"I figured I'd start at the top and work my way down," said my good friend as we celebrated her BIG WIN. Let me explain...
My friend (let's call her Emma) is a fantastic writer! So much so that I've been bugging her to write a book. Emma has objected, downplayed the idea, and ignored my encouragement. So imagine my surprise when she called and shared that she had signed with an agent! And not just any agent, but a highly sought after, international, award-winning agent at one of the top literary agencies in the world! A well-known agent who has worked with household names on household books. A famous agent who was excited to work with her(!) on her book. As I said, Emma is a superb writer and if you knew her, you wouldn't be surprised by her success. However, as someone who occasionally suffers from paralysis by analysis, I realised that the speed of her success caught me off guard. "How did you manage that?", I asked. Emma's response: "I figured I'd start at the top and work my way down." Emma went after EXACTLY what she wanted by identifying who she wanted to work with, removing doubts she had about her ability to secure such a big agent, and taking the big "little" step of contacting the agent directly and pitching her idea.
Going after what you want can be scary. After all, what happens if you fail? Or worse - what if you succeed?! Wherever your fear comes from, the result is often the same - inaction! And it makes sense - putting yourself out there can be scary. Especially for successful leaders and high-achievers, like you, who see it as your job to continuously and consistently be successful. That pressure to always be 'on top' can be a wonderful driver, however, pressure mixed with fear is not a formula for success. It can:
- cripple you, preventing you from taking action. And if you don't take action, getting what you want is so much harder
- hold you back from playing full-out, thereby minimising your potential
- result in you taking tiny, overly cautious steps that derail or slow down your success
Emma didn't let fear get in her way and you, too, can choose to do the same. Here are five steps for how you can play big and accelerate, just like Emma did:
- Identify your big "start at the top" step and be SMART* about it.
- Answer the question, "what is the worst-case scenario if I take that step?" One of two things will happen: either you realise the worst-case scenario isn't actually that scary or you now have the information to create an action plan that paves the way for your big step.
- Create a Game Plan that guarantees success by shifting from an outcome-oriented mindset to a mastery-oriented one
- Take the big step. Yes, this is a natural step in the process - do the thing!
- Trust the process. Trust yourself. Life is a journey. The first step is just the first step of many exciting ones to come.
*SMART = Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Reasonable, and Time-bound