Velvet rut

Now that we’re in the second half of 2019, it’s a good time to check in and ask: Are you doing what you’ve said to yourself you really want to do? Or, are you in a “velvet rut”? 

A velvet rut is a somewhat comfy place. It’s familiar. It’s where you’ve been for a while, successfully doing what you’ve done. It’s easy to stay put, much easier than climbing out. But deep down, you know it’s not where you want to stay. There’s something more for you. You want to grow, change, move forward. You believe your growth will be good for others, too.

I remember lamenting to myself on the way to and from work years ago, “I’m tired of being tired.” I loved my work and the people I worked with and didn’t want to let anyone down. I was working 60-70 hours a week with no end in sight. It had become my norm. When I was working, I was all in. But it was exhausting, eating me alive.

I was stuck in a velvet rut. Unhappy with myself, knowing I needed to change. (A change can be moving to a new role or to a new level within your current role.)

I know from experience and talking with many others that it takes guts and a vision of something better (even if it’s not crystal clear) to start climbing. Talking with people you trust and respect to get perspectives about growth can help. A leader I know said her support team outside her company knew she was ready for a change more than a year before she made the leap. Others often see possibilities for us before we see or accept them.

Ask yourself:
-What would make a real difference in my life, my career?
-Will I be happy this time next year if I’m operating as I am now? 
-Can I be the success I want to be from here? 

Last week, I wrote about Phantom Rules that can affect the way you – and your team — think, communicate, act, take risks. Are your Phantom Rules keeping you in place?

Next week, I’ll tell you about some people who left their velvet ruts and what it’s done for them. Stay tuned. And be thinking about yours!

I love this quote: “There’s no such thing as a bad day when there’s a doorknob on the inside of the door.”  Commander Paul Galanti, US Navy retired, former Prisoner of War in Vietnam

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