"This show doesn't deserve an even slightly restless host, and neither do you."
What Mr. Stewart so gracefully showed us is the courage to change when everything in our culture encourages him to play it safe, ride it out, and collect a check. 'At least for a few more years. Mr. Stewart demonstrated authenticity and courage in being real with himself and taking action.
Many people trudge day after day in unchallenging, unfulfilling roles, feeling stuck, and disengaged. People endure this situation for lots of reasons ranging from perceived financial need to fearing the loss of status or power and everything in between.
When this feeling of restlessness comes for us, and it will come for all of us at many times in many forms in our life, it’s helpful to ask ourselves a few questions. These questions can help you get clear about where you're at and where you're going on your personal and professional journey.
Like in all things, the trick is…there is no trick. It’s key to be totally straight with yourself when answering these questions. You, after all, deserve the best of and from yourself.
If I could only succeed, what would I be doing?
We all have a secret self that dreams of playing at a big game, accomplishing something we’ve always wanted to do. Write down the name of the game(s) you secretly want to play but haven't yet. Beat back the voice that whispers to you about what you should do, about the need to color inside the lines, about how you'll won't fulfill your obligations, or worries what others will think.
You may find that what you’re currently doing is your heart’s desire. If so, awesome! If not, AWESOME! Here’s an opportunity to transform and to do something(s) truly energizing and purposeful.
What does success look like?
Describe what the end of the journey will look, smell, sound, feel, and taste like for you and those closest to you. Write it down, draw a picture, make a collage or whatever you need to do to get the vision alive and on your radar. Refer to this vision often and keep it alive. Declare to yourself and folks you trust to support you the possibility of achieving this vision.
What’s it for?
How does this game or achievement fit your commitments? Notice I didn’t write "obligations". Obligations represent the choice limiting “should does” versus what we’ve committed to pour ourselves into. The difference is choice and taking responsibility for your life and career. The commitment doesn’t have to be the scale of the Gate Foundation or finding the cure for cancer. It does have to be something you own 100%. If the commitment it doesn't fit, examine it. Does this mean it's time for a new commitment? Again, it's time to be straight with yourself.
What can I do right now?
Take an inventory of your skills, contacts, materials, and equipment you’ve already accumulated. You’ll probably be surprised at how much is already at your disposal. Examine what you can do to start your journey with what you have right now and start! Nothing is as invigorating as progress.
Write out what’s needed to achieve your vision. Several things might be needed from education, to contacts, to working capital, and a planner. The variables may be many and as you write them down it may become clearer about how to take action and put the pieces in place.
What’s holding me back?
Time to be really honest and address whatever is fueling that voice that says, "It won't work."
I believe the goal isn't to keep the demons down in the hole but to acknowledge them, take care of them and stop using precious energy to keep them at bay.
Finally, declare that it's possible the goal and that you are committed to working diligently and consistently toward making it reality.
Of course, there are a bunch more questions and other actions to take on the path to achieving your goal(s). There will be loops, double backs and obstacles blocking the path of your journey. Unlike project plans you may be familiar with, these journeys are rarely linear.
They are, however, tremendously exciting, fulfilling, and filled with joy and discovery. They are also filled with the struggle and pain associated with expanding your comfort zone, getting really uncomfortable, and playing a big game.
The rewards, even in failure, are so worth the risk. Get started and don't quit!
At McGinnis Consulting Group, we help people get unstuck and support them on their journey in achieving their personal and professional goals.
Feeling stuck? Send me a message and let's chat.