Hey There, thanks for tuning into the Confident Careerist Podcast. I’m your host Teena Evert Founder and CEO of CLAIM THE LEAD and today I want to talk about how to Claim the Lead to Light Your Path of Possibility…
I’m pedaling before the sun is up. I welcome the fresh, crisp mountain air and the stillness of the early morning. Without much of a warm-up, I begin the 4,000-foot climb up the first mountain pass. My excitement starts to settle as I tune into my increasing heart rate and the steady rhythm of my breath. I know that if I don’t pace myself for a long day on the bike, I might not be able to face the challenges ahead and complete the ride.
I settle into a gentle cadence as the sun rises over the not-so-distant peaks, and then several thoughts emerge as if to derail me from enjoying the moment. What if I didn’t train enough? What if I’m not strong enough? What if I fail? What if I get hit by a storm?
Have you ever faced significant challenges in life and doubted your ability to succeed?
How do you keep moving forward when dealing with relentless self-defeating thoughts and extreme external obstacles?
Riding my road bike brings me great joy. Cycling is an endurance sport that requires strength and power. It has taught me a lot about myself and what I am capable of and has significantly improved the quality of my life and the way I handle stress, manage my energy, shift my mindset, and persevere.
For me, growing up was a time of exploration with no guidance from my parents to keep me safe. I was left to roam and was accustomed to feeling lost and thus not afraid to try new things. My natural curiosity and love of learning gave me enough comfort and guidance to persevere through the hard times.
Self-defeating thoughts developed over time due to how others related to my carefree spirit. I was keenly aware of others and highly sensitive to their fear. I didn’t experience care and curiosity from those who inquired about my interests and activities. Instead, I experienced their fear and concern for my ability to think big, take risks, and try new things.
I can remember feeling internally conflicted and thwarted in my ability to express myself fully. I remember a rare occasion of eating out with my family. It was a stressful and uncertain time in our lives, just following my parent’s divorce. I was in my senior year of high school and faced with the big decision of what’s next. I was excited about the potential path to becoming a surgeon. That desire was squashed in an instant when my family looked at me with shock and disbelief. I never thought about becoming a surgeon again.
My enthusiasm repeatedly got squashed when I was told bluntly, “You don’t want to do that” and “You can’t do that.” These statements did not match how I was feeling, but over time I began to internalize these messages and believe that I didn’t know what I truly wanted and that I was not capable of success.
I allowed other people’s fear and scarcity mindset to override my state of fearlessness and exuberance for life. As a result, I started to think small, doubt my abilities, and give up too easily when things got hard. I lost my spark of curiosity, and with that came bouts of depression, eroding my self-confidence and creating an anxious mind fixated on all the things that could go wrong. My carefree spirit turned into a heavy heart, and I was stuck fighting with my self-defeating thoughts in a small Midwestern town where small thinking and fear-based living was the norm.
After college, I was able to tap into my desire for freedom and adventure and reignite my zest for life. I moved far away, not realizing I had just started down a long road that would teach me how to live the rest of my life. This road has shown me how to claim the lead in my life and not give my power to fear and self-defeating thoughts and behaviors. It’s been a road with many obstacles, points of breakdown, failure, triumphs, and victories.
I’m out for a bike ride; it’s midday, 98 degrees Fahrenheit, and the air quality is poor due to multiple wildfires burning across the state of Colorado. I ventured out for a short spin to refocus and reset my mindset after a busy morning with my coaching clients.
I wish I had had a career coach when I was graduating from college. I can remember feeling extremely anxious during this vital life transition because I had no idea what to pursue next. I have changed my career seven times since then. While this demonstrates my fearless ability to take risks, try new things, and navigate significant change, it also shows my lack of guidance, support, and a clear direction.
Facing one’s fears, learning to navigate obstacles in one’s path, and overcoming adversity are part of everyone’s journey. I feel honored to provide the guidance and support that I didn’t have throughout my formative years. I didn’t have anyone in my life asking me those powerful questions about who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do with my life. Therefore, I love to offer this as a career coach, especially for the younger generation. I love helping them identify their values and create a life and career that aligns with the person they are now and their future self, who they want to become. I help them to be clear about who they are so they can make well-informed decisions, rather than waste a lot of time, energy, money, and resources going down dead-end roads.
I have a passion for speaking and writing about ways to prevent and overcome career burnout, gain confidence during a career change or significant life transition, and cultivate a “claim the lead” mindset. “Claim the lead” is my motto in life. It lights a path of possibility and provides the clarity and confidence to make informed decisions about the future.
Cycling is an endurance sport that requires strength and power, as does creating a life worth living. Having clarity and confidence in yourself is what powers your wheels. It propels you forward into the terrain of self-exploration. You’re empowered to take hold of the handlebars and begin to travel down your own unique path of potential that leads to limitless possibilities.
You’ve got this!
Until next time…keep pedaling