“It doesn’t matter if you start on the rocks or the rooftops.
Spread your wings and let them take you to new heights.”
~ Sue Krebs ~
Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve really wanted to do something… be it apply for a job, or venture into something new and exciting like… changing your appearance or style… You really wanted to do it but, were too frightened to do it or even, attempt to take that step forwards?
What about being presented with an opportunity to move into something exciting, adventurous and challenging? Something that would give you a great opportunity to move up onto the ‘next level’ in your career and/or platform for progression.
Sometimes opportunities come packaged up in wrapping paper that doesn’t look too appealing to the eye i.e., lacking the lovely wrapper, bow etc… but if we were to take the package presented to us and unwrap it, we’ll find out that the contents were exactly what we needed, wanted… or dare I say… desired at that moment in time.
This statement has been proven so many times over to me in the past and I’m grateful and get great comfort in knowing it. When you look back on the opportunities missed or not taken up on a particular point in your life, you will realise that at that time, you weren’t actually ready or willing to accept it, be it mentally or physically. To take such a ’leap of faith’ and venture into something new, different or challenging at that point in your life was inconceivable in your mind.
How many of you have been in situations like that? I bet quite a few of you have and are relieved that you hadn’t taken the chance back then.
Teetering on the Edge
I’ve had a few missed opportunities earlier on in my career and as recently as 4 years ago, and I’ve often thought… what would I be doing now if I’d taken the opportunity that was presented to me at that time?
I’ll be honest… those occasions when an opportunity had been presented to me, I am not ashamed to say that I was, at that moment in time, far too frightened to take that ‘leap of faith’ and just go for it! I know others who have jumped in with both feet and ‘blagged’ their way into earning ridiculous salaries along the way… I couldn’t do that… it just wasn’t me. Don’t get me wrong, I admire them for taking that plunge and benefitting from taking that step; it’s just that I personally didn’t want or feel confident enough to take that plunge at the time.
There were so many times I found myself teetering on the edge of decision and staring down into an opportunity that could change my life, beckoning me to take the plunge… but alas, I would back away from the edge when I felt myself gravitating towards it.
My gratitude abounds with the opportunities presented to me at those significant points in my career and life… but to be honest… I wasn’t ready for it at all then… but trust me… I am now!
When I look back on my career, I am so grateful for the journey that I have had; I can openly and honestly look at myself and all the setbacks, disappointments faced, and for being angry with myself for not being more assertive when an opportunity came knocking way back then… the fact that I didn’t take the plunge, bite the bullet… or take bull by the horns! I feel, glad that I didn’t do it then. You see… the journey I’ve had is a storybook within itself… I may have to write it down… and share it with you someday… Watch this space!!
Visualising Your Wings
I was talking to a very good friend of mine about her development over a 4-year period. We were in deep conversation about where she’s been, where she is now and more importantly, where she wants to progress to within her career.
Whilst we were talking I likened the struggles that she has had in her career to that of the butterfly. I further went on to say that if I came along and saw her (the butterfly) struggling to get out of her cocoon; and feeling compassion for her and her struggle, I decided to help her out of the cocoon by cutting it to release her. What would happen? I would actually be damaging her progress because, the struggle is part of her journey from the caterpillar into the cocoon and, finally emerging as the magnificent butterfly. Without her persistence to struggle and break free from her cocoon, she would not realise or fulfil her full potential as a butterfly, break free and rest a while before she can spread her wings and fly.
You see… The real strength lies in the knowledge that one has faced challenges – have persisted and not given up to finally break free and move away from that which had kept them bound for so long.
“The Struggle of the Butterfly in their Cocoon.
The struggle gives them strength, and generates the blood flow
they desperately need, enabling them to spread to their wings,
unfurling them ready for their maiden flight”.
~ Jacqueline A. Wilson-Hinds ~
When we struggle and break free from the ties that bind us… this could be anything from a job role, relationship, any situation where you may feel ‘hemmed in’ or, under pressure. How wonderful is that feeling when you finally break free, soaring high and bursting through those dark clouds that seemed to be ever present when things were bad?
The highs, lows, disappointments and disillusionments I’ve faced whilst on my journey have been my own personal struggle and, like the butterfly, I’ve kept on struggling to free myself from the cocoon I’ve been living within throughout my personal and formative working years within the corporate and public sector. By struggling to break free, I’ve pushed myself and experienced things I would not necessarily have experienced or done. Had I not persisted and strived to carry on even when the ‘odds were against me’, I would have not realised my true potential and the God given gifts that I have. When I look back on my journey in Life which encompasses everything, I can truly feel that the next venture I go on, I am and, will be totally equipped for the opportunities that will present themselves hereon…. now to me that’s a nice endearing thought!
All these experiences have shaped and honed my knowledge, skills and expertise. I’m currently enjoying my next venture I’m now in a position where I will be able to utilise my cornucopia of knowledge, skills and expertise to do what I love and do best… helping others to Realise, Unlock and Release their Potential to be the best that they can be.
So what about you? Have you visualised your wings… or are you in transitory phase and trying to get there?
Wherever you are along your own journey, you need to know that everything that happens is part of your respective journey. Others may have similar experiences as you but, it will not have the same effect on them as it does with you. It is only when we look back at our experiences that we can truly appreciate the struggle and the journey we have taken. This often will spur us on to do other things that will enable you to reach even greater heights… That’s fantastic!
Jacqueline. A. Hinds
Emotional Intelligence Coach
Wilson Hinds Consulting
The views expressed by the writer are not necessarily the views of the Springboard Consultancy Ltd.