I don’t think I’m alone when I say I need to see reminders that my efforts aren’t in vain. Sometimes all it takes is someone mentioning that they got something out of one of my blogs and, bang, motivation is back. I’m ready to write. When I host events and later learn that a connection was made between two people that shifted a career trajectory, raised awareness or deepened a relationship, I’m motivated to plan the next shindig. When my intentional connections with colleagues produce new clients or opportunities, I’m humbled and ready to work hard. It all becomes worth it. However, when those returns are not immediate, I tend to spin the drain of dread and wonder where the energy will come from.
Here’s the thing though – we can’t always know about those returns. Sometimes you can impact a life significantly and never know. Sometimes you will do something and not hear about the impact for months or years. Any executive coach or leadership development consultant knows that the real work our clients experience is between sessions and rarely in front of us. Thus, we may never hear of it especially given how busy people are. They may not take the time to provide feedback, write an electronic comment or call you up. The point is we can’t stop contributing. We have to push through the low energy days and shackle dread from seducing us to go slow, live small or cancel something that is inconvenient. It is often in the middle of tremendous inconvenience that amazing things can transpire.
As you enter into 2015, where are you allowing low energy or dread to keep you small and safe? What would it look like to live big, step out and show up?