When and Why to Stick

There are times when you have to call it. Just quit. Walk away and never look back. But, more often than not, we shouldn’t quit. You’re going to hit the dips, no doubt. Work the struggle and find your worthiness. Your best self is found and developed in the challenges. Also, what you’re really capable of overcoming is found in the challenges. Smooth sailing is great, but it gets boring after a bit. You need a good storm to roll in once in a while.

When you want to be the best at what you want to do, you will receive big rewards. The harder you stick, the bigger rewards will get as well as some perks you didn’t realize that waited for you on the other side of the struggle. One of those perks I believe is becoming a subject matter expert. Subject matter experts are sought after. Subject matter experts are looked to and for in any organization you play in.

Being that subject matter expert has many advantages. You help others understand what the pursuit of your specialty looks like. It helps others around you understand what kind of work it takes to become a subject matter expert themselves. You become a teacher and mentor. Second, your career choices become really narrowed as a subject matter expert. Easier to choose. You find your purpose.

Once you specialize, it’s time to find something else to specialize in. Your first successful moment that came with becoming a subject matter expert in your current skill came from curiosity. It came from a challenge. Embracing challenge, pushing yourself to each new limit you create from specializing brings with it more skills. You learn to survive future dips or setbacks with new skills acquired through those challenges. Thrive on challenges by understanding when you’ve hit a comfort level with your current skill set mastery.

Working through the dip by sticking with its challenge you will find grit and you develop patience. Patience is key. No one got through something difficult with out patience in the process to get them to mastery. That’s a universal fact. You ever notice when in a traffic jam one lane seems to be going faster than yours so you move into that lane. Then you get super frustrated because the fresh lane you just moved into ends up being slower than the one you just left? That’s you being impatient. That’s you trying to take a short cut through a dip. That’s you not sticking with it. Patience and determination is needed to survive to mastery of a skill. There’s no short cuts or faster lanes to get into. Just a will to reach skill.

Quitting? Well, that’s not an option for me. I’m guessing its not for you either. At least not intentionally. Maybe instead of quitting we can lean into options or forks to the same end. Like forks in a road, it’s a different path that comes into the same destination. Different paths we can explore. Not short cuts, options. Thinking beyond the obvious choices sometimes creates something altogether special. Befriend the challenge, get creative, look at everything. Choose the unclear option to learn something new. Don’t doubt yourself or what you’ve learned to this point. Lean in.

In everything you do in your life strive to be the best at whatever that is. Its important to stick with it. To make this happen it’s important to focus time, energy, self-awareness, and develop patience as you move through the challenges in trying to achieve mastery. When it hurts, you’re on the right path. So, think twice before retreating or just quitting. You got this! Stick it!

Thanks for reading!

✌ Shawn

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