Have you ever asked the question, "When is it going to happen for me?" in regards to getting the kind of results you wish to have as a woman in your business, career or life in general.
Truthfully, I have! Probably more times than I’d care to admit.
I recall my early days as a freshman playing on my high school basketball team. As an energetic and athletic young player, with so much passion burning inside of me, I was eager to get out on the court and win games. My team, without a doubt was amazing and we had a great record in our first year, but as a leader and competitor I wanted more.
My goal, my “it” was to play for the coveted varsity team.
Now here comes the big blow:
When the next year came around for varsity team selections, guess what? My name did not make the list. Feeling disappointed and frustrated I asked my coach this question – “when is it going to happen for me”?
And then my coach, with his little beetle eyes that seemed to pierce through my soul, looked at me and said, Nicole "focus on developing your skills and your time will come, it will happen!"
From that moment on, his words echoed loudly in my mind. For the entire basketball season and throughout practices I softly repeated to myself “focus on developing your skills Nicole, your time will come, "it" will happen. His words were like that source of fuel to keep the fire burning in me, whenever I was down or feeling discouraged.
Have you ever wondered if you are focusing on the right thing?
Focusing on the fundamentals of basketball seemed extremely tedious for me. Not embracing the right attitude towards the practice of these basic skills such as knowing the number of times to dribble, learning shoots, running drills and practicing defense totally delayed my advancement.
At the time, I saw learning these basic skills to be somewhat a waste of time. Not really grasping the value of my coach’s message made me become sloppy with developing my skills. It wasn’t until I began to see my fellow teammates surpass me in getting more practice playtime with the varsity team, that I realized that something needed to change about me.
Don’t overlook the basics!
Consequently, I finally realized a true leader values the fundamentals and focuses on developing them first and with this, I took a bold step. I made the mind shift and aligned my practice time to honing the basics. Well, just as its said - "better late than never", that was when “it” happened and I made the varsity team.
If I did it, then you can do it too!
Here are some valuable personal growth and leadership lessons I learned:
1. Focus on the fundamentals
As a leader you must focus on the fundamentals. “Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals”. Jim Rohn
The underlying current to leading a life you want, starts with focusing on the primary source - You!
Think about it:
· Do you have a personal growth plan to help you lay the necessary foundation on which you would build the type of family, relationships, career, or business you desire?
· Do you see the importance of dedicating time everyday to develop yourself?
For some women this is quite a challenge because they put everyone else above themselves, but how can you truly master the “it” factor if you don’t invest the time in you? Here's the answer - you won’t!
Well, these are some of the personal growth and leadership fundamentals that I am suggesting you direct your attention to focusing on.
Fundamental #1 Control your thought-Life
What you think about yourself, certainly goes a long way in determining who you will be. As women who are called to lead, you should learn to take some time to deposit life-giving, vision-filled, and strengthening words into your life by listening, speaking and pondering on them.
Most times, I take my favorite bible scriptures, personalize them and create my own powerhouse factory.
Fundamental #2 Practice following through
It is advisable that you learn to follow through with people. For you to be able to lead well, do not over commit yourself by promising people something just for “show-offs”. For example, don’t tell someone you will call them back if you have no intention of calling them back. Just say it was nice talking to you and leave it there.
Fundamental #3 Say how you really feel
Be true to how you really feel about something. Keeping the truth about how you really feel within may only worsen the situation of things. If your spouse, close friend or colleague asks you something, it is best you communicate honestly.
Don’t get caught up in the false protection zone, where you lie to yourself to protect other people's feelings. This will erode your character over time and cause unnecessary inner turmoil.
2. Growth must be intentional
In John Maxwell’s leadership book "the 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth" he said - “To reach your potential you must grow. And to grow, you must be highly intentional about it.”
Question is: What are you setting your mind to be intentional about?
Successes in any facet of life, does not just come out of the clear blue sky. There must be a clear strategy to grow with purpose. Just like my basketball experience, I had that genuine intention to succeed and then I also came up with a strategy - I became focused on growing in my dribbling skills by doing extra exercises that improved my dexterity.
You can start with some growth energizing questions:
· What area can I grow in that will give me the greatest return?
· How will growing in this area change my life?
· How will I track my growth?
3. Give diligence a job
Leaders see the force of diligence as a valued ally. As defined by Google, diligence means careful and persistent work or effort. For personal growth and to lead your life to the next level, you must be persistent. Just because what you are working towards is delayed doesn’t mean it’s denied. It might just be an opportunity to continue preparing for when “it” happens and believe me - it will happen. Remember to focus on developing the leader within.
Lastly, consider this proverb the plans of the diligent certainly lead to profit. Give diligence the job and keep it working!
You definitely will find out that putting these simple principles into practice causes you to master your “it” factor. And most importantly, soon you will say " it" happened for me.