Have you ever taken a step back from your current role and compared it to what you thought you would be doing at this point? What were you expecting? Was it a certain title…or salary…or span of control? How close are you to achieving that vision?
For many…that vision is a cruel reminder of what their career is not. That can really hurt.
When those feelings get churned up we often try to suppress them as quickly as possible. After all, we’re professionals! Being under control is a hallmark of our leadership skill set. Except the suppression strategy is not real. Feeling disappointment…frustration…and even some bitterness is normal. Don’t bury those feelings, and please don’t disregard them in some sort of artificial cleansing exercise.
Wallow in the pain. Let it consume you. Allow your honest feelings to flow hard through your mind and body. Experience those raw emotions…and feel the pain.
And only then…begin to release them.
Allowing yourself to feel alive…even when it is painful…actually turns out to be quite empowering. As counter intuitive as that may sound, life has a way of using our frustrations and disappointment as fuel to bring the future into greater focus.
Once your self-inflicted pain session is complete it is time for action. Get yourself organized. Start a list of what you want…now. Don’t sell yourself short as you document what it is you really want. Put it all down on paper (or Wunderlist if you’ve committed to a digital life like me.)
This list…regardless of how long…is your new beginning. You don’t have to achieve anything on your list today…but you absolutely need to acknowledge that it exists.
Your new plan has just been born. Give yourself credit for starting. Nothing keeps disappointment and bitterness going strong more than inaction.
So take action!
How About You
Titles..money…power…all may have a role to play in your plan. However, being someone other than you makes no sense, so stop the comparisons and focus on your list. Organize it…take small steps…and start being the real you. After all, it’s a lot more satisfying to say “I Wanna Be Me!” Don’t you think?
Jay Kuhns is a human resources executive, leadership coach, speaker, consultant and is the author of Unstoppable Power, Leverage Energy, Risk and Relationships and Advance Your Leadership Career. He is a “Type A” leader who understands that human resources leadership is about high energy, creativity, strong personal connections and making changes that push organizations forward.