Eliminate the Deadwood
“If you think you're too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito in the room.” – Anita Roddick
While watching a financial news program, an analyst mentioned that for capitalism to prosper during the Covid pandemic it is critical to eliminate the deadwood. He went on to say America’s short- and long-term success depends on helping business startups gain traction and to do whatever is necessary to help them grow exponentially.
The deadwood, he implied, consists of the obstacles that impede businesses from starting and expanding.
This discussion prompted me to think of the deadwood that has impacted my career over the past 30 years, and here are some examples:
(a) This is not a good time. There have been countless situations where I’ve used the excuse that right now is not the best time for me to tackle an opportunity. I made it sound like the time would come for me in the future and that, miraculously, I would receive a sign that the time was right. The fact is that the timing is never really right for anything. For most good things in life, we take what is in front of us and we make good things happen.
(b) I’m not a good fit. I wish I could tell you that I’ve never used this lousy excuse, but I have, and I’m embarrassed to say it. I remember a job posting that was of high interest to me, but I heard that some people I knew to be highly-qualified were applying for it. Thinking that they were a better fit from the standpoint of experience and qualifications, I decided not to apply. The good news is that I don’t practice this self-limiting thinking as much anymore, but my career progression was slowed to an extent because of this restrictive mental attitude.
(c) It’s best to take it easy and enjoy life. It’s true that having a work/life balance is important, but I’ve used this excuse as a way to avoid challenging and promising opportunities. A good example is when I first learned of the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification in 1998. A colleague who had recently passed the exam mentioned that he was receiving lucrative job offers because of this global credential. I researched the requirements, and discovered that it would require significant study time, and it sounded at the time like a recipe for failure. I procrastinated until 2008, and finally submitted my application and passed the exam. My colleague was right! There have been many career opportunities since I earned the PMP, but I wasted 10 years.
You might think that I’m being a little tough on myself, and perhaps I am. However, today my mindset is one where I take control of things that are within my control.
The deadwood examples I shared here can be eliminated by actions that I take. It’s true that I can apply for a job but fail to receive appointment. However, by using an excuse and not applying for the opportunity, I’m 100% likely to fail, so it’s best to take some steps forward rather than stand still.
Chunk It Mentality
My recommendation is to gather as much of the deadwood that is precluding you from reaching your goals and start chunking it!
Get rid of it!
You will likely find that removing just a few self-limiting beliefs from your mind can lead to big gains. Before long, the only wood visible to you will be transformed into a sturdy staircase that leads to many career accomplishments.
“We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.” – Mother Teresa
“The world turns on our every action, and our every omission, whether we know it or not.” –
During the next week, here’s your homework inquiry: What is possible for me right now?