Just the word dodgeball can spark terror from a childhood memory. We’ve all been there. Picture this: it’s the latter part of Jr. High. It’s bad enough to have to dress out in unflattering gym clothes…but there’s also fear of THAT game: dodgeball. Many stayed on the wall hoping not to get picked, but of course in dodgeball, everyone is eventually put on a team. There’s a kind of comfort in that gym wall at first. But as you are standing there waiting on the sidelines, fear and anxiety rise. For some, the greatest fear is being chosen and as soon as you get in the game – one mistake or misstep means you’re out. For others, it’s the dread of always being the very last person to ever be picked.
How often does this mimic our everyday work lives? We sit in offices with a well thought-out plan or fully-researched and color-coded proposal, hoping to get picked for that next prize project, big meeting or to lead a team making a major presentation. We hold our breath – hoping to be selected and being afraid of being selected at the same time. We wrestle with individual thoughts that eventually talk us out putting ourselves “out there.” We feign a sigh of relief after the sharp inhale of frustration when the opportunity goes to someone else. We attempt to smile and say to ourselves, “maybe next time,” fully knowing that the Dodgeball Sideline Syndrome has won, once again.
Here is my challenge to you today: COME OFF THE SIDELINES, with these three things:
Only you can convince yourself that you can do this – even if you must put a post-it message on the bathroom mirror so that you will see it and say it until you start believing it. After you are comfortable with your own self-confidence – then you must take the first step. That’s momentum. It takes action to create sustainable movement! Finally, alignment with the right people.Whether means asking your supervisor for a moment of their time to meet or being bold enough to share your desire for opportunities for growth within your company – ask to be invited to the meeting. Now you’re not only in the room but you’re at the table. Make your presence count. And at some point, find time to smile. You are still breathing. You are braver. You believed enough in yourself to come off the sidelines. You ARE a game-changer!
Contributed by Sybil Arrington-Scarbrough
Momentum Leadership – Upward Class of 2022