Don’t Just Sit There
If you’re anything like me, you know it’s easy to get stuck in your career. A job can be great for a while, but then you begin to realise that it is time to move forward. You will probably be feeling like you have stopped learning, stopped being challenged, and stopped progressing towards your goals. You will be frustrated because of this. If that’s you, don’t just sit there. There are many things you can do that will help you reach one step further. Here’s my top ten. Some of them might seem a bit crazy but trust me, they work!
1: Take a cold shower
Now you might be asking, ‘Come on, how can taking a cold shower help me move forward in my career?’ Well, basically what a cold shower can do, is wake you up! A cold shower gets your heart racing, makes your body move and fight to survive. And when your body wants to move and fight to survive, so does your mind. It’s so easy to get overly comfortable in our jobs and lives. Having a cold shower is uncomfortable and yet can be exactly what we need, not only as a symbol, but as a physical push in taking that one step further, which we may have been putting off.
2: Take a class in something you are terrible at
If you take a class in a skill you really have no natural talent for, you will prove a lot to yourself. First of all, you will prove that when you put yourself out there to do something difficult, that it is energizing and invigorating, even if you don’t do very well. Secondly, you will get over your feelings of self-consciousness and performance anxiety, and will become far more confident in general because of that. Thirdly then, you will be surprised to find that anything can be learned to some degree, even without talent. This will literally make you feel invincible and give you the courage you need to take one step further in your career, even if it might be risky or difficult.
3: Climb a mountain
Literally climbing a mountain can teach you an awful lot about the importance of putting one step in front of the other, and the importance of this simple action in achieving a hard won goal. You don’t need to be a professional to do this, it doesn’t need to be Mount Everest and there doesn’t need to be any rock climbing involved. Simple climbing, one step at a time, is what you are after. This is what will teach you the lessons you need to learn in order to move forward. Take a notebook to write down what you learn on the way.
4: Take up running
Another way to get better at putting one step in front of another, especially when the going gets tough, is by taking up running. This can also, like the cold shower, get your heart rate going and inspire you to do things you may have been putting off. Running is not fun. It might be for a minute or so, but as soon as you start to get out of breath, it’s hard. This is the part to push through. Keep going one step at a time until you have gone as far as you possibly can. Then walk to regain your breath and repeat this. If you do this walking and running three times in a row, not only will you have had a good workout, but you will have inspired yourself in general to get moving!
5: Kiss someone
Ok, so if you’re married, that someone will have to be your wife or husband. But still, it will help! It is well known that kissing makes you feel good. Plus there is an element of vulnerability in it. It gets you out of your comfort zone, gets you close and personal with someone and raises your blood pressure. All these things are good in helping you feel motivated in life, and in helping you be more courageous in general. Moving one step forward in life or career is not a huge thing to do, and neither is kissing someone either, but both have the potential for something huge to be the outcome.
6: Have an adventure
Adventures are vital because, in an adventure, you don’t know what’s going to happen next. In many senses, life really is one big adventure. We don’t know what we are going to face, or what will be thrown at us along the way, but we still have to keep moving forward toward our goals. An adventure enables us to roll with the punches and actually enjoy them, rather than allowing them to stop us moving forward. So, next time you are presented with a small adventure, something that you have never done before and where you wouldn’t know what to expect … go for it!
How about starting a new career in China? The Chinese economy is booming and there are a lot of opportunities for skilled westerners to make a future for themselves in the most populated and soon to be the leading economy in the world. Now that would be an adventure.
7: Talk to yourself
Words create both energy and action. Our lives are a product of our words. We all read quotes from others because they motivate us, but we don’t need to rely on the words of others, we can use our own … and we can quote ourselves. The truth is, we do what we are told to do, more often than not. So tell yourself what to do. Yes, telling yourself out loud what to do, can genuinely motivate you to actually do it. Think: what is the step forward you need to take today and tell yourself to take it. Be specific. Tell yourself exactly what you need to do, and when and how. You might have to find a solitary place to do this, but it’s worth it. All the experts agree that self-talk is powerful.
8: Look up the meaning of your name
Sometimes the meaning of our name, whether our first name, middle name(s) or surname, can give us a strange insight into ourselves and motivate us to become all we can be. If you find your name is negative or has no particular meaning, perhaps there is a symbolic value that you can find in it. In fact, we can find the motivation to take one step further in career and life in any self-knowledge. Often we search within for this knowledge, yet paradoxically, often it is found outside of us. Life is actually a gift. It is given to us, as is our name. Discovering this gift can free us from excessive self-control and the fear of taking action in our life.
9: Throw out all of your old things
This will strike horror into the heart of many, but one of the reasons we don’t move ahead in life is because we are so weighed down with clutter. This can be physical, emotional, mental, or a mixture of all these, but getting rid of physical clutter will help with the mental and emotional stuff as well. Be ruthless and you will find yourself feeling far lighter, less weighed down and more able to take that next step.
Yes, sing. Singing really helps you to release your inner-self and abandon all your worries. Singing at the top of your lungs will free you like nothing else. Of course, you might be a terrible singer, which means you don’t really want anyone to hear you, in which case just sing in the comfort of your own home. No-one needs to hear you in order for it to have the desired effect. Play a song you love and know well and sing along without holding back. Stand up, move around if you like, and sing as loudly as possible. You’ll feel amazing, as if you can literally move mountains.
Now the next step is the exciting part … go move that mountain. Good luck!