Now Is The Time To Show What You’re Made Of
A personal short story & essay
Your level of success is measured by how many difficult conversations you have with yourself. We tend to avoid those conversations due to fear of failure and the same fear of stepping outside of our comfort zones. But, if you keep your passion close to your heart, keep your eyes open, and your life in motion, everything will always work out.
“Uncommon achievement requires an uncommon level of personal motivation and a massive amount of gut and faith in yourself”.
Throughout this post, I will tell a recent story of mine. With added commentary on the lesson that I learned, in which, we can all and should embrace. That’s how we level up in this game called life.
A position opened up at my job that I was, at least on paper, unqualified for. My initial reaction to the job opening was nowhere close to the thought or action of applying for the position.
Looking back at it, at the time, I harnessed a state of mind where I wasn’t ready to face failure.
It’s easy to stress, it’s easy to get discouraged, and it’s easy to not challenge yourself. The unknown, unplanned, and unchartered course of our lives often turn into uncultivated opportunities. Stop stressing about the possibility of failure.
I would later learn that the absence of fear is liberation.
If it were easy to step out of your regular roles and routines, everyone would do it. The truth is, there are only a select few who choose the path this less taken. Those people are not afraid of failure and they sure don’t let stress dictate their next move.
One of the truths in life is that you never know where you will find inspiration.
It happened during lunch one day. A co-worker of mine who held a higher position confronted me about the opening. Signaling to me that he thought I should apply for the job.
Still, in no state of mind, of even thinking about the position, I responded with “I’m not sure”. Things changed in that moment, as the thought of applying for the position was now engraved in my mind. I started to consider it.
There was constant anxiety surrounding the thought of applying for the position. Yet, that same anxiety didn’t last too long, as I would make the decision soon after to go for it. In the scheme of things, it was a win-win scenario and I had nothing to lose.
Comfort and stagnation are not in your own self-interest. Don’t hold yourself back by harboring compliance. Going out of your comfort zone aides in building new skills and confidence. We must be ready to fail, we must be ready to revel in failure, and we must be ready to learn from it.
But be mindful that not all efforts outside of your comfort zone will lead to your liberation. In this instance, you will find out, that your comfort zone is not your comfort zone — by definition. In its place, it is the compliant zone, where you have embraced and let fear and outside influences dictate your actions.
Discover your true self by shielding any outside influence that tells you to go against your ‘authentic passions and interests’. Only then, will you live a more fulfilling life.
“Embrace the less exciting moments, and you’ll reap the benefits: expand your experience, grow outside your comfort zone” as said by Scott Barlow.
I read this book that once said, “If you think that you’re valuable, the world will view you as being valuable in return”. We are all valuable! We have to think that we are, as thoughts become things.
That same book, titled “The Magic of Thinking Big”, was also my main inspiration to move to NYC. A move that would change my life. If I’ve learned anything in life, it’s the books that you read that mold and transform your inspiration, and so, your imagination.
I went back home to find and re-scan this book that served as the key to all my motivation. Once I got home and opened the book, I couldn’t believe what I saw.
It was my one-way plane ticket to NYC from LAX. This was the sign from the universe and heavenly sent. This was it. In that exact moment, I made a definite decision to apply for the position.
I needed to believe that I as confident in my knowledge and capabilities and that there was nothing to lose.
Long story short…I didn’t get the job.
However, I know that I still won from the situation. Now I was on the radar of upper management and it forced the conversation of the steps that I need to take to reach that next level.
Did it suck not getting the position? Yeah, it sort of did. Not getting the position was an L in the short term but a long-term win. You have to see the larger picture to be strategic in your life decisions.
Go for it. You have to shoot your shot when you’re passed the ball.
Don’t take failure personally — don’t abandon your efforts too early when a challenge arise. If you’ve never failed anything then you haven’t tried anything new.
“Desire is the key motivation, but it is determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal — a commitment to excellence that will enable you to attain the success you seek” Mario Andretti.
Be great, pursue your potential, and anything less of that is not acceptable or worthy of your time.
We have to go for the opportunities that may seem too big. But if you think big, nothing is ever too big to conquer.
Apply for that position that you are unqualified for. Apply to that school that you don’t think you’ll get into. Go after the girl who is out of your league. Try out for the team where your odds of making it are slim to none.
We have to push ourselves sometimes. As there can never be growth without change, and there cannot be change, without progress.
It may seem scary to take that leap but the most successful people are ones who jumped. Always go with the choice that scares you the most, as that, will be the choice that helps you grow.
It’s a growing experience.
In the end, it will all be good.