The danger of almost

It’s not hard to understand what’s at stake when you refuse to realize your potential. Failing to awaken the greatness inside of you is a travesty and a remarkable waste of your talents. You get it.

Something similar with unexpectedly unpleasant consequences is starting down the path to your dreams but then chickening out mid-leap.

  1. If you abandon an unfulfilling career to join the circus but stop short of auditioning for the trapeze artists position that you want and instead settle for something you feel more “qualified” for (balloon animal…engineer?), then you’ve missed the mark.
  2. If you dream of starting your own business or passion project but allow fear and Resistance to convince you to offering services in the industry from which you defected, you’ve missed the mark. [Example: an associate at a law firm who quits to pursue painting, but ends up offering freelance legal services because it makes more sense and is easier to explain to the in-laws. “Hey, I still work for myself!”]
  3. If you dream of working for a startup and settle for a biz dev position instead of User Unteraction lead because you don’t know jQuery and you’re ashamed to share your Photoshop comps to the hiring manager, you’ve missed the mark.

It’s also dangerous to start on the path of living your dreams and play by the rules that govern your former, safer life. There’s no sense in facing your fears for a season instead of becoming the kind of person who thrives in the face of calculated risk.

Being in the neighborhood of your dreams might feel like a victory, but if you’re going to spend the same number of years on the same planet on this plane of reality regardless, then why not give it all you’ve got?

Willie Jackson is a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Consultant & Facilitator with ReadySet, a boutique consulting firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a frequent writer and speaker on the topics of workplace equity, global diversity, and inclusive leadership. Connect on LinkedIn or get in touch.