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This came up again recently with a client. He is looking to find new connections (networking) on the road to landing contract work. He’s having a bit of a blockage making those phone calls. I’ve had other clients who had similar blockages asking for introductions for a new job. There is something about making those calls that is blocking these professionals because it feels like they are asking for help. These otherwise talented and skilled professionals have a weakness. They are used to being the ones to offer help.
A simple shift of perspective can help. My client is a confident, talented professional. He is not asking for help. He is offering to help. The greatest need of businesses and organizations is talent. Finding that talent can be very difficult. My client has done the hard work of finding a skilled professional for the person he is calling…….himself. He has already saved them a lot of effort. He is now offering to bring his skills and talents into their organization.
Are you having a hard time reaching out to someone? Are you really asking that person for help or are you offering your services? Share this link if you know someone who’s having a hard time networking. Comment below if you want to share your stories or get another point of view.
If you break motivation down into it’s simplest form, we are motivated to either seek pleasure or avoid pain. Now I know many of you are rejecting that, saying that you are much more complex than that but stick with me for a minute. Pleasure can include everything from a taste of a delicious juicy hamburger with tempura fried bacon on it (yes, tempura fried bacon exists, I’ve had it and I’m obsessed) to love. Pleasure includes security and peace. Pleasure can also include spirituality. Pain on the other hand isn’t just limited to physical pain. It can include fear, embarrassment, social rejection, insecurity, hungry, loneliness, etc. The list can go on quite a while.
Unfortunately, the world isn’t so simple as that. How do you stack up pleasure that will happen six months from now vs. pain happening today, for example dieting and exercising for six months so that you can look good for the upcoming high school reunion? How do trade off one pain vs. another, for example my back hurts right now and I know 30 minutes of stretching will help…..but I don’t really like the stretching either? How do you exchange one pleasure for one pain, for example spending on a big celebration when money is tight?
It is ok to allow our subconsciousness to handle these decisions of which pleasure to seek and which pain to avoid as long as we are ok with the outcomes. Really, your subconscious is making hundreds of decisions a day and you don’t want to get stuck in trying to analyze each and everyone. When you are not happy with your situation, whether it be financial, relationship, health, etc., stop and consider which decisions are leading you in the wrong direction and why you are making that decision. It might be helpful to try to frame those decisions in a trade off between pleasures and pain. You might have to ask yourself “why” a few times because most people are slow to admit what is really going on in their decision making. Once you understand the tradeoffs, then work to enhance different pleasures, minimize different pains and (frequently) work to pull future pleasure into the moment.
Examples help. I was telling the truth, my back is killing me right now. It is a chronic issue that comes back a few times a year. This one is as bad as it has gotten in probably the last five years. Nothing to do but stretches. My wife has a yoga video that does wonders for my back…….but I really don’t enjoy it. So I have a literal pain, my back. Seems like I should be able to jump up and fire up that video. Why aren’t I? Well, I know from experience the yoga tape won’t make my back feel better right away. So the pain avoidance isn’t really an immediate pay off. I find yoga to be pretty boring. I know my yoga loving friends tell me I’m not doing it right if I’m not loving it but I don’t love it. There is a certain level of mental pain that comes along with doing yoga for me.
So how do I motivate myself to go do those stretches, well in this case I brought in another pain, social embarrassment. By writing and posting this, I sort of have to go do the yoga. If I don’t, I’ll be a bit embarrassed that I let my laziness and procrastination let me sit here in pain. Alright. I’m going to go do some downward dogs.
Comment if you need some help affecting change. Please share. Imagine the pleasure you’ll get if this helps someone you know.
Only 8% of people succeed in their New Year’s Resolutions. That is 92% of people create a goal that is important to them, commit to themselves to go after the goal and then fail to achieve it. 25% of them don’t even make it through the first week before they give up on their goals. Most people simply aren’t willing to commit to their dreams.
One of the most common reasons people fail to achieve their goals is that they are afraid of failing. One study showed that a significant percent of people don’t even apply for jobs that might be a bit of a stretch. They are too embarrassed. What if they get the interview and aren’t qualified……how embarrassing! I hope you read that with as much sarcasm as I intended, because I intended a lot of sarcasm. Buckets and buckets full.
Imagine what you could accomplish if you were not afraid to fail. The reality is reality isn’t likely to be holding you back. It isn’t your education or your looks. It isn’t your speaking ability or your financial resources. These are obstacles but other’s have overcome them, why not you? Tom Petty is a singer? Some people think Keith Richards was a sex symbol? Donald Trump is the president? Think about that one for a minute. If these people achieved their goals, why not you?
Achieving a goal is like building a bridge. Slow down. Take a step, just one step today, and work toward your goal. Don’t worry about the end. Don’t worry about other people’s impression. Just take a step today and then another.
I know people who feel lost, you are not alone
I know people who are crippled by anxiety, you are not alone
I know people who carry the burden of depression, you are not alone
I know people who feel lonely, you are not alone
Talk. Reach out. Don’t suffer in silence. Don’t suffer alone.
One of the most common excuses for NOT doing something is lack of preparation. In an Hewlett Packard annual report, they say the men will apply for a job when they are only 60% confident in their ability to do the job while women will only apply when they are 100% confident in their ability to do the job. Imagine how many capable women decided to not apply for a job that they would have excelled at. How many opportunities were missed because they wouldn’t even apply. Speaking as someone who has hired people, there were times that I would have loved to meet someone who was only 85% ready for the job as listed because I didn’t have enough strong candidates for the role.
This isn’t just about jobs either. Are you pursuing a dream? Are you spending your time doing the things that you love and are taking you to a place you want to be? It not, what is holding you back? Are you waiting for some else to tell you that you are ready? They never will. Are you using the excuse that you aren’t prepared yet? STOP! In reality, if you aren’t taking actions today to move you toward your dreams, the only one at fault. The good news is that you can change that right now.
Each morning, ask yourself what can you do today to improve your life and your community. Ask yourself what small action can you take. If you have a little voice in your head, note its concerns because it may have something important to say but don’t let it stop you.
Take the leap. Pack your parachute on the way down.
Tell me in the comments what’s holding you back. I’ll share what I can that might help.
Please share because your friends may be holding themselves back right now.
Years ago my wife and I were walking on a trail. We just happened to be walking near a couple of women when the trail ended because of several fallen logs. They had fallen long ago and were overgrown. I could see the trail start again on the other side. My wife and I started climbing over the logs. One of the women pointed into the bushes to a trail that was so overgrown that we hadn’t even seen it. She said to her friend, “Lets go that way.”
Her exclaimed, “That’s a way?”
We lost sight of them as we climbed logs and they went into the overgrowth. A mile down the trail they came out of the woods about the same time and place as we did.
Their trail showed them different sights and gave them different challenges than our trail did. In the end we all had great experiences and reached similar destinations.
Don’t judge the trail others have taken, even if you couldn’t even see it in the beginning. Don’t doubt that you are seeing a trail. Don’t doubt that you are on your right trail even when others take different paths.