How High are You Willing to Raise the Bar?

“If you want to take your mission in life to the next level, if you’re stuck and you don’t know how to rise, don’t look outside yourself. Look inside. Don’t let your fears keep you mired in the crowd. Abolish your fears and raise your commitment level to the point of no return, and I guarantee you that the Champion Within will burst forth to propel you toward victory.” ~ Bruce Jenner

Does it make you cringe when someone asks you what you are doing to raise the bar in your career or your life? If you are anything like me, it probably does. That question puts my mind to work listing everything in my life that isn’t living up to some “expectation.” And that includes my expectations of myself.

A business associate got me thinking differently about what it means to raise the bar when she shared a short presentation given by Business Networking International (BNI) founderDr. Ivan Misner. He talked about what you can make from an iron bar. From a simple iron bar, you can make horseshoes or needles or kitchen knives or balance springs for watches or any number of things limited only by your imagination.

Do you ever get an idea you think might raise the bar on your career, health, finances or some other area of your life that you wish worked better? When you get that idea do you act on it or do you dismiss it before ever giving it a voice?

I get it if you said “Dismiss It”. That dang committee in our heads is really good at shutting our ideas down. I recently had that experience.

An idea for a new product popped into my head out of the blue. I got so excited it was almost all I could think about for days. When I shared it with mymastermind group, my idea was met with mild enthusiasm.

Their reaction surprised me because they are usually ready to jump in and brainstorm. When they didn’t, I was disappointed and almost dismissed my idea as being silly or off the mark. My inner critic started telling me it must not be a good idea or my mastermind partners would have jumped on it like ducks on a June Bug.

But I still couldn’t get the idea out of my head. So I brought it up again at our next meeting. I wanted to find out why they felt lukewarm about it so I could let it go and stop thinking about it.

I don’t know if it was because our earlier meeting took place right before the holidays or if the stars were aligned differently or if I articulated my idea better the second time around. Whatever the deal was, I got a completely different reaction.

They DID jump on my idea like ducks on a June Bug! They gave me lots to think about in term of how to create and offer this product and I got even MORE excited!

Is it a good idea? Will it be whatMark Victor Hansencalls a “million dollar” idea?

Hellz Bellz, I don’t know! But the incident reminds me that I cannot trust the committee in my head when the time comes to venture out of my comfort zone and do something new.

I suspect that might be true for you too if you cringe when the question comes up. The committee hates risk and doesn’t like it when you want to raise the bar.

I’m a long way from knowing for sure if my idea is going to work. But I’m having fun with it and I believe that’s the point.

Instead of thinking about raising the bar as being hard work or sacrifice, what if it’s really about using your gifts, skills and abilities in a variety of fulfilling and fun ways? What if it’s about letting go of expectations and following your own inner compass just for the fun of seeing where it leads?   

Even if it leads nowhere, you will learn something about yourself. And you might land in some exotic destination where you feel sexy, vibrant and alive. How willing would you be to raise the bar that high?

Are you ready to raise the bar on some area of your life this year and finally pursue you dream job or life? Join me for January Jumpstart 2014 starting January 28th.