Take Courage

October 15th, 2014

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I think I can, I think I can… I know I can! 

– The Little Engine That Could

During a recent meeting with a client we found ourselves laughing about the need for a ‘little engine that could’ mindset. Telling ourselves that ‘Yes I think can, I think I can.… I know I can’, despite the apparent obstacles that lay in the way.

Most of us will recall the much loved childhood story that I am referring to about the train filled with toys for children that breaks down before reaching them. After asking several trains passing by for help over the hill and being derided for doing so, a little blue engine agrees to help. Even though she is small, the blue engine digs deep within herself to find the energy and capability to bring the train carrying the toys to the children on the other side of the hill.We’ve all faced times where we have felt like the train loaded to the hilt with expectations and responsibilities, facing an uphill journey only to find ourselves without the resources to get over the hill. It might be that you are embarking upon a major project, looking to change jobs, streamline systems or managing difficult situations.

It’s normally in these times when there is little opportunity and limited support that the obstacles seem larger than life. It’s in these times that courage is required. Courage to think about alternative solutions, take a risk and step out. Courage to simply say ‘I can’ and not, ‘I can’t’ or ‘it’s too hard’ or ‘what if it doesn’t work’?

Tapping into into your personal courage takes some grit, but when you do, you can overcome uncertainty, intimidation, apathy and doubt. It also helps you move from situations where you find yourself ‘stuck’ to a world of expanded opportunities.

Courage is crucial in our world today. But somehow it always seems easier to recognise, encourage and applaud it in others. Stepping out and applying it in our own lives often requires a great deal of risk and vulnerability, which for some invokes sheer terror and more often than not is regarded as weakness.

BUT (and this is a big but!) when you do recognise, develop and apply the power of personal courage the benefits can be enormous. Not only do you break down the limitations of any situation, you can realize greater job satisfaction, career advancement and experience greater confidence and personal fulfillment.

To support the development of a courageous mindset, I believe that there are six key steps to consider:

  • Be clear on your direction /path

In order to bravely step out and ‘get over that hill’ you need to know that it is where you want and/or need to go. Confidence in your direction will be a solid anchor that supports your decisions.

  • Adopt a solution-oriented mindset

Barriers will always be there whether you look for them or not. Adopting a solution-oriented mindset not only allows you to focus on where you are going but to do so in a more timely and efficient manner.

  • Ask for help

No one can do it alone. Harnessing the energy and talents of others will not only lighten the load but also bring fresh new approaches, ideas and ways to overcome obstacles.

  •  Surround yourself with ‘Can Do People’  

Don’t let the ‘nay-sayers’ derail you! Collaborating with people who also bring a ‘can do attitude’ will see you achieve your desired results and destination faster and with less stress and angst.

  • Focus on one step at a time

Whist it is critical to know your end destination, it is just as important to know what the incremental goal posts are and ensure that they are achieved with quality and purpose. Acknowledging and celebrating these milestones will also build momentum and drive further forward action.

  • Start moving

‘Clarity comes through engagement not thought’ (Marie Forleo). Often we don’t have all the answers at the beginning of the journey but by actively engaging in the process we come to understand what works and what doesn’t. Momentum also builds momentum but it does require a start.

To shift thinking and find solutions in both our businesses and careers we need to embrace courage on a daily basis. When we do so, it provides us with the power, knowledge and strength to take a lead role in solving workplace issues and enhancing both our personal performance and organizational effectiveness.

I for one plan on finishing the journey saying ‘I thought I could, I thought I could’ and not ‘I wish I did, I wish I did’!

Do you have any other tips for adopting a courageous mindset in your workplace? Please share below …

Margot – The Career Diplomat[vcex_divider style=”solid” icon_color=”#000000″ icon_size=”14px” margin_top=”20px” margin_bottom=”20px”][vc_single_image image=”126″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” alignment=”none”]If you would like to know more about overcoming obstacles and gaining clarity in your workplace, please contact Margot directly on margot@talentinsight.com.au or +61 3 9866 3842.[vcex_divider style=”solid” icon_color=”#000000″ icon_size=”14px” margin_top=”20px” margin_bottom=”20px”][vc_single_image image=”88″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” alignment=”none” link=”http://talentinsight.com.au/contact/”]

2 Responses

  1. Steph Delaney says:

    I love that book and ordered an original last year for a Christmas gift. Its a great mantra to carry through life and you’ve written an inspiring piece here. Thanks for reminding us we can do anything we put our minds to, or at the very least learn something wonderful
    about ourselves in the trying!

    • thecareerdiplomat says:

      Thanks Steph. The mind is an incredible tool that we all have and it really is amazing how many lessons are buried in those delightful children’s books.

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