Last week, I went through one of the most major mindset challenges I have faced for many years. Unknown to me I had a big mother rat camping at the head of my bed for a couple of days while Sienna my dog and I slept soundly.
My cat Marais a few nights prior had proudly deposited a tiny baby rat beside my bed. Alive! I employed the skills of a highly trained Ikea product assembler to find the tools to get it out of my bedroom. My heart pounding, trying not to scream and wake the neighbourhood. I slid it onto a laminated luxury style place mat, tiny little creature, then put an Ikea food cover on top and prayed it would not move until I got it safely outside. I did well! Marais was locked in the bathroom meowing and I was internally “freaking out” even though it was no larger than the size of my thumb.
So mission completed, or so I thought. A couple of mornings ago, I saw Marais flatten himself and try to get under my bed. “That’s odd” I thought as I pulled him away only to find myself face to face with a large mother rat. We looked at each other and I don’t know who was more terrified. I was dressed ready to do my “Warrior” class at the gym and running out of time. I was not going to miss that class. After all I was a “Warrior gal”!
I knew that “Hire a Hubby” would not materialise whilst I was at the gym so I had to do the deed immediately. I tapped into my past technical skills for this much larger rat and set to work to get it to safety. I went through the drill, but needed a towel and a bigger Ikea food cover, very handy they are! The luxury place mat had its “place” too. I must let the company know there are other uses for their “up market range”.
With the rat trapped under the Ikea food cover, I had to find a spot where Marais could not go. Bingo, in our walkway under the palms. I navigated through my apartment like a terrified World War 2 bomber, fighting with my locked front door and Sienna leading the way. My heart was thumping so fast, and I kept saying to the rat do not move and escape or I am finished and so are you. After I managed to get out of my temperamental security door, I glanced down at the long tail emerging from under the towel, sickening but I could not think about this now. Eventually, I got it to safety and even left it a gourmet meal of Aldi (Sienna’s and Marais’ cheese) and some water.
When I got home from gym to check, she was still breathing – great! Sadly, the end of this story is she went to God a couple of days later. On a positive note, I managed to overcome one of my greatest fears, which was in my mind. I was living with a rat for several days at close quarters. Blissfully unaware, then I found a way to pick it up with towel, and get it to safety. A test that many would fail on “Survivor”.
So what is the metaphor from my rather self indulgent story. “Its all in your Head”. When challenges hit or we are asked to do something so far out of our comfort zone the voice in our head stops us. Imagine what you could achieve if you don’t listen to that voice. I didn’t know the rat was sleeping close to me, if I had my head would have worked overtime. So think about this metaphor and apply it to your work life. When “the thought of what could happen stops you in your tracks” generally nothing shocking will come of it. Some common examples are;
- Mindset rule No 1. – When asked to publicly speak either to a new audience or a team from your work or business, just do it. Remember the rat didn’t attack me. Mindset, mindset.
- Mindset rule No 2. – Staying with the Rat in your head. If your career or business is slowing down, or you are experiencing difficult times have the courage to go out of your comfort zone and find a way forward towards freedom.
- Mindset rule No 3. – Stop fast forwarding the story in your head. Remember as I did there is not always a “House Hubby”, you need to just move out of fear and empower yourself.
On this “cheerful note”, check in with me if you would like to find ways in your career to get rid of the constant mindset that is stopping your progress. Whether it is Pitching, Career stagnation, Flatness or something else, remember 2018 is almost here and you need to let the “Rat out of your Bedroom”. Empowerment – go for it!