I remember the feeling so well, I was sitting in the common area of a Marine Barracks studying with my study buddy for our qualifications. Suddenly bells, whistles and sirens started going off. A whirlwind of activity invaded the room as Marines came in checking their weapons, fixing their attire and mustering. My partner and I gathered our things up and as we asked what was going on, we were told “We are at War”.
Now, here I am a 19-year-old girl, who had only been at my duty station for 16 days before this happened. I was shell shocked and a round had not even been fired yet. It was in that moment I had a choice, I could be afraid and be paralyzed, or I could be afraid and push through. I chose to push through YES, I was afraid, I had some uncertainty, but my choice to push through was not made in the moment of fear it was made a couple of years before that back in my hometown.
I had stepped off the stage for what I felt would be the last time, I had hung up my desire to be a speaker that would inspire others because my drama instructor had devastated me with one sentence.
“Young Lady, as long as you sound like a hick you will never amount to anything!”
I have never been one to wander aimlessly through life, so I found the next best thing, I joined the Navy! After all there wasn’t a risk of me stepping on to a stage there. I remember visiting all the branches before making my decision, one branch wanted me to be a nurse, I faint at the sight of blood so that was not happening. One branch wanted me to be a cook, I was not interested in that either. 2 other branches said let’s see what your ASVAB says. After my ASVAB they handed me a box, in the back of the box was a small file folder marked Male-Only Billets they removed that file folder and told me I could have my choice of any other job in that box!
It was in that moment I made my decision of how I would respond in mission critical moments. I was a responder, I had handed my future over once before, but now was a fresh lease on life. Fear or uncertainty would not be something that paralyzed me, it would be something that let me know I was alive. It would remind me of what is at stake with every breath. It would increase my ability to be grateful and show gratitude. It would prove to me that no matter what anyone said about me, it only mattered what I believed about myself.
Fear has the power to motivate or deflate you, but the choice is yours. As I left that room full of Marines that day and headed back to my barracks there was a peace about me. Not because I was totally prepared for the task at hand but because I was mentally prepared to believe that I was strong and capable enough to encounter whatever was thrown at me.
You may be asking how this relates to business?
It is simple… What is your mindset? How have you prepared yourself mentally, emotionally, physically and even spiritually for those times with disaster strikes?
What do you see as a disaster?
Is it a papercut or is it the devastation of a natural occurrence like a Tornado?
You cannot wait until thing happen to decide how you are going to respond. By waiting to decide you show a lack of commitment to yourself and others and end up reacting which gives up way too much control to the situation, instead of being in control.
A few months ago, I was at the movies and the previews of future movies were on the screen and these words hit the screen and knocked the air out of me!
“Hope Is a Weapon” the preview was for the movie Dunkirk but the words were for EVERYONE!
What is it that you HOPE for?
What dreams do you keep pushing to the back recesses of your thoughts because you are believing you are not strong enough, smart enough, capable enough?
What are you afraid of?
When that dream pops up again don’t ask yourself “WHAT IF” instead say “WHEN” make a commitment to yourself today for the person you see yourself to be in the future.
When there is not enough money, time, or support it doesn’t matter because you have a full arsenal of HOPE, GRIT and DETERMINATION to get you to the next step.
You may look up one day and realize you and Toto are not in Kansas anymore, but you won’t be surprised because you are right where you meant to be!