The Limb

Recently a client was trying to determine whether to pursue a
seemingly out of reach objective. He would be going out on limb, and
potentially risk failure, exposure, and possibly even his credibility. He was pursuing a promotion for which he was qualified; yet, the
position was out of his business unit, two levels up, and he was not
the politically favored candidate. He was questioning whether to even
throw his name in the hat. Have you beenthere?

Risk taking is full of potential failure, other wise it would be
called ‘sure thing taking,’ right?! Yet, I also know that when we
don’t risk anything, we ultimately risk everything. A few thoughts on
how to gain the courage to go out on the limb:

  1. Figure out what drives your fear. We need to ask ourselves – what
    do we want? How badly do we want it? What is really holding us back?
    Which is greater – our desire for what we want or the fear holding us
    back? What do I have to lose if I don’t pursue this? Once we ‘get this’
    we can focus on overcoming the inertia of not doing anything.
  2. Think about a time when we have overcome ‘that thing’ which scared us to death,
    and lived to tell about it! This may have been speaking in front of
    20,000 people or throwing a critical pass during the final game of the
    season or confronting a wrong-doing by a higher-up within your
    organization. Remember and re-internalize overcoming that fear. This
    becomes the fuel for centering ourselves in pursuing the next risky
    proposition. When we are centered, we make more conscious and
    courageous decisions.
  3. Bust a move! Just make the first move to climb out on that limb!
    This first step provides the power. Regardless of how scary – just do
    it. In the case of my client, this meant sending an email to the CEO
    asking for a few minutes of his time to discuss the opportunity.
    Forward momentum is the key.

Sure, going out of a limb is scary any way you slice it. Yet, lets’ face it: the best fruit is ‘way out there’ for the picking.