Steer Your Career: "To Get to the Top, Do What Others Won’t"
Jul 17, 2012
By Rory Vaden
So how do you stand out to be hired by potential employers? How do you stand out for a promotion to a superior? How do you stand out as loyal to the people you are leading? It’s simple: do the things that others aren’t willing to do.
Whether you’re a leader, a team member, or a candidate, success comes from having the discipline to do the things that you know you should be doing, even when you don’t feel like doing them. When you practice this kind of self-discipline regularly, you’ll naturally stand out from the pack—because most people avoid the hard stuff. It’s just easier to put it off.
But the truth is that what feels easy now creates problems down the line. And what feels hard now—doing the stuff you don’t feel like—makes everything easier in the long-term. Self-discipline doesn’t have to be hard—you just have to change the way you think about it.
Successful people have mastered the art of self-discipline. I’ve spent the last 10 years studying and coaching some of the most successful people in business, figuring out what makes them different. They’re not smarter or more talented than the average person—they just consistently do what others aren’t willing to do by keeping three principles in mind:
Do it scared. Fear is one of the biggest saboteurs of our goals, because it inhibits action. The next time you feel yourself putting something off because you’re afraid—of uncertainty or failure—just “do it scared.”
I once heard a true story of a woman who was trapped in a burning building on the 80th floor. She was terrified of heights and enclosed spaces, and when the fire alarm went off, she refused to follow her colleagues into the stairwell to evacuate to safety.
The firemen did a sweep of the building and found her hiding under her desk, waiting to die. She was screaming “I’m scared, I’m scared!” as the firemen insisted she walk down the stairwell until one fireman said, “That’s OK, just do it scared.” He repeated it all the way down the 80 flights of stairs, until he brought her to safety.
We’ve all faced these moments in our careers—when you know what has to be done, but your fear holds you back. In order to stand out, you must develop the habit of acting in the face of fear. It’s fine to be scared—do it scared. It’s fine to be unsure—do it unsure. It’s fine to be uncomfortable—do it uncomfortable. Just do something.
This is the attitude of the most disciplined and successful people on the planet. They might be scared, but they do it anyway. And by just doing something, you create movement and momentum that will lead to progress and results.