How Will You Respond to Your New Role?
Over the last few days - well, over the last few weeks, really - I've been trying to finalize my goals for 2017, and what I'm going to do to reach them. What do I want, and what's my plan to get there?
As I'm working through this, I'm realizing how different things are today than they were just 50-some-odd weeks ago. My wife and I are in a different place. Text Request is in a different situation. And now what I want to do over the next year is entirely different.
Last year I wanted to establish myself as a writer. This year I'm aiming for career milestones, both as a writer and as Text Request's marketing director.
My goals have switched from getting my name out there to more long-term projects and strategies that should yield exponential growth, both for me and the company.
Inevitably, how I'll interact with and be able to influence others will also change. It already has! And truthfully, that's what I've been dwelling on and mulling over more than anything else.
My role in people's lives is changing. Is it for the better, or for worse? And how do I make sure I don't drop the ball and let people down entirely?
Last year, part of my plan to reach my goals was writing and posting every day on my blog. Over time, people came to expect something of me - not a ton of people, but enough. I became their motivation, their inspiration, their daily tip to help them with their own goals.
It was a role I more or less fell into, and one that I was honored to be in. As freelancing began taking off, which was my goal all along, my role started to change. I wasn't able to write and post every day for my blog, because I was doing other work that actually helped pay the bills.
I began falling out of the role I'd fallen into. And, believe it or not, I felt guilty for letting that happen! People were depending on me, and in my mind I'd let them all down.
Whether my opinion matches reality, I'll probably never know. But I do know that change is inevitable, that it's a crucial aspect of growth, and that the ability to adapt is one of the largest determinants of success.
And so we must adapt to our ever-changing roles. That doesn't make the process any less taxing!
I'm sure others can relate to this. One of the things I want to do and be above all is a positive influence and motivator to others. I know that, often, the difference between great success and a life filled with regret is simply someone who says "You can."
I want to be the person who says "You can." But as I look at the milestones I need to reach so that I can ultimately have that level of influence on more people - such as various career advancements - it seems that the only way to be that shining beacon is to first work in darkness.
For Text Request to explode, for me to continually learn and develop, and to draft the manuscripts I hope will take me further, I need to keep my head down and, well, be boring!
I'll need to not be as public, and not try to help in little ways, so that I can do bigger things that will ultimately lead to better things.
It seems odd. In order to be a positive influence to more people, I'll need to stop intentionally trying to help for a while. But that's what life is, isn't it? It's adapting to new roles and new life stages so that you can do the most good, even if it doesn't seem perfect immediately.
As the holidays allow us to slow down the treadmill of work and other everyday operations, and as we all look to start a new year and other new endeavors, we're finally taking the time to think.
We're thinking about the past year, and the one upcoming. We're thinking about our responsibilities and our duties. We're thinking about new challenges and new roles. And for many of us, it's bittersweet.
Even if we haven't been crazy about our past roles, we've been comfortable there. We've known what to expect.
The thought of a new roles makes us anxious! It makes me anxious, anyway. What if this new role becomes a bad choice? What if we let a lot of people down? If you're like me, you're nervous. You're hesitant. You're also being silly and overthinking it.
You and I both will have to adapt. These new roles, in many cases, simply mean that we're one step closer to being where we really want to be, and to being the change we really want to see.
The fact that it makes us uncomfortable is a good thing! As this new year leaves us with a lot of change and way too much time to think about it, I hope that you'll look at your new roles and new adventures as opportunities.
Anyone can be anxious about change, but it's the ones who really make a difference that embrace it.