“I wished I hadn’t done that.”
As I wrote my autobiography, Pitchfork to Ph.D.: My Pivotal Journey from “I AM a Chore Boy Follower” to “I AM a Disruptive Leader.”, I detailed almost 200 lessons I learned along the way. Unfortunately, many of these lessons were learned the hard way – by making mistakes.
Wouldn’t it have been easier and better to learn from the mistakes of others?
In this post, we discuss 3 mistakes that I made that you can avoid.
Those that follow me know I write about thinking bigger and reaching higher to realize your breakthrough success. I help aspiring and emerging leaders make one pivot and create the habit of pivotal success. As leaders, executives, entrepreneurs, or employees, the more we learn how to avoid mistakes and to learn from our mistakes, the quicker we can break through to our ultimate level of success.
The best gift you can give yourself this holiday season is learning from mistakes to break through to your next, great level of success. What better way to break through than by learning from my mistakes. Save yourself the pain and misery of making mistakes. Learn from others. Invest in coaching.
Mistake #1: Not Recognizing that I Need to Outgrow Today.
Growing up on a dairy farm in South Dakota, I didn’t have much of a clue how my life would change. I knew I would move away, but I had no idea where or when. I also knew I would go to college, but didn’t know how that would change me. But most importantly, I assumed the world beyond operated on the same values that my small farming community did.
My early years were filled with naiveté. I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
That was a big mistake but only part of a bigger mistake. I knew I needed to change location but I didn’t recognize how I needed to outgrow my current level of thinking. That required changing perspectives to see my best opportunities. Without that pivot, I could never seize them.
I struggled to pivot because I was persistent in clinging to my old perspective. “That’s the way it works the best” was threatening to be my epithet.
Unfortunately, many make this same mistake. They like their current lives because it is predictable, safe, and comfortable. They don’t realize they need to outgrow today to find their breakthrough tomorrow.
Even those who have disrupted industries cannot become complacent in who they are or what they currently know. We must continue learning and growing to continue to succeed.
Avoid my mistake. Recognize that for 2022 to be your best year yet, you need to shift your perspective and thinking. Outgrow your current mindset.
Mistake #2: Underestimating My Potential
I dreamed lofty dreams while I was shoveling cow manure day after day. But in reality, I didn’t believe I had what it took to become a leader, much less a disruptive leader. That self-doubt plagues me to this day, although I have learned to minimize it.
One of the most important lessons I learned from farming was that one small kernel of corn, planted at the right time, fertilized, and cultivated will yield a result exceeding 100x. In the same way, even the smallest of potential, if nurtured, can blossom into far more than what many expect.
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That means, we can exceed our own expectations. We can even exceed the expectations of others, especially our critic’s expectations.
We can do what we once thought to be impossible. We can even do what others dismiss as impossible.
Failing to correct that mistake in our thinking will cost us many great opportunities.
Recognizing potential is the core of leadership at any level. As individuals, we must recognize our own potential to lead ourselves to where we ultimately want to go. As leaders, we benefit greatly when we recognize and foster the potential in each team member. As entrepreneurial leaders, we break through when we recognize and nurture the potential in situations, products, and communities.
Develop your potential. Nurture that tiny interest into a great talent and perspective that sets you apart.
Mistake #3: I Didn’t Ask For Help
At several points in my life, I didn’t have the answers to my questions. I’m embarrassed to admit that at several points when I needed them most, I failed to ask for help.
- I didn’t think that anyone understood my situation, so I kept to myself.
- I also didn’t know who to ask, so I kept my mouth shut.
- Worse yet, at times, I didn’t think I needed any help.
- At times, I was afraid to ask, lest I appear weak, and be mocked.
What a mistake.
We don’t grow if we don’t seek the help we need.
We also won’t grow if we think we know enough already.
We also won’t find our best opportunities when we are too embarrassed to ask. The old adage holds true, pride does precede our fall.
One of the mistakes I made was not seeking out a mentor or a coach. Looking back, I made a huge mistake by not hiring a business or executive coach when starting my business. By making that investment, I would have saved precious time and resources while realizing quicker and bigger profits.
What a mistake.
As individuals, we are wise to humble ourselves, recognize that we don’t know what we don’t know. We must be willing to ask for help. Leaders at every level are wise to invest in mentors who have gone down that road before. They are also wise to invest in coaches that offer a different perspective, even one outside of their industry. Disruptive opportunities demand a radical pivot to see what we cannot.
THINK BIGGER – SEE THE OPPORTUNITIES
REACH HIGHER – DO THE WORK
DO THE IMPOSSIBLE – DARE TO REACH EVEN HIGHER THAN ANYONE EXPECTED
I am Dr. Loren Murfield, and I develop aspiring and emerging leaders pivot to their breakthrough success. Contact me today to begin your pivot. Contact me for your free, 20-minute strategy session.
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(c) Murfield International, Inc. 2021
Check out my autobiography.