Recently I met with successful lady who has done very well in her career but is unhappy.
She talked about how she felt frustrated, undervalued and under-utilised by her company. She explained to me she was looking for a new challenge and I could see the pain in her eyes.
So I asked what she had done so far to make the change happen.
She told me that she hadn’t done a great deal other than put her CV out to a few people.
Now, from everything she said it would appear that she had the perfect motivation but yet she wasn’t taking enough action to change her situation.
She’s not alone.
Most of us at some point have had dreams of doing something different.
Maybe a change of job? A new career? Starting a business? Perhaps taking up a new activity in your spare time?
However often we fail to take quality of action we need to make things happen – why?
Fear? Anxiety? Overwhelm?
All of the above reasons are true but they come from standing in the gap.
Let me explain.
Where you are now is the Rock Of Reliability. Here everything is safe, familiar and known to you. There is a certain level of predictability and a feeling of comfort.
Where you want to be is the Declared Future. In this place things are not so clear, it’s unfamiliar ground. It’s unpredictable with higher levels of danger and risk. It’s uncomfortable and kind of scary.
The further you move away from your Rock Of Reliability and towards the Declared Future, the higher your levels of fear, anxiety and overwhelm.
Most people find enough motivation to take a few of steps away from their Rock Of Reliability but they quickly return back to where they started as they begin to experience the pain of standing in the gap.
So then, what’s the difference then between those who keep going to their Declared Future and those who return to the sanctity of their Rock Of Reliability?
The answer is leverage.
Leverage is the ‘thing’ you find that makes what you want so important that the fear, anxiety and overwhelm of standing in the gap pales into insignificance.
The lady I was speaking to had simply not found enough leverage to not just move her away from the comfort of the Rock of Reliability but to keep her going into her declared future.
Once we explored what was really important to her we began uncover some key things which increased her willingness to take more action.
So how do you find your leverage?
Here are 4 powerful questions to help you to uncover your leverage.
These are not normal questions. They are designed and worded specifically to move your thinking backward and forward in time, so please consider each one carefully – don’t rush through.
Write your answers down in-between questions.
1. What wouldn’t happen if I did this?
Using the example above it would be “What wouldn’t happen if I changed jobs?”
I wouldn’t continue to feel frustrated. I wouldn’t feel undervalued. I wouldn’t feel restricted and clients wouldn’t miss out on the way I could help them. I wouldn’t wake up each morning feeling low and unmotivated.
2. What would happen if I did this?
Form the example above “What would happen if I changed jobs?”
I would feel enegerised, motivated and happier each morning. I would feel more empowered to add value to clients.
3. What wouldn’t happen if I didn’t do this?
From the example above “What wouldn’t happen if I didn’t change jobs?”
I wouldn’t get a fresh challenge and feel motivated. I wouldn’t lose this feeling of being undervalued.
4. What would happen if I didn’t do this?
From the example above “What would happen if I didn’t change jobs?”
I’d continue to feel frustrated, undervalued and under utilised. I’d become more and more disengaged and bored. I’d never really get to work with clients how I want.
If you analyse the responses to each question you can begin to pick out key words and themes which will form the basis for leverage. In our example these seems to be feeling valued, adding value and being more motivated.
The next thing to do is to create a compelling vision statement which centres on the themes and key words you have uncovered, which I recommend reading every morning when you get up.
Give it a try, if you need help drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org