Just Do it - Jump-Start Your Career

By: Grace Cirocco

Everyone admires those who can just do it. That’s why the Nike ads were so successful--they resonated with people. Many of us at some time or another will complain of feeling “stuck". We say we’re not ready; we need to do more research or get another degree or more experience. We blame our parents, ourselves, the job market. We complain about all those things we still haven’t done and yet we postpone taking action. When will we be ready to just do it?

When I lived in San Diego, California, I produced an afternoon radio program that went to air live from 3 to 6 p.m. I used to arrive early and start digging for good stories to feature. I was always searching for what we called in the business “good radio"—people and stories that would touch the heart and add value to daily life. My search for the perfect show could have been endless. There was always one more telephone call I needed to make or one more lead to chase down. But every day at 3 p.m. I had to go to air with a show. There could be no more preparing or postponing. It was showtime. I was forced to just do it.

Wouldn’t it be great if our lives worked like that—at a certain time every day or week, our “producer" walked in and said: “Okay, it’s show time. Just do it!" If you were forced to just do it, how would your life be different today? What have you been postponing?

Knowledge may be power, but knowledge that lies dormant in your brain will not move your life forward.

It’s what you do with what you know that will make a difference in your life.

The critical first step is to face your fear, recognize it, feel it and endure it. Here’s the secret of leaders: Fear is uncomfortable but it doesn’t have to stop you. The goal is not to rinse fear out of your body (which is something most people attempt to do), or wait for it to disappear altogether before taking action, (you’ll be waiting a long time). Rather, take action while simultaneously feeling the fear. This is what successful people do. Make it okay for fear to live inside you and at the same time want to push beyond it. As soon as you take one step beyond your fear, (a risk), something magical happens. You grow self-confidence which will activate your courage. And when you feel courageous, you will be able to face more of your fears, which will allow you to tackle more projects and take more risks, and so on. This is what it means to just do it.

In October 1994, the Scandinavian ferry Estonia sank off the coast of Sweden. A violent storm had created an imbalance in its load. The vehicles that had been lined up in neat rows were thrown to one side, making the ship lopsided. It didn’t take long for water to pour in and start pulling the vessel down. The crew told the passengers that each of them had a choice to make: jump into a tiny lifeboat and hope to be rescued or stay on board and risk sinking. The majority of the 1000 passengers looked out at the raging sea and opted for the comfortable, dry surroundings they were in. Only one hundred people had the courage to jump into the darkness. The ride was rough, but they held on and were eventually rescued. They took the step and pushed beyond their fear and their comfort zone, and today those one hundred brave hearts are still alive. The rest of them—the nine hundred who stayed on board—went down with the ship.

You have a choice to make: Do you stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone and feel uncomfortable or do you stay comfortable but stuck? Do you take risks and grow or settle for less? Do you opt for the secure pay cheque or do you venture out towards your authentic career calling?

Be brave. Dare to believe in work that sustains your soul. It is possible to hear your song played with all 88 keys of the piano. Nurture the vision of what you want, and then strive to live passionately, authentically, and courageously. Push beyond your limiting thoughts and just take your step. The bridge will be there, waiting for you.

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