When Your Career Gets Scary, Do You Close Your Eyes?
We all probably all have childhood memories of watching our first (real) horror film. The cool kid at school has been telling people about the gory detail, and our parents finally give in to the nagging. We wonder how bad it can be, but as the suspense builds and the music hits home, we can’t help but close our eyes when the scary moment comes.
Our senses are interesting things. We can still hear the screams of the victim and we can feel our body tense with anticipation, but somehow if we can’t see it, it is easier to pretend that it isn’t there. If we close our eyes, we can pretend that it doesn’t exist. In a similar way to the monster under the bed, as long as we are under the covers with our eyes closed, we are safe.
In the real world, when things don’t quite go right in our careers or our personal lives, the natural tendency to “close our eyes” is still there, but the repercussions can be far more damaging than when we are children.
We might make a miscalculation in the figures for one of our projects, but if we choose not to tell the team for a while, the consequences won’t go away. We know that the monster is there, inches away from our face, saliva about to drip from its fearsome mouth, but if we attempt to deny its existence life seems easier. If you confront the monster (your mistake) immediately, the ramifications are always going to be minimised, scary as it might still be.
Maybe you have been made redundant and you have a hefty redundancy package, enough to see you through three months. Do you close your eyes and ignore the stress of the impending job search, preferring to play golf for two weeks, or do you jump straight in to planning the next step in your future? I know what the healthier decision is.
In individual relationships, the tendency to close your eyes can ruin them forever. If you choose to ignore the warning signs and don’t acknowledge certain growing issues, they can get to the point where they are too big to solve anymore. The other person thinks that you don’t care about them, and they will choose to spend their time with people who have their eyes open. Yes, relationships can be some of the scariest things in life, but you have no chance of developing them if you don’t understand their dynamics.
If we live our lives with our eyes open, we see so much more and we learn so much more. The more we see, the less scary it all seems. After the tenth horror movie, it is almost possible to predict the potential plot, and predicting the possible future outcomes is a great way of preparing ourselves from them (in the movie theatre and in our lives).
You can develop if you walk around with your eyes closed, no matter how scary the situation might seem. Face up to it, make the best of it and learn from it.
You’ll be surprised at how well you cope.