New year theme

new year theme

It’s October, people! That means that not only have nine months of the year already passed, but there are less than 100 days left until 2017; and on top I’ve had another birthday, which of course is another opportunity to reflect and ponder the meaning of life. Actually, maybe the meaning of life is too big a topic for one blog post so I’ll instead bring it back to the specific exercise of reviewing where I am on my 2016 theme of being externally focused.

If you’re new to the blog and this is the first time you’ve heard about my theme, or any theme, then you can read all about the approach in my original post from 1st January 2014, and this year’s theme in my 2016 post.

So with being ‘externally focused’ in mind, this past month, I did a podcast interview with recruiter Lauren Stiebing (listen here >>), discussing everything from my own career choices to digital trends and talent management; as well as a live webinar interview with Kevin McNamara of (watch it on YouTube >>). I also did my first-ever Facebook live broadcast (to announce the paperback launch of my management book for new graduates, available on Amazon) and I’m currently working on my very first webinars, coming soon!

Now video is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time – I think it’s a great way for people to get to know me better and to get a feel for what it would be like to work with me as a coach – but it’s also something I’ve been afraid of. Part of that is a question of mindset in terms of the classic fears of making mistakes or looking stupid; but part of it is also logistical, as I’ve tried in the past and it’s a faff to make sure I have a good background behind me and lighting in front of me, a microphone for the sound… Last time I tried to record a short video when I was in Seattle back in June, I spent a good couple of hours getting increasingly frustrated with myself as I was failing to record anything that I would be able to use.

But, of course, I’m a coach, so I need to work through these things (and as someone who works in digital marketing, I’m also convinced that video is an effective piece of content!), and in doing so I’ve realised something. Let me use a scene from Friends (The One with the Metaphorical Tunnel) to illustrate this…

CHANDLER: Look what do I do? I wanna get past this, I don’t wanna be afraid of the commitment thing. I wanna go through the tunnel, to the other side!

ROSS: Where there is no fear of commitment. 

CHANDLER: Do we have any… Do we have any thoughts here?

JOEY: Well, I’ve never been through the tunnel myself, ’cause as I understand it, you’re not allowed to go through with more than one girl in the car, right. But, it seems to me it’s pretty much like anything else, you know, face your fear. If you have a fear of heights, you go to the top of the building! If you’re afraid of bugs… get a bug. Right. In this case, you have a fear of commitment, so I say you go in there and be the most committed guy there ever was. 

RACHEL: Amazingly, that makes sense.

CHANDLER: You think?

JOEY: Oh, yeah. Go for it man, jump off the high dive, stare down the barrel of the gun, pee into the wind!

CHANDLER: Yeah, Joe, I assure you if I’m staring down the barrel of a gun, I’m pretty much peeing every which way.

Who knew you could get such wisdom from a 90s TV show?! (Well, I did, to be fair – Friends is genius. And, yes, that’s a picture of me playing Smelly Cat at Central Perk.)

To break it down:

First, decide if you really want it.

If you don’t, then it’s not worth pushing through that fear (or through the tunnel) as you really don’t care about reaching the other side and you might as well take a different path.

Then, lean into that which you’re afraid of.

Instead of running away or avoiding it, go to the top of the building, get a bug, be committed! It’s amazing how things seem so much less scary once you actually do them.

So if there’s something you’ve been meaning to do, then I encourage you to launch yourself into it, just take that first step and I’m confident you’ll find it’s worth it. If Chandler can do it, so can you!

Do share your own “leaning in” stories in the comments, or let me know how you’re doing on your own 2016 theme.

In my case, I’m going to go off and do more videos than anyone would ever want to watch. Live stream, webinars, interviews, presentations… you name it! I’m on it. I’m peeing into the wind, baby!


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