Mar
28
 

How not to get a handful of mud

How not to get a handful of mud
“When you reach for the stars you may not get one, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either.”
~Leo Burnett

I was talking with a client the other day and he told me about a key project he wanted to take the lead on, but was afraid to ask for. “What if my boss says ‘no’?” he said. “What if she doesn’t think I can handle it?”

“And what if she does?” I answered. “What if she says ‘yes’? You’ll never know if you don’t try.”

Sometimes the stars seem out of reach – the dream goal, the elusive ambition, the lead on a key project. Sometimes they seem so out of reach that we talk ourselves out of reaching for them, but as I said to my client, you never know if you don’t try. And if you try, you’re more likely to get something, or to even get close to your dream goal, rather than ending up with a handful of mud.

We need to remember to get out of our own way, and to look at our fears and move through our fears. We need to get support and a dose of reality from a colleague, a friend, or a coach. We can find an accountability partner, so that we’re less willing and able to give up without even trying, and to build in our own personal motivational tactics. I have clients who have pasted pictures around their office to remind them of their dreams, or stuck a post-it on their computer with a gentle (or not so gentle) reminder. I have coached clients to schedule time in their calendar to work on their goals, and to break down the far-reaching, star-like goals into sizeable, doable chunks.

There are a lot of ways to move towards that elusive ambition or dream, and the most important step is to take the first step. To reach for the stars, and see what you come up with.

How have you reached for the stars?
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If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.

If you want someone to help you reach farther, contact Lisa at lkohn@chatsworthconsulting.com.

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