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There is More Than One Way to Get to the Top!

August 31, 2015

Recently, I visited Sir Sam’s Inn in Halliburton, Ontario, with my husband for our seventh anniversary. We enjoy incorporating exercise and time spent outdoors into our vacations and this trip was no exception. So after breakfast one morning, we were excited to learn that across the road was a mountain and cross-country biking spot.

We eagerly made our way to the rental shop and inquired about the cross-country trails. After my brain injury three years ago, it has taken me a long time to even do things like get back to riding a bicycle, so I made the rental guide aware of my situation and told him that I was looking for a cross-country rail trail type of excursion that was nice and easy. He said, no problem . Got us suited up with bikes and helmets and to my surprise came with us on the trail as our guide. Well, this makes it easy, no guess-work in where to find the right trail.

Within the first few minutes, it was obvious I was struggling. The trail was narrow, not much wider than the treads of my tires with sharp turns and lots of big rocks snugly placed alongside my wheels. I was having a hard time gaining the momentum to move upwards on the hill when I had to keep getting off my bike to navigate the rocks . My husband asked me how I was doing. I flatly responded, “ask me at the end of this.”

Within five minutes, I was kicked off my bike and landed hard on my behind onto a sharp rock. With a gigantic nasty bruise that lingered for weeks after. I was pissed. So frustrated that I couldn’t do this. I felt like a wimp when I told my husband he can keep going, but I need to turn around. My husband told the guide we would be heading back to the rental shop. I walked my bike back quickly along the trail as I was passed by mountain bikers who happened to be competing in a trail race that day. So not only was I feeling shame, I was experiencing public humiliation in front of all these pros!

Normally in this situation, I would have pushed myself through and made it to the top. Although, I might have broken an arm getting there! But my gut instinct told me the more fearful and bold thing to do that day was to stop. We dropped our bikes off and I could feel my adrenaline pumping. By the time I hit the shop’s driveway, I started to run. Before I knew it, my husband and I had run to the top of the hill. As I looked down, I thought there is more than one way to get to the top. And I was proud of myself that I did it on my terms.

On the way down, I reflected on my career. I didn’t expect that I would start my own Career Development firm, Potential Unlimited. I didn’t see a lot of things coming in my life, both personally and professionally. But here I am. Living my life in a way that feels right for me.

Ten years ago, I was so concerned about rising up the corporate ladder as quick as I could. And I loved my time in that world. But for me, there came a day when I chose to hang up my jersey as my passion was more around helping others succeed in that arena. And I am so thankful to my clients every day for letting me into their lives and helping them along their own leadership journeys.

My advice to you is around taking time to define what it means for you to be ‘at the top.’ What is it you really want for your career and your life? For me, when I did this I saw that the most important element for success in my career is more about how I do things versus what I actually do. I want to help people develop and succeed while maintaining wellness and a sense of peace about their lives overall. The job itself could take many forms, but it has manifested for me as Potential Unlimited.

What does success mean for you? How do you want to spend your time each day? What leadership activities bring you joy? How can you continue to connect with others to make the world a better place while at the same time driving value through your role and with your team?

There are lots of ways that you can get to the top. But, the choice is up to you about what path to take to get there.

I invite you to check out my Coaching Programs to learn more about how to tune into your inner wisdom to lead the life and career you want!

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