The Other Way


One of the most unpleasant parts of my professional life over the past couple of decades is when I hear from people hoping I can help them resurrect a career that has been whittled down to voice-tracking, or worse.

I hate that circumstances beyond their control have decimated their self confidence, that persistent terrible leadership has so cavalierly robbed them of their dignity and left them doubting their own worth.

Especially because it could have gone the other way.

Is your success because you are so much better than everyone else, or could you have gotten lucky?

If you had stayed in that job rather than moving to the other job, would your whole career trajectory have changed?

The story we tell ourselves about our ability affects us moving forward so if you’ve come to believe you must not be all that good or you wouldn’t be stuck where you are, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

If an idiot were to tell you the same story every day for a year, you would end by believing it.”~ Horace Mann

Hey, I think I’ve actually seen that work in American politics!

Look, clearly some people are super talented. Taylor Swift did not just get lucky on her way to becoming a billionaire.

But that doesn’t mean luck didn’t play some part in her success. Did she choose where she was born or when or to whom?

Any of us can get unlucky, and almost every one of us who succeeded when we might not have were kissed by luck whether we want to admit that or not.

If you look in the mirror and see a loser, please – please! – begin right now to tell yourself a different story about you, about what’s happened to you, and about what you are capable of achieving moving forward.

Winner or loser, remember: It could easily have gone the other way.