Stay in the Game

I love the Olympics – – the opening and closing ceremonies, the competitions, the athletes (who train for years to reach this pinnacle of success) going for the gold for their perspective countries.  What inspire me are the stories of what the athletes endured to make it to the games.   I am enamored by the courage and determination of each athlete as they embark on their journey to achieve their dreams. Besides consistent practice and working hard, what is the common thread among these elite athletes?

They showed up.

They did not stay on the sidelines dreaming to become an Olympian one day; they did not leave their future to chance — they did something to make it happen.   They showed up to practice– they showed up to the preliminary competitions—they showed up to the semi-finals—they showed up to the finals.  They showed up.   That is the same with life and anything else we aspire to achieve:  We have to show up.

When was the last time you showed up at the Olympics of your life?   What are you doing to win your Gold medal?  Are you on the track to achieving your dreams?

The good news is that the past is behind you and you can start right where you are.  Here are five things you can do now:

Ask yourself, “What do I want to achieve”?

Clues to this answer may be your answers to these questions:  What brings you the greatest passion?  What is your greatest frustration (perhaps you can find the solution and share it with others)?  Have you overcome something that can help others (i.e. lose weight, pursue education, etc.)?  Where do you want to go within your company?

Make the decision to go for it

Remember the road to any journey begins with a single step.   And making the decision to go for it is your starting gate.

Seek Out Information About Your Dream

You can search the internet, visit the library; take a course, subscribe to periodicals, shadow someone who has achieved your dream, volunteer time to work for someone who has achieved your dream in exchange for mentoring.

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Create a Plan

Plan your success.  Do not simply respond to your environment, be proactive.  For example, say you want to become an interior designer.  Then a part of your plan may be to talk to successful interior designer or attend school.

Take Action

The difference between a dream and achievement is action.   Don’t wait until everything is perfect (it will never be).  You have to show up – do something!   Don’t be afraid of small beginnings.

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Your dreams can come true and now is your time to get started.  The past doesn’t matter and you can begin again.    Stay tuned –  I will offer five more suggestions that will encourage you to keep going now that you’ve started.

Reflection: 

What are your dreams?  

Have you done anything to achieve it?  If not, what is holding you back?

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Nancy Kirk-Gettridge is founder of Phenomenal Image, an executive development firm focused on helping her clients gain confidence and take control of their careers. Confronting workplace challenges and her own limiting beliefs, Nancy is committed to helping her clients see themselves as qualified leaders and risk-takers. Nancy frequently writes about resolving gender bias in the workplace. Key topics include career management, leadership training/development, succession planning and overcoming workplace issues.

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