You're powerful, yes - you! And the first step towards stepping into the role you were created for is to own your insight!
In every single one of my professional roles, I have watched people get taken advantage of, seen awesome talent go unrecognized, people who just need an extra nudge or a new role overlooked, and those who prefer to take the easy way out, do just that. I was raised to work hard and not ask questions, to respect authority and always give 110 percent. For a while, that mindset helped me succeed. But as I climbed the chain career-wise (in two different fields), I realized something – hard work is not as important as working smart.
I want to unpack that idea a bit here. When I was television journalist, I saw people working hard all the time. And I saw A LOT of that hard work go unrecognized. In fact, when someone over performed more often than not, they just raised the expectations of their position. In other words, it went like this, oh look at you out there killing it and selling triple the units you were supposed to this week – do that again next week, except triple it again. That’s just going to lead to burnout, right? But it can also lead to something much worse, resentment.
A couple of years ago, I read a study that stated 71 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with their jobs – 71 percent, you all! That’s 71 percent of people in this country that are dissatisfied with what they are doing almost every day. I’ll go ahead and state the obvious here – that should change. Part of that change needs to come from working smarter and harder.
For me, the biggest step forward from being bitter to joyful about my work is stepping into who God created me to be, that meant owning my insight and knowing my worth.
Listen up! YOU ARE VALUABLE. YOU HAVE SOMETHING INCREDIBLE AND SPECIAL TO GIVE TO THIS WORLD. Yes, I put it in all caps, because if I was sitting across from you right now, I would raise my voice (Italian-style).
Don’t waste time being mad or complaining. Make a change. Now, I also want to acknowledge my privilege in being able to make those statements. I am married and live in a two income household. I understand the need to stay in the position you’re in to support yourself or others, or because you know you need to learn a new skill to progress forward. I've been there. Maybe for you the way out looks bleak, but it’s not hopeless.
Look, the vast majority of us still have control over our circumstances. We can make a change, but here is the hardest part – we have to plan for it and we have to follow through. And a change does not have to mean a new position, it can mean having a conversation with your boss or waking up an hour early to pursue your dream. Maybe it’s deciding to have a side hustle or volunteering for a few hours a week. Find the thing that fulfills you or that you're curious about - the thing you always wanted to do but make excuses for and JUST DO IT.
It’s difficult to take the first step, to believe in yourself and to have the courage to believe that you deserve more – you deserve an exceptional life, you don’t deserve to be unhappy.
Be smart, know your value, and don’t be afraid to make a leap. If you’re like some of my friends and you need to have the answers before you do anything – research it! Look at jobs, go on interviews, it doesn’t mean you have to commit to anything, but see what else is out there for you!
You were created to do something special. You were endowed with gifts from your Creator and He has called you forward. Don’t be afraid to live into that and don’t sell yourself short because other people don’t see your value. Believe in that value and take one, baby step forward towards that and then another and then another and then another. I promise you won’t regret it.