It Takes The Pedal To Get You To The Medal

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(continued from yesterday)

Barb was already in coaching when she came to the realization that her career trajectory needed to change course. She’d been wandering through her organization like a five year old in a puddle, yet didn’t understand why she wasn’t getting anywhere.

I told her, “If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you arrive?”

Barb was tenacious once she made up her mind to do something. She emptied her mind of a lot of sloppy thoughts that hindered her progress, and came to a deep understanding of why she’d stood in her own way. The moment she committed to take her foot off the career brake, I could literally see it happen.

Look at taking your foot off the brake, as a decision to stop doing something that’s incongruent with one of your goals.

The next step was for Barb to start doing something new; for her to take action and positive steps toward something she desired. That’s where she ran into trouble. Or, I should say, that’s where she stood still, heels dug in, refusing to move.

What was required of Barb was for her to strategically plan her next five years of professional development. Then we would define the tactics needed to get her there. It took a long time for Barb to take this next step.

To sum it up, she had little difficult stopping a particular behavior, but great trouble starting a new one. Why? For Barb, as is true for many people, stopping herself from doing something was passive and, therefore, easy. On the other hand, starting something action-oriented was very much the challenge.

Starting a new way of thinking or a new behavior required that Barb take the initiative; that she put mental and physical energy behind her hopes and wishes. She believed in herself… but not as much as she needed to in order to get up that steep hill.

Look at the two as the difference between being a ‘victim’ in your life, and being empowered. It takes a lot more self-trust and, therefore, self-confidence to vote for yourself, than it takes to not show up at the polls.

More on this soon. In the meantime….


  1. If you were to take one little, tiny step toward an important goal of yours, what would it be?
  2. How would you feel once you’d taken it?
  3. What will you regret, one year from now, if you fail to move toward this goal?
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