From the moment I started coaching her, she wanted to be in the C-suite.
That was her goal.
Recently, she got the chance.
She was offered COO!
Her initial reaction?
To find all the reasons she wasn’t ready, why the move would let her team down and how it ultimately wouldn’t pan out.
She’d worked to the top of her current ceiling and was about to break through, and she hesitated.
The thing she’s been working her career towards for years!
“I can’t do it,” she told me.
“What if I fail?”
We’ve all been there, so I share this not to cast judgment but to cast light on something that happens all too often: We want that coveted spot in leadership until it’s close enough to reach or is finally offered to us, and then we shrink back.
We’re okay with the dream being some nice, fancy thing “out there”, but when it actually introduces itself, we lose our footing. We find a way to bow out because we’ve gotten comfortable where we are.
Many women get to this point in their careers.
- They are leading a team of direct reports effectively
- They are valued for their work, dedication and collaboration
- They have a great routine and ease in their responsibilities
And they want more (likely their boss’s job), but when it shows up, so does fear.
We’re faced with the reality of actually stepping into our destiny, our next point of leadership, and we second guess or freeze. Fear takes over and can make our decisions for us.
That exact thing was happening to my client.
She was rationalizing, making excuses, and self-sabotaging, so I told her to take a walk and sleep on it to give her brain a break from the mental loops she was doing.
Then I asked her to:
- Make a list of all the reasons it would work.
- Visualize herself moving forward and it going amazingly well.
- Imagine herself accepting the job and how it would feel for not only her but all of her past selves that had sacrificed and worked so hard to get to that very role.
I asked her what I’ll ask you:
Can you afford not to do it?
Does not taking the next step risk where you ultimately want to be?
Think about it, but better yet,
DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.