Over Our Head

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This morning I wrote the poem below on my poetry blog:

Deep Waters

Do not be deceived.
The seas are never as calm as they seem.
They are deep, with riptides and currents,
and the tides draw you further from shore.
There are beasts under the surface,
hungry and rabid with blood-lust,
so vast,
so incredibly vast that you could disappear
and no one would find you.

And yet this is where you swim,
in the deep waters, never certain
if you are brave or foolish
or perhaps,
a bit of both.

In the comments after the poem, I tell one of my truths, that I have lived most of my life in the deep waters. a bit out of my depth.  It was true in all three of the startups I was part of in the technology world. It was true in 2011 when I launched out on my own as a coach and consultant.

The problem is that growth does just that. It puts us a bit out of our depth. It makes us uncomfortable.  Unsure. Uneasy.

In general, we like to be seen as on top of everything.  We want to project that image of certainty and “I got this.” We want it because we have been taught that is what people expect, and from childhood, we have been taught to meet expectations. We want it because we think everyone else is so perfectly on top of everything and we don’t want to feel “less than”.

Well, it’s time to let that idea go. It’s simply not true.

I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by hugely successful people for most of my career. And since moving to coaching and consulting in 2011, I have worked with successful companies and individuals who hungered to move forward.  Successful people come in all personality types and styles. They approached their work in myriad different ways.

Don’t let anyone tell you there is A way to success. There are as many different ways to become what we want to become as there are people and organizations. The trick in moving ourselves to a place where success and happiness converge lies in applying principles to personalities (and yes that can mean companies too.) to make the two seamless.

But there are a few things that everyone and every organization that chooses to move significantly forward have in common, and one of those is that every one of them, Every one of them, had to go through a period of uncomfortableness to get there.

It is not a pleasant thing, being uncomfortable. Most of us avoid it like the plague. But it is part and parcel of growing into what we want to be and do. It’s new territory. There are false beliefs that have to be changed (because they hold us back.). There are new skills and thought patterns to learn. There is a period of time as we transition to the new ways of thinking when we are just not very good at these new things.

If there is one thing that holds most of us back, it is that fear of the uncomfortable.  It’s why so many talented people and skilled companies don’t move forward, get stuck, never quite reach what they feel (and they are right) is their full potential. We just don’t like that feeling.

What can we do to move past that feeling?

  • First, realize it’s normal. And that the very fact that you feel uncomfortable means growth is happening.
  • Second, find someone to help you navigate past it. It can be a coach, a mentor, a consultant, or a friend who can work with every step of the way, who has helped others make significant changes, and who will guide you, encourage you and let you make the changes with emotionally safe support.
  • Third, pay attention as you progress. Often we think we are going to be uncomfortable forever, but if we monitor our progress, we almost always come to understand, and see, that the uneasy feeling is lessening. But we have to pay attention to it to understand the progress we are making. Otherwise, we think a little uncomfortableness is the same as the huge uncomfortableness we felt at the beginning, and we get discouraged.

Want to grow into that amazing leader, artist, spiritual soul, salesman, spouse, pastor, business owner (or starter!)? Want to grow your company or organization from merely good to great? Want to transform your organization’s culture? Be prepared to be uncomfortable for a time. It’s going to happen.

And it’s a good sign.

Be well. Travel wisely,

Tom

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What can I do for you? 

If you want to move from where you are to where you want to be, consider taking advantage of my “three for free” coaching sessions. Three free sessions, no strings attached, to see if coaching is for you. Want to know more about coaching’s effectiveness before you contact me? Try reading this. 

If you are a company or organization that needs to simplify, market more effectively, change corporate culture or has a nagging issue you want to fix for once and for all, consider a free one-hour consultation. Want to know more about our consulting services before you contact me? Try reading this. 

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2 comments

  1. I really needed to read that tonight, it is so good to heard of that I am not the only person that feels that sometimes, Thanks, Tom 🙂

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