Did you go the extra mile this week? If not, what stopped you? Was it a peer, a boss, your family, or was it you? Most likely it was you. We hold ourselves back from doing extraordinary things every day. But why? What stops us from going the extra mile? What stops us from doing something bigger or better? I would venture that 90% of the time it is our own self-imposed limitations.
We stop ourselves from exceeding expectations, and then we look for excuses about why. It is natural, we all do it, and what is worse is that we do it every day. It is easy to blame others. We look at situations and we can easily jump into excuse mode. It did not work out because of so and so or such and such. But it is BS, and we know it.
I have been fortunate to not get caught in this pattern. As a consultant, my expertise is in getting to solutions, working around obstacles, and create circumstances that are favorable so that everyone wins. As an entrepreneur, I go the extra mile day in and day out. But I am smart about it. My time and energy are finite. I know not to stretch myself too thin. I have learned to focus on what is most important in the moment. My mentors keep me honest in this respect.
By relentless networking, I am always hunting for additional blue chippers to add to my network. I seek out people that are going to push me in the right direction. I am referring to people who are not happy with minimal effort, who do not wait around for career success to find them. I surround myself with go-getters, entrepreneurs, contrarians, and rainmakers … those people who have a burning desire to bust up bureaucracy. I connect best with these intrepid souls who refuse to be victims of self. This is how I have personally avoided getting stuck in the middle. And how I now as an executive coach, can lead others out of their own valley of despair.
By setting realistic short term career goals, you can achieve or reassess success often. You look at the people in my network and with whom you most often interact. You should want to be with the people who are willing to push you that extra mile when it matters most. You want to have those people in your professional network who are willing to push their own limitations because they want to see just how far they can go.
If you are really ready to go the extra mile, then it is time to cut the dead weight from your network, remove the albatross from around the neck of your career passion, and build yourself a high performing support team. If you do that, you will be on the right path to being able to look in the mirror, and not make excuses for failing to go the distance.