Don’t Let The Mountain Get In Your Way, Or Your Boss
We all encounter stumbling blocks in our lives and careers, but what action do you take when those barriers becomes an impediment to your success or happiness?
What if you could stop making anything or anyone bigger than you and create beyond it all with ease? No matter if your particular ‘mountain’ to overcome is a boss who doesn’t acknowledge your value, or a particular area in your own business that has you stumped and frustrated, you can out-create that thing or person.
Is it really a mountain, or a mole-hill?
One of the first things I say to clients who feel frustrated or stuck in their business or career, with their perceived obstacle, is: “Get out of your head.” Have you ever noticed that the more you think about a problem, the bigger it gets?
I have a client, Frank, whose biggest problem was with actual mountains. He is a high-achieving executive, and a cyclist who hated climbing hills and did not feel strong enough to conquer the upward terrain. It became such a sticking point for him, that he would mentally defeat himself long before the race, inevitably struggling when he got to the inclines. He was constantly focused on trying to solve his looming problem and it just got bigger in his mind.
Ninety-nine percent of the time, the issue is never as big in real life as it is in your head.
If you truly desire for nothing and no-one to get in your way, stop thinking about your problem. Instead, ask a question: “If I wasn’t fixated on my problem, what possibilities might I see beyond this?” Take a step back, widen your focus, allow yourself to consider possibilities other than the worst-case scenario might actually exist!
Whatever (and whomever) you make most significant – rules.
At one point I asked Frank, “Are you willing to be bigger than the mountain?” His reply was, “Well obviously that’s impossible – the mountain is bigger than me!” I then asked him, “What if it wasn’t? What would you do or be different if you knew you could be bigger than the mountain?”
If you work in a situation with a difficult boss, you could easily conclude that because he or she is in a ‘higher’ position within the business, they are more significant or more powerful, but what if they’re not? What if you are making this person the significant element only by choosing to see it that way? What would change if you altered your point of view?
You can choose to let yourself be helpless, where you are always the insignificant one; or you can be a leader, where you never assume anyone or anything is greater or lesser than you.
Until you can see the greater possibilities, you will only see the challenges. As a leader, you must be willing to explore every possibility.
If you realized that nothing and no-one in your life was greater than you – what would you actually choose?
Frank realized that while he was willing to be a leader in many areas of his life, in this situation, he’d had not learned how to conquer the climb ahead. Once he realized that by making the mountain more significant he had given up being a leader, he needed to change it. He began enjoying the challenge of the mountains, improved his times on the inclines, and started winning first and second places in the races!
Turn your obstacle into opportunities.
What if your biggest hurdle could be your greatest springboard? Even if it is your boss?
The golden key to turning even your biggest obstacles into opportunities is to ask questions that get you to look at your situation from a completely different angle:
- If this wasn’t significant, how could I use this to my advantage instead?
- What other options are available here that I haven’t yet considered?
- Who or what has information and /or expertise that can assist me with this matter?
- If I flip this on its head, or turned it 180 degrees, what possibility or opportunity could this be?
If you have a boss who won’t acknowledge your contribution or put you forward for promotion – you could ask questions like: who or what could you add to your life that would assist you to leverage your capacities? Are there opportunities both in your current position and elsewhere where your contribution can be better received? And how can you use the boss you currently have to your advantage in ways you might not have considered before?
Start asking more questions. Put your attention on possibilities, not problems. When you make the mountain significant, you will always stand in its shadow. When you are willing to acknowledge nothing is greater than you – that is where the fun begins!