About a year and a half ago my close friends and I deemed a quote worthy of our inspirations for the future,
“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”
This quote gave us reason to step out of comfort zones, to push boundaries, and give us the umph we needed each in our own seperate way. It encouraged one friend of mine to jump into the unknown and spend eleven months traveling the world as a nomad-missionary of sorts. It gave others the bravery to get ready for those most intimidating first dates and embark on a new relationships. For others of us, it gave us the understanding that we can make life what we want it to be.
We love this quote. We reference it all the time as if it was our favorite bible verse. It was the go-to reference in the late night, wine induced girl chat that occured anytime we each faced a crossroads in life this year. Our Mantra. If we ever were in the complaining mood and were tired of where we were at in life, we would point to the quote beautifully mod-podged onto canvas that hangs gracefully on the living room wall. We lived and we breathed this quote, or at least we intended to.
It was with much surprise that my boss forwarded me a ‘quote of the day’ email early one morning which read, “let’s chat about this later,” and low and behold… the quote of the day was none other than our quote. [sidenote: I work in communication with a large emphasis in social media, of which I assumed this would be pertaining to] I kind of smirked and thought… how odd he would send this quote of all quotes to me, but with the new year approaching I assumed he had it in mind for an inspirational post of some sort. I was wrong.
Later that day I asked casually as he passed my desk what he would like me to do with the quote, to which he responded with a request to see him in his office. [deep breath]. I sat down and he asked me to tell him how I liked my job, where I could see myself going from here, and what it is I want my future career path to entail. I was pretty thrown off.
After explaining that I enjoy my job, appreciate the opportunity, and feel that I have grown immensely in the past year he proposed something that made me fill with anxiety.
He told me he wanted me to expand my view of my job; he said he wanted me to start doing public speaking. (gulp) I love words, but sharing them in front of a group larger than five audibly has always been a huge fear of mine. Well not fear, but anxiety. I sweat, I squirm, I say “like” more than the average Californian (which is already bad enough), I mispronounce words, and overall… I freak out.
He told me what he saw in me, what he believed I could do, and where I could go with my career. He sees more in me that I see in myself… and that scared the crap out of me.
After pondering on the long conversation he and I had, it hit me; this all started with our Mantra.
If I do what I’ve always done… I’ll get what I’ve always gotten.
Why am I fearful of stepping out of my bounds of written word to take a mic in front of a few people who are there to listen to what I have to say? Who are they that I should fear them? Why do I let fear of my own ability or perceived inability stop me from standing up and trying something out of my comfort zone. I can’t and I wont.
Since that conversation with my boss I’ve had about five speaking engagements in front of a variety of groups ranging from ten people to around 100 people. I still sweat, I still stumble over a few words nervously my first few sentences, I still feel sick to my stomach every day I know I have to get in front of a group and try to pronounce words correctly, but I do it…
Because if you do what you’ve always done… you’ll get what you have always gotten.