There's No Substitute For The Truth
By Donovan Grant
I had to read this quote twice before I got the point. The nugget from Winston Churchill reads like this … “everyone stumbles over the truth from time to time, but most people pick themselves up and hurry off as though nothing ever happened.”
You’re probably thinking “he’s not talking about me!”
Please re-read it before you go further…
I was on the 18:27 train from Charing Cross just coming into
Mr Churchill’s comment resonated with what was happening at the office. It was annual appraisal season. Most employees hate this time of year. It’s a time to collect feedback from colleagues, find evidence of your ‘best’ projects and then confess about any hoops that you didn’t manage to jump through this year.
The thing is, line managers’ hate it too! They are forced to play the ‘bell curve’ lottery with peoples’ careers. In simple English, it means that if you are in a team of 10 people, one person will be rated top, eight are spread around the middle and one person has to be dumped on bottom rung. That’s the way the system works!
My mind drifted off to last year’s post appraisal chit chat. A middle aged friend had ended up on the bottom rung and he was shattered:
“I’m too old for all this”
“Maybe I could have done better”
“This new technology is getting the better of me”
When people get to that mid-career point it’s not unusual for them to question themselves.
Let’s face it; when you are 40 plus, your perspective on life changes somewhat. For some people it happens when they hit 35! So it is possible that your enthusiasm may wane for what was previously a dream job.
The easy thing to do is to play the victim. It’s easy to look for someone or something to blame. It’s easy to use a poor appraisal score as an excuse.
My friend listen up, real life isn’t easy!
Have you considered that you may have ‘stumbled on the truth?’
The career world has changed. You’ve changed. Change happens. So maybe this time the message for you is bigger that you think. Maybe the Man (person) upstairs is sending you a text message:
“Are you afraid to let your light shine?”
“Are you shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you?”
“Are you ready to free yourself from your own fear?”
Everyone has setbacks. If you take a different perspective to the stumble, what opportunity could open up for you? I have faced this calling in my career before and it was hard. The first thing that I wanted to do was to get up as quickly as possible and perform as though nothing happened. I toughed it out. I wanted to prove them wrong. What I really needed to do was prove to myself that I was honouring my own values. Be true to myself.
Instead of that, I became a performer and this was not being truthful. Performance is not a permanent solution. When you look in the mirror and see your heart looking right back at you, the truth speaks.
When I took some quiet time to think things through, I realised that my desires and outlook had changed. I didn’t see it coming. The question that I needed to ask now was ‘what do I want to do with my life?’ This was when I made the shift from the victim to the victor and got my career and life back on track!
I’d like to invite you to think of your life, your career or your business and ask yourself this question too:
What do I want to do with my life?
You see the thing is, the sooner you get started on planning your future, the better life will be now. The world is getting smaller, faster and more demanding. Now, more than ever is the time to take responsibility and live in alignment with your passions.
And next time you take a stumble and you feel like going on a guilt trip, these questions and answers below may be useful to ponder:
1. Are my doubts and fears true? Answer: Probably not
2. Where did my excuses come from? Answer: I made them up
3. What do I gain? Answer: I avoid taking risks and stay in my comfort zone
4. What would my life look like if you couldn’t use the excuses? Answer: I’d be free to be myself
5. Can I create a truthful reason to change? Answer: Yes, easily
6. When can I make a start? Answer: Today
Make a commitment to be true to yourself and keep moving forward everyday.
Ps. My middle aged friend stayed with the firm, changed departments and is now happily working as an IT Trainer!
I believe in you and I am grateful to you for allowing us to serve you each and everyday!