“You have to commit to the turn!”
My ski instructor stood beside me, encouraging me to move forward. But I couldn’t. I was frozen. Was it the fear of getting hurt? Or the limiting beliefs that I had bad knees and that I was just not the athletic type?
My experience on the Colorado slopes solidified a key component of professional growth and development, something I’m always considering as an executive coach: in order to realize your career dreams, you must be fully committed to the goal. You need to do the hard work of “committing to the turn” before you even step into the arena of growth.
So, what does it take to be committed to your objectives and professional growth?
You have an intrinsic belief that you can do it.
Your logical mind might insist that you don’t have the experience or the knowledge to execute the job. Now, you have a deep belief in your own power. Your instinct tells you that you can ski down towards that finish line.
You value the goal.
You have that feeling that the goal is worth the work. You believe in the mission. You need to be “in the flow” with the activity, which requires a real affinity for the tasks and steps needed to execute and achieve. For me, the objective of becoming a good skier was not high enough on my value list, and it took facing down that slope to realize that.
You are willing to take the risk.
Your drive to succeed is bigger than your fear of failing or getting hurt. You accept the fact that you are going to fall sometimes and have the grit to stand up, brush the snow off, and try, try again.
You visualize your new identity.
Any professional growth requires an adjustment— an adjustment of how you see yourself professionally. For example, if you were promoted to CFO after working for many years as a controller, you’d need to be able to put on that hat mentally before stepping foot into your new office. That pivotal moment on the slopes taught me that “skier” is not a hat that feels right for me.
If you are feeling stuck and hesitant to “commit to the turn” of your career path, take some time to expand your intrinsic beliefs about your professional identity. Fine-tune your goals, prepare yourself to take risks, and visualize your new self. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, either. Moments of crisis and challenge lead us to question and clarify our commitment, and push us further down the path of personal and professional growth.
Leticia Hartmann is a Certified Professional Coach and Founder at Exploritat – Executive Coaching and Talent Development.