Here is a tale of two lands, where our big decisions and tough conversations can live if we let them.
I was privileged recently to serve as a corporate coach to a leader I will call Jane. She is an amazingly talented woman who is striving to lead more successfully in her organization, community, and family. And just like you she is faced with big decisions and tough conversations on a regular basis.
What Jane hasn’t realized yet is the power of two words. Those words are: or and and.
The words seem small, but don’t be fooled. They are very powerful, can shift our thinking, and move us to next steps.
You see, Jane can keep all her decisions in the Land of Or. In this place, fear rules! That tiny voice in our ear or the gremlin on our shoulder that keeps telling us we can’t or shouldn’t. These thoughts live in the Land of Or.
Jane and many others think of big decisions and tough conversations as though making them is a choice between one thing or the other. I can do this or that.
For instance, Jane can earn enough money at her job that she hates to be able to pay the bills or she can start her own business. That is a big decision. If she stays in the Land of Or, she will never break through.
She can be passionate about making a difference in her community or she can wait for the perfect time when her schedule is more open. If Jane waits for the perfect time, the Land of Or will steal her passion and make her believe that there really is a perfect time to get more involved or there is a perfect time for anything, really.
Jane might need to have a tough conversation with a co-worker or loved one, yet she puts off the conversation hoping the issue will resolve on its own. She chooses to keep her mouth shut or risk damaging a relationship. But what if it can be both?
Remember that fear drives most of these “or decisions” when we get stuck in the Land of Or and think there are no options. But what if we become leaders that innovate, influence, and inspire and think in terms of and instead of or?
You see, the Land of And is the place where fear is considered a motivator. It is the place where leaders take brave steps and realize they can make big decisions and have tough conversations and be seen as positive and proactive contributors to their organizations, communities, and families.
You see, in the Land of And leaders do not wait until they feel completely comfortable or for the perfect time. They especially do not wait until they are no longer afraid. Leaders in the Land of And take risks and do things while afraid. Yes, while they are afraid, not until the fear passes.
Those that thrive in the Land of And have learned that:
They can make big career decisions and have a plan in place to care for their family, while living out their dreams.
They can ask to volunteer, even though it is not the perfect time and still balance other responsibilities.
They can have the tough conversation and still be respected at work or by their family member.
So, bring your dreams out of the Land of Or and into the Land of And.
Try some “and thinking” and you will not limit yourself. The next step might seem more possible and realistic. Do not get caught in the trap of fear. New ideas, innovation, breakthroughs, and key conversations happen in the Land of And.
Are you in love with your thinking or do you need to shift to possibility thinking? This is your time, your life, and your dream. What do you want and how are you going to get there?