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News & Blogs: Rising Above the Middle

So what's stopping you again?

Thursday, February 2, 2017  
Posted by: Barbara Francella
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By Melissa Nixon

As the keynote speaker at a women’s leadership conference, I asked the 400 women one important question: “What would you do if you were not afraid?”

Put another way, “Why do we choose to stay where we are, never fully exploring what our lives would be like if we gave ourselves permission to be greater?” More than likely, your life is good. If you never pursued that “thing” in your heart, life would continue to be okay. But the desire to not interrupt what’s good often robs us of the opportunity to see and experience what could be.

You may be like I was in the past, ignoring what’s in your heart or asking yourself, “How in the world will this even work?” The magnitude of your dream may be overshadowing the simple steps to getting started.

If you have a dream that seems too big to pursue, remember:

It doesn’t matter where you come from. Dreams are free and are available for anyone to pursue. Your age, race, background and socio-economic status don’t matter. Single, married or divorced — it does not matter. It does not matter whether there is a PhD — or GED — after your name. The sooner you stop discounting yourself, the sooner your dream will manifest.

Give yourself permission to focus on your dreams. So often we do what we feel we’re “supposed to do.” No disruptive behavior here! Dreams lie stagnant until you can no longer find the courage to pursue those dreams. Start following the path meant just for you.  

Just start. I can’t tell you how many times I thought about starting a business as a speaker and trainer. I thought about it, talked about it and wrote goals about it for too many years. The truth is I didn’t need to know if it would all work out — and neither do you! You only need to know the next step. For today, just send the email. Make the telephone call. Do the follow up. The next step after that will reveal itself.  

Get the help you need. Who’s on your team? Who keeps you encouraged, accountable and on task? Dreams are not realized alone. Every successful person has a team. Get the right support you need not just to start, but to keep going.

At the end of my keynote, women shared what they were moved to do as a result of asking themselves the question, “What would you do if you were not afraid?” One woman said she was going to run for city council. Another said she would teach classes on sustainable living. Another is going to write faith-based books for children.  

What will you do?

Melissa J. Nixon, known as "The Courage Life Mentor," is founder of the Courageous Life Academy, a coaching and consulting firm specializing in helping visionary leaders, emerging c-suite executives, CEOs and women influencers to maximize their leadership, business and life potential. She formerly served as director of organizational development and learning at Delhaize. She is a contributor to The Huffington Post and Lifehack.

Views expressed in blogs, posts and user comments are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Network of Executive Women or its Officers, Board members and corporate partners.


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