Sometimes life throws you curve balls. Some of them are devastating, some of them turn out to be the greatest thing in your life. They’re mostly scary because of the unknown. You have to become someone different and do things differently than you’ve done before. It never feels like you’re ready. Often times that curve ball is the last push you need to become who you’re supposed to be.
Change has always scared me and I’ve always felt like I was being thrown into the deep end, not knowing how to swim, being forced to figure it out. I’ve faced it a lot in my life, having to figure it out on my own and feeling like I was never good enough because I never knew if I was doing it right. But I’ve learned it wasn’t a personal thing. It was an evolutionary thing.
I’ve spent the last four years developing my leadership skills and what it takes to be a good leader. I’ve watched other leaders fighting to prove their worth, making people do things that they were assigned to do, to achieve master plans designed by people in offices whose feet never touched the floor they walked on. I’ve watched them prove their worth with hours worked and be rewarded with the next project. Spending time away from their families in order to get the next thing off of their list and be berated by frightened people.
I’ve learned that we don’t have to be the giver or sacrifice to be a good leader. Being a leader means more than getting the attention of those we are trying to impress—it means being human and helping others develop their skills as well. I used to be a person who wanted to prove and take myself higher and higher and get to the next level. A curve ball for me was realizing what it cost to get there. What I thought I wanted was nothing close to what I wanted.
Sometimes that’s scary too. We have to relearn who we are and learn to get in touch with what truly want. But it’s a gift to be able to create a different path. It’s a freeing feeling to be able to take what is thrown at you and know that you’re ok, that you can handle it, because you know which way to go based on your needs and wants. Your path isn’t meant to look the same as anyone else’s because you have a different purpose which means different priorities.
Additionally, I realized that simply because my priorities are different than other people’s, it doesn’t make them wrong. Sometimes curveballs look like destruction and sometimes that destruction is necessary. Over the last four years, making the decision that I could lead in my own way even if it didn’t get me where I thought I wanted to be, I realized that the systems we have don’t support our natural state. So, take the curveballs, no matter what they are. Embrace the fear and take the lessons. Dive in and learn how to swim.