I have a secret I want to share with you.
Outside of my wife and a few close friends, I’ve kept this little secret to myself and away from others, including my parents.
But recently, I realized what I’ve been holding-in has actually been holding me back.
I’ve spent the past several months spinning a narrative that said I retired from my last executive position. But, the reality is, I was let go.
After 18 years, the company’s new leadership notified me, in their right, that they were “changing directions.”
I’ve had jobs from paperboy to short-order cook, to sales representative to executive leader, but this was a first.
I was shocked and embarrassed.
What did this say about me as a business leader?
What did this mean as a provider to my family?
What were my future career possibilities?
It was fertile soil for my little annoying gremlin.
What’s a gremlin, you ask?
Some call it an inner critic and others use more biting language. Regardless of the label, gremlins plant seeds of doubt and worry in your mind that show up before and/or after big events such as presentations, interviews, career changes — and even when you asked someone to prom.
Yes, our gremlins loved our high school years because the seeds they planted can last a lifetime. We all have them. They get you close and whisper: You are not bold enough, not smart enough, or cool enough.
Or, in my case, they whispered: You are not competent enough. Our inner, self-inflicted taunts think they are protecting us from judgment. But the truth is, they limit us and keep us stuck in the status quo.
It seemed like a safe play to call it “retirement.” Although my age and lack of independent wealth confused people in my circle, calling my dismissal a retirement was a “good enough” description. But, it wasn’t true.
During my recovery from my cycling accident, I began to understand that “good enough” was no longer good enough. To reach my potential, I had to quiet that gremlin. I knew then, as I do now, that I always have choices.
We all have choices. We can choose to listen to our gremlins and limit our potential, or we can breakaway and believe in our unlimited potential.
I chose to believe that I was strong enough and tough enough to handle my physical rehabilitation, get back on that bike, and race again.
And eventually, I did.
Today, I’m choosing to breakaway, again, by sharing my truth with you.
Being let go doesn’t make me less of a leader. It just makes me human.
That pivotal moment in my life became my “jump-in moment.” It helped me to leap out of my comfort zone toward the unknown. It encouraged me to trust my values and to embrace the things that make me a unique leader, coach, speaker, and consultant.
Now, I harness those qualities to continue to build my own business and to serve my clients.
It feels good to be open and transparent. I probably should call my parents now, before they read this online.
Do you have a secret you have been holding in that holds you back?
Do you want to tell your gremlin to take a hike?
Do you want more than just “good enough” at work?
If you’ve read this far, I believe you could answer yes to every one of those questions.
I can help you. Let’s connect today. I have a special offer for all those gremlin slayers out there that I believe will help you make your own leap forward.
Click contact to set up a time for us to chat.
In his coaching practice, Peloton Coaching & Consulting, Michael O'Brien partners with today's business leaders to help them move from functional performance to optimal performance. His aim is to change lives by enhancing leadership energy, engagement, and fulfillment, and demonstrating how these qualities can cascade throughout organizations. To Learn more about Michael and Peloton Coaching & Consulting, visit www.pelotoncc.net.