Today Feb 2, 2017 is Ground Hog Day according to the calendar and the events being held in PUNXSUTAWNEY, PA. Punxsutawney Phil will determine if there will be six more weeks of winter or spring will arrive early. As most often anticipated “Phil” the ground hog saw his shadow and is ready to scurry back into his warm and cozy hole. A well know place of safety and protection. This day has a lot of deep significance for me as I often refer to the movie the Ground Hog day with Actor, Bill Murray as he is caught up in a loop that repeats Feb 2, "Ground Hog’s day" over and over again. As I reflect on this movie and today’s events, I see a resemblance to our work lives and our tendencies to remain in the status quo with little to no personal fulfillment or true satisfaction.
Do you resonate with the story of the ground hog day rituals, each morning waking up at the same time, doing the same morning rituals, traveling the same pathway to work and seeing the same people on the freeway, arriving to your work day to do the same job the same way each day? Is this you? I thought so. If any or all of these descriptions hit a “cord” for you, how does it make you feel? While I’m all for creating routine and rituals that keeps me productive and focused on maximizing my time and resources getting caught up in a “status quo” world is not always the answer.
Have you ever noticed that your life has started to feel a little robotic or should we go as far as saying “mundane”? I see the significance of Ground Hog Day in many areas of self- leadership and leadership in general. Some of those associations start with: most often the ground hog is predicted to see his shadow and runs swiftly back to the comfort of his warm hole for another six weeks. How does this mirror your reactions each time you consider stepping outside your comfort zone to take on a new assignment, or put your name in the race for the next big promotion? Maybe you’ve experienced the ground hog day reaction each time you consider looking for a new job or starting that new business that you’ve dreamed about for so long. This type of decision requires you to leave the comfort of your secure paycheck and the security in which you’ve become accustomed.
.When approaching change and uncertainty do you feel fearful and often retreat back to routine circumstances or do you embrace your Self-Leadership skills to lean in and lead yourself to new levels of potential success? I view six more weeks of bad weather as “playing it safe” and “settling for less”. You may be too fearful to venture out into the unknown and step up or show up to weather the uncertain times. I get it, life is sometimes hard enough without going out into the “cold” or stepping into the unknown. But, the real question is what is it costing you to remain in the comfort of your safe place? What are you giving up? What dream are you sacrificing? How many times do you yearn to make more impact and contribute in new ways?
The second area of significance I draw from the Ground Hog Day movie is when Actor Bill Murray relives the Ground Hog Day experience. Each day repeats itself with the same experiences over and over again. He begins to hate his life for being stuck in a small town with what he considers less than desirable conditions. Before he can move forward to a new day he must learn to find happiness and value from his current surroundings and make peace with his life that takes place each day.
Once he experiences happiness his life is transformed and he awakes to the next day Feb 3rd. He successfully moves past his challenges after being stuck in the ground hog day rituals for several days. The importance here is the fact that he had to reassess his self-leadership skills in order to experience his situation differently. He embraced new ways of being which ultimately led him to success. The success of a new life, a new day.
The Ground Hog Day movie is an opportunity to be conscious of our perceptions, the thoughts, feelings, behavior and outcome we encounter regarding our work experience? Do you get into a ritual of perceiving your work life as bad, unproductive, only a means to an end? Do you spend most of your day thinking about the end of the work day, work week or your next vacation so you can “start living life again?” Developing the right mindset for work place success starts by creating a strong self-leadership practice. A practice that is built upon understanding your value, and greatest strengths, motivations and how to manage your attitude and actions so that you are fully engaged in the work that you do. A practice that supports your success and helps you create the results you desire. Ultimately to contribute fully and make the impact you were designed to make.
.From my perspective, Ground Hog Day is the perfect day to revisit our self-leadership skills and pinpoint areas of our work lives that we're playing it too safe. To re-visit our mindset and question unproductive thoughts, behaviors, emotions and ways of being that does not support our optimal success.
Embracing a practice of Self-Leadership is a pathway that will lead you out of the hole of playing it safe to a life that supports you in playing full out. Although we all want to experience protection, safety and living in well-known environments these experiences must be combined with periods of moving pass the “just settling” phase or status quo work experiences that doesn’t fuel our spirit or provide us with the personal fulfillment we yearn for. If you are new to the concept of Self-Leadership visit our website to learn more at: www.beyondstatusquo.com
If you are ready to kick-start your work experience and move beyond the limitations of your current work experience take the Energy Leadership Assessment that pinpoints your workplace success factor and outlines strengths and deficiencies. It will pinpoint what keeps you stuck in the “hole” or some less than desirable situations and areas of strengths that will support you in experiencing new levels of success. To learn more.
Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts on “the Ground Hog Day” experience and my belief that it’s a perfect reflection of our Self-Leadership skills. Feel free to drop me an email or send me a message to let me know your thought on this article and share any related experiences as well. Until the next time, I wish you a lifetime of work place success.
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