Your Best: One Man’s Cliff is Another’s Curb

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.
~ Marianne Williamson

2817664242_96fd464ba1_o_cliffJumping
Are you prepared to be triumphant in your career moves this year?   If you’re self aware, it is your situational awareness which will separate you from your less-victorious peers.   This Your Next Triumph series post (the 3rd) will explore awareness of your situation.

Your ‘best’ is different from my ‘best’; the prior post in this Worklife series addressed self assessment to be self aware.    In light of the distinct nature of each person, what one Christian will see as a cliff (a tough situation) another will see as merely a curb (a routine situation).    How each person perceives a given situation will impact how they’ll decide to handle it; to put it simply, perception can trump reality.    The 3 lines of poetry which led this post, from Marianne Williamson’s Our Greatest Fear (post of entire poem), touch on how unfounded self-doubt can make a ‘more-than-adequate’ person feel fearful, not confident!    How can you be ‘more than a conqueror’ if you let your ‘light’, your proven abilities, frighten you?   (I tip my hat to the Apostle Paul and Williamson for this thought)

The Curb-or-Cliff decisions we face in our lives are, ironically, the seed for this whole Summer series.    As I reflected on the virtues of not making curbs into cliffs last March, the two other types of awareness -needed to be triumphant in one’s life- came to mind. Given my experience with a Career Education Ministry, in Central NC where I reside, making it a weekly Worklife series seemed the right way to cover this ‘Next Step’ theme.


Five Habits of the Situationally Aware

  • To achieve this second awareness, one must I believe strive to develop and practice the following five (5) habits, namely:

1. Acknowledge and accurately assess the situation, and circumstances, you’re facing.   As you are taking your career walk, seek to, first, acknowledge that a new situation even exists.   Second, beware of distractions and denial.   Be aware that your mind, how it perceives what your eyes see, can fuel a skewed, inaccurate assessment of a specific situation.   Wearing rose-colored glasses or losing track of your blind spots should be avoided.

2. Keep firmly in your mind the simple fact that a ‘curb’ is very different than a ‘cliff’.   There are risks to your career when a cliff is perceived as a curb – or a curb is falsely perceived as a cliff.    Imagine if, as you drive to church next Sunday, that you thought that the red lights were green – and the green lights were red.   Unless you travel all back roads (with no traffic lights), that trip wouldn’t likely end as you’d planned!   In your career journey, know the difference between ‘green, yellow, and red lights’!

Matteo Pieroni_flickr_cliffOfMoher3

3. When taking the first steps, don’t misinterpret all initial discomfort.    Even for the most capable, when they leave their comfort zone, how their first steps feel may be misleading.    Forget these feelings!   Some of the grandest victories in your career will involve your NOT being a Comfort Zone Dweller.  If every step is easy, the ‘prize at the finish line’ will not likely be as big.    No pain, no gain!

4. Understand that one man’s cliff may be another man’s curb.   Quite simply, the distinct differences between two workers can make the exact same situation very different.    As well, their levels of situational awareness can play a big role too.

  • In the 14th Chapter of the Book of Matthew (verses 22-36), the behavior of Peter (as compared to the other disciples) demonstrates this point (and several others) well.   He walked on water, while the others never left the boat!    While he got distracted (Habit 1), Peter had enough faith (Habit 5) to walk towards Jesus.   Thomas, John, and all the others saw a cliff; Peter walked on water!

5. Even if you’re in a ‘cilff situation’, your faithfulness gives you a divine friend who can still help you prevail.   This will be explored fully in the next post in this series. However, in very simple terms, it ain’t over until God says it’s over!


Lesson:  If you practice all these habits, you will be doing your best – for many of the situations you face.   Understanding the circumstances, whether you are dealing with a tough cliff or a mere curb, will allow you to be more successful in your career.

Related posts

Your Next Triumph

In closing, doing your best requires both situational and self awareness.   Without both, you may not achieve the success you seek and deserve.    The line of poetry at the end of this post (from the same Williamson poem) allude to the third and final awareness needed: Awareness of your spirituality.    This will be the topic of next week’s series post.   All three are, I feel, needed.   Put another way, imagine where you’d be if you were sitting on a 3-leg stool . . . and one of the legs suddenly snapped and broke.    Need I say anymore?

We were born to make manifest the glory of
God that is within us (Marianne Williamson)

(To be continued)

 Greg Silverthorne, 66 Assurance Way

Photo credit (Jumping man): Dennis Barnes/flickr (CC)

 Photo credit (Cliff with sign): Matteo Pieroni/flickr (CC)

Last modified: June 20, 2014, 6:30 am.

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