By Melanie Murphy
As kids head back to school, it seems a good time to consider what areas we’re learning and growing in.
Healthy things grow. Growing things change. Changing things challenge us. Challenging things force us to trust God.
Feeling challenged lately? The progression above, written by James Ryle, a true servant, amazing story-teller and super creative artist, is a good boil down of what it is to be a life long learner. Perhaps you have areas in business or personally that need breakthrough and advancement. A new school year seems as good a time as any to grow, make some changes and challenge ourselves in new ways.
As business owners, we’re required to be well versed on every aspect of our business and an expert in several specific categories. Unfortunately, and fortunately, I’m only specialized in a few things, mainly voice over related, but that leaves more subjects than I can count for me to learn about. And learning takes time.
Like me, you’ve probably taken business classes, jumped online for webinars and attended seminars to fill the gaps of what was breezed over in college or didn’t even get mentioned. And then there are the areas that are just hard to master or the embarrassment of being the only person on earth that doesn’t know how to do xyz. Because those excuses don’t pay my bills or reward me at the end of the day, the learning goes on. As does the growing, changing and challenging.
Look at Me, I’m Growing!
Oh how ugly fear can be. It’s what causes us to think small, say “I can’t” and “I can only do xyz”. It’s what keeps us from healthy growth. Once I realized some of the areas that intimidated me were areas I really wanted to conquer, I decided change was needed. Things like; figuring out how to update my website, writing for publication (feeling brave now!), navigating social media effectively, cold calling my golden client, and taking leadership positions in organizations – were holding me back because I couldn’t do them well, so I said no, paid someone else to do it or just opted out. After concluding those are all lame reasons to stay stalled, I did something about it, something only I can do.
I changed my mind and adopted the word “Sure!”
I’ve always been a positive person. Why say no when you can say yes? Of course there are legitimate reasons to say no in life. However, when it came to business, I was saying a hesitant yes or a flat out no if I didn’t think I could tackle the project with skills I already had. I was convinced that mastering the skills would take too much time, money and energy. Once I changed my mind, chose courage, and started saying sure! to what intimidated me, I found myself embracing new skills, diving into great opportunities and experiencing bigger breakthroughs.
Sure! Seems so simple, right?
Don’t be fooled. A confident yes to learn does require time, an investment of energy and many times, more money than you expect to spend. But new skills bring change. And a willingness to change your attitude is a great place to start
If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you.
If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.”
~ Zig Ziglar
Are you willing to learn?
Change and Challenge
With the adoption of my Sure! philosophy I have taken brave steps, including:
- Stepping back into public speaking & rejoining Toastmasters
- Learning social media & taking technology classes
- Hosting industry events I’d hoped someone else would take the lead on
- Joining associations I deemed off limits to me
Classes on website development, one of my biggest fears in business, is the next step and I’m actually excited about it. I’m also plugged into marketing and peer groups that are stretching me and I’m super excited about an upcoming conference with voice over colleagues I’ve never met. All challenges guaranteed to test my willingness to say “Sure!”
The old adage ‘How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time,’ holds true for acquiring new skills and trying new things. For me, Sure! means I’m taking a bite. I’m open to learning. I’m stepping toward new goals. I’m adding action to plans. And I’m doing it without fear… or doing it anyway, even if I am afraid.
Challenges Test Our Trust
When the stress and challenges of life start piling up, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Prior to those moments when we’re looking for a phone booth for a super hero costume change so we can then save the world, it’s good to be reminded that it doesn’t fall to me to rescue anyone. Trusting God in crunch times is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. Having people close by that can remind us we don’t have to do it all on our own is also helpful. It’s those individuals that keep us grounded, remind us we’re loved, help us choose bravery and encourage us to pull a Mikey once again. You know, “Just try it, you’ll like it.”
Much like the kid in the LIFE cereal commercials, many times I DO like it! I like learning and love conquering the things that once had me hesitant to try something for fear of failure. We get to play that supportive role for others as well.
Like you, I’m called to great things and have big dreams. To move ahead in life will require more advanced skills and more learning. So I’ve consciously made a choice to say yes to the hard stuff.
What about you? Could you benefit from adopting the word Sure! as you grow, change, face challenges, and learn to trust?
Could professional voice over benefit your business as you grow, change and face new challenges? Melanie Murphy is a Dallas based voice actor who specializes in commercials, videos for media, corporate projects, eLearning, phone messaging and more. She’d love to hear from you through her website at http://www.MelanieMurphyVO.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram at the handle MelanieMurphyVO.