Take a leap of faith (in yourself!)

Sam Frazher, Marketing Assistant, FMC Global Talent
Sam Frazher, Marketing Assistant, FMC Global Talent

Like lots of people I watch major sporting events like the Olympics with a certain amount of awe. It’s hard to believe these athletes have reached the level of becoming physically one of the world’s best.

Obviously it takes a special kind of work ethic to reach the level of a top athlete and there are many barriers to overcome along the way. But the best athletes keep going.

Kobe Bryant won two gold medals as part of the US national basketball team and is widely considered to be one of the greatest basketball players ever. These achievements didn’t just come to him. When he retired this year many commentators highlighted the fact that he got up at 4 a.m. every morning to work out and practice 800 shots before scheduled training even started. He probably could’ve gotten by with his natural talent, but he realised that no matter how good you are you can’t settle for less if you want to stay at the top. Maybe this level of commitment sounds too much like hard work… but then again Bryant does now drive a Ferrari worth half a million dollars. Sounds worth it.

Now obviously we can’t all expect this level of achievement, I for one am a) a bit lazy and b) not sure I could shoot a basketball if I was stood on someone else’s shoulders, but there are lessons we can learn from the commitment of top level athletes when considering our own career paths and goals.

When I come up against barriers I try to remember that often the first step is by far the hardest. Even taking a minor example like writing this blog – the first sentence is by far the most difficult to articulate. Just like athletes having to physically break through the pain barrier sometimes it’s important to mentally push through discomfort when faced with obstacles in your job.

As another example of the first step being the toughest, colleagues have told me how the act of picking up the phone and calling new businesses is often much more daunting than actually talking to the client when they get through to them.

Slam Dunk Your Career!

The best way around this fear of starting I have found is pretty straightforward – stop focussing on the beginning.

• Don’t think about how much pain you’re going to go through on that run – think about how great you’ll feel an hour or two afterwards.
• Don’t focus on the fear of a negative reaction when trying something for the first time – focus on the positive outcomes that are actually just as likely.

On your career, genuinely ask yourself:

• Why do you do the work you do?
• Are you purely motivated by earnings potential or something more personal?
• What could be at stake if you settle for what is easy? Your development & promotion? Your bonus earnings?
• Are you concentrating too much on the fear of getting started?
• Have you settled for something that is comfortable, but not that enjoyable?

When you’ve answered these questions you’ll have a good idea of whether you are at the top of your game or have settled for less and should be open to considering different opportunities. Keep an open mind and consider all your options including job and career changes.

For a confidential exploratory chat about options within the Software, Medical Technology and Automotive sectors, contact one of our specialist Recruitment professionals today.