Imagine you just heard about a new opportunity, perhaps a promotion, a move to another department, or a new job a friend told you about.
What is your first reaction? If you’re human, it’s probably a combination of excitement and curiosity! Then something interesting may happen… Have you ever noticed this pattern:
- You get excited and curious, so you look more closely at the requirements, job description, etc. And where you don’t have details, your imagination begins to fill in some of the gaps
- Then, something catches you. A tightness perhaps. You see something that doesn’t feel right – a new skill, a new team, something you are not 100% confident you can do
- At which point, your mind is flooded with all sorts of reasons this potential opportunity is wrong for you, as in…“But my boss now is so flexible…It’ll probably require a different schedule, that’s not going to work with the kids…The learning curve is going to be really steep, not sure I’m up for that right now…I’m missing some things they are looking for…”
And before you know it, that exciting new opportunity is something you have just talked yourself out of without even giving yourself, or the opportunity, a chance. All because you’re telling yourself a story that may be completely wrong.
Why do we do this? Because we are wired for stasis. Early in our evolution change could mean danger, even death. Our survival depended on staying in the same place, with the same people. But that is no longer true. In fact, staying in the same place with the same people can be its own danger in our modern world.
So, stop it. Stop taking yourself out of the running before you even get started. Instead, go for it! Feel all those feelings and recognize them for what they are – a biological remnant intended to give you information.
With each doubt and fear, ask yourself “Is that really true?” Ask, “Could something else be true?” Maybe an even better boss? Maybe the chance to prove something to yourself? Maybe an opportunity for others to step up so you can step up?
You don’t have to believe every story your mind tells you. Worst case scenario? You don’t get the job and you’ll get over it. Best case? You’ll find an opportunity where you can truly shine!