When the economy tanked last year, you could almost hear people’s dreams screeching to a halt. They went into fear and self-preservation mode (and understandably so). Uncertainty reigned and people hunkered down to ride out the storm, setting aside their big picture goals as they focused on survival.
Maybe they decided not to pursue a project. Or, they scrapped plans for career change because they were just grateful to have a job. Or, they simply stopped looking at the possibilities of next week and next year in favor of just making it to tomorrow.
While that makes sense in the immediate face of looming disaster, it’s a poor long-term approach. At some point we have to shift our attention beyond survival back to thriving. If we don’t, we risk getting caught in a self-perpetuating loop of victimhood.
In a recent video message, Tim Sanders (author of the best-selling Love is the Killer App and the new book Saving the World at Work) challenged each of us to “start it back up.” Watching the video, it occurred to me that we all could benefit from a wake-up call. We all need a reminder that we don’t have to let fear become a habit. We can step out of our protective cave and start taking an expansive approach again.
Try this: Look back over the last year. Did you set anything aside when the meltdown hit? Did your view of the horizon shrink to a focus on survival? Did you put anything down and say, “maybe later?”
If so, maybe “later” is now. What do you need to pick up again? What steps can you take to put down the fear and start moving towards potential and possibility?
After years as a professional malcontent, Curt Rosengren discovered the power of passion. As a speaker, author, and coach, Rosengren helps people create careers that energize and inspire them. His book 101 Ways to Get Wild About Work and his E-book The Occupational Adventure Guide offer people tools for turning dreams into reality. Rosengren's blog, The M.A.P. Maker, explores how to craft a life of meaning, abundance, and passion.