When I was a high schooler, my one true love was the game of golf. Of course, I loved my family and friends, but as far as my personal life went, it was all golf, all day.
So much so, that I didn’t even realize that my high school friends hung out together during the summer. True story! After starting classes again one Fall, my buddies were telling summer stories from the lake or the pool. That’s when I realized that the countless hours I spent on the golf course was a little unusual.
However, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to play a lot of golf growing up and was also fortunate to have some talent at the game. It is a brutally difficult sport.
One thing that came along with spending my summers on the golf course was a growing relationship with a fellow golfer, who eventually became my mentor and longtime friend. He helped me not only with the traditional aspects of the golf game, but also the mental side. Teaching me the behaviors, habits, and attitudes it took to compete at a high level.
Of all the lessons my mentor taught me, one has stuck with me to this day, which I feel is the best career advice I can give anyone:
When you get nervous, remind yourself this is exactly what you work so hard for.
What my mentor was referring to is, when you find yourself leading a tournament and standing on the 18th hole and feel the nerves coming on, remind yourself of this. This is what you work so hard for! Acknowledge the fact that you are nervous, and that you have prepared yourself to accomplish the task at hand. This is what you want.
I still think about this today, because I often find myself hesitating before taking the next leap. Whether that leap is personal or professional. Anytime I think of different ways to spread my message and teach others about personal finance, I get a little nervous. After all, the more eyes that are on you, the more criticism you may receive.
However, I always fall back to what my mentor taught me - this is what you want! You are nervous for a reason, because you have put yourself in an opportunity to succeed and achieve your dreams.
If you are in college, you will soon be applying for your first full time job. Yes, the interview process will be competitive and will be nerve wracking. Just take the time to think about all of the hours you have spent studying and working to get ahead of your classmates. You are ready for this next big step.
Making a career move? Think of how much more you know now compared to when you started out as a college graduate. You have spent thousands of hours crafting your skills and will be a valuable asset to your next employer. Starting a company on your own? You will be able to use all of your built up knowledge to please your new customers or clients. Yes, this move is going to make you feel nervous, but you have been working years for the opportunity. You are ready.
Getting ready to enter retirement? You have been saving diligently for your entire working career and have the finances to support you. Just like any other career move, you will have a well thought-out plan in order to succeed in the next phase of life. Switching from earning income to living off of your retirement assets will make you nervous, but know that you have been preparing for this moment. This is what you want.
Take some time to think about this today - how can you transform your next nervous moment into a moment you seize? Whether it be applying for a new job, asking for a promotion, or entering retirement. You are nervous for a reason. This is a big opportunity and you have prepared yourself for it - take the leap.