I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve had this conversation with coaching clients over the past few weeks. In fact, our global coaching team have recently robustly discussed how often this is coming up in client conversations regardless of industry and role title.
People everywhere are wanting to know whether now is the time to play safe, small and successful (hereafter known as SSS) or big, risky and successful (let’s call that option BRS).
Here’s the thing: you can play safe and small in life, but still be pretty successful. Or you can play big and risky to achieve success – albeit on a potentially grander scale.
For the past few years, many people have put their lives on hold. They might have stayed in the same job, earning a steady income and trying to keep things ‘normal’ against a backdrop of uncertainty. They chose to follow the SSS route.
But now, people are looking at this post-COVID-19 era that we’re in, where the portfolio economy and freelancing have become the norm, and they’re seeing the potential for life to be different, both personally and professionally. Understandably, they want to know: is this the right time to go full BRS?
When making your choice, know that the SSS option is probably more appropriate at certain times in your life. When you’ve got small children, or a partner out of paid work, then safe and small might be what works for you. But there are times when you can – and should – play big. As Marianne Williamson once said: “Your playing small does not serve the world.”
Here’s what I’d love you to do today. Ask yourself:
- What does personal success mean for me?
- What does professional success mean for me?
- What does happiness mean for me?
- If I was playing big, what decisions and work should I be doing now to set me up?
- In this moment, is it SSS or BRS that will best meet the needs of my family, my wellbeing, my finances and my professional ambitions?
I should add here that ‘big’ doesn’t have to be all about risk. It might mean putting your hand up for a job you don’t think you’ll get, or saying no to your previous version of success. Let’s not forget that workers’ priorities are shifting. (As we flagged here recently, 60 per cent of people would turn down a promotion now for the sake of their mental health.)
People are collectively realising that they want a different life; one in which their personal and professional successes can align. If this is something that you’ve been pondering lately, or if I’ve ignited a spark for you to think about this, spend some time working out what you want your next chapter to look like – and what you need to do between now and the end of the year to achieve it.
– Lisa Stephenson
Image by Edge2Edge Media
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