, but that very shock opened up opportunities to look deeper into myself.
At all steps of the way you have decisions to make: React or respond
What drives this depends on how skilled you are to deal with risk; confidently speak your mind and express it.
Truly know yourself and act based on that.
My voice has an impact. My voice can shape my life, the way I see the world, and ultimately, the destination I arrive at.
Most of the pitfalls we encounter, however, are self-made. Understandably, there are unforeseen occurrences that we can’t avoid, but most critical decisions are based upon our perceptions of the outcomes – be it the forest path or the graveyard path.
We all face difficult situations, high demands, and disruption, so what separates those that can respond from those that can’t?
I believe it stems from the link between how you see yourself, understand your values and rules to thrive by, and how you step up in the world. Too often, we look at others who are considered leaders and embrace their values and direction. While there is nothing wrong with doing so, this can prevent us from fully growing into our own power based on who we are.
As a result, the pitfalls we face are usually self-created; an inner look into how we cannot match up to someone else, how our voice might not matter in a moment, and our inner thoughts against ourselves. Commonly, these pitfalls sound like “I’m not good enough” or “this isn’t the right time”. Fear of loss and a fear of failure also plays a crucial role.
Analysing the Tools on Your Toolbelt
A warrior never goes into battle without a weapon, nor does a speaker give a talk without a plan. In my experience as a coach, most of us believe there is more for us, more we could be doing and working towards, or places we can still go.
Lack of drive to obtain these desires isn’t the obstacle; the confidence in deciding to traverse a particular path is. To overcome this, we have to ignite our voices and then trust in that voice.
A leadership voice is not a fixed trait. It is something each of us can and should develop to grow into who we are. I heard a saying that reflects what I mean here:
“Don’t let your candle melt on its own in the closet.”
I interpret it as don’t let who you genuinely are burnout without letting the world see. We save our courage, resilience, insights, experiences and ideas for the right moment. We reserve them, and they wear away in our closet on their own.
Adversity does not discriminate. Change and how it impacts does not discriminate. Making decisions – easy and tough ones – does not discriminate. Making an impact and leaving a mark in your space does not discriminate.
We always need a reliable key to see us through and help us navigate life and business as it happens.
I want you to know that you have that voice and power within you; you only need to let it out with the brain in mind of course. You won’t want to encounter things that may make you self-sabotage. What is possible starts with you and what you perceive to be on your tool belt. This perception is always true, and it’s precisely why manifesting, and affirmations are so powerful for some people.
If you say you’re not confident, you aren’t. If you say, you are, suddenly, you empower yourself to be. Your (neuro) agility, emotional mastery and intelligence and experience can all be used the same way.
Reflection Can Amplify Your Voice
Do you strike out when intimidated, lose control of commanding the room or back out from a decision due to the lack of trust in your decision making?
Identifying these areas of improvement or the key affected areas is the starting point for successful change. Before we can speak out, we need to understand what needs to be brought out from within.
You are more than just aspiring to be like others – you can go beyond and have what it takes to help you at each fork you come to in the road of your business, life, and career; and in your relationships.
Is this not what matters most when we talk about meaning, purpose, feeling fulfilled, belonging to social circles, influencing and positively impacting with a message that sends a ripple effect out there – one worth remembering?
This reflection can be the difference between blindly deciding on the forest or graveyard, or speaking out and asking the right questions, taking charge with courage and leading your party to safety, or more so, leading yourself to a better, more fulfilling life.
Do you want to confidently step in your power – master what it takes to get beyond obstacles and any emotional hijacks that hinder you from stepping up? I can help.
This post was first mentioned in the Authoritti5.0 Magazine