Welcome to another Ask Katrina. Today’s question is
“Katrina, why do I keep delaying my progress?”
This question came from a super successful executive. Her entire question actually came out of her mouth like this:
“You know, I’m not a procrastinator. So Katrina, why do I keep delaying my progress?”
“I’m not a procrastinator. I don’t delay in making decisions or taking action. That’s just not my nature. But I keep delaying in this new role as a new executive, what is wrong with me? Why have I suddenly changed? Who am I? What is wrong with me?”
There’s nothing wrong with you.
You’re not broken.
But the point is this: if you’re not a procrastinator, understand that you’re holding back because something new or different is happening in your life that you’re not used to.
You’re afraid and that’s okay.
The difference today vs. your past promotions is that you’ve always been a little afraid because we’re always a little afraid of something. Still, the variance and the overall level of uncertainty are much greater here.
We make pivots each time we get promoted, which for most women has been over the course of the last 10 years.
Each promotion required us to pivot and shift but those pivots have been small.
There’s been a bit of uncertainty, but the measure of uncertainty has been manageable and even a little exciting.
We call those types of changes “a challenge.”
But when we move from that director role, that mid-level manager to that executive role, that level of shift is significant.
It’s much larger than the little pivots, it’s a huge pivot.
The Large Growth Curve Creates Fear
Which creates some fear and quite a bit of uncertainty.
Combine this large pivot (or growth), the uncertainty that comes with it, and the fact that we weren’t prepared for this large pivot, and we start to ask ourselves some questions about our abilities.
“Oh, can I do it?
I didn’t realize there was so much growth on this, will I miss other things in this role?
If there is this much growth, does that mean, I shouldn’t be in the role, maybe there are other people that already knew about the growth, and they grew through it, and they didn’t have as much growth as I have. Am I the problem here?
Maybe I’m just not ready. I’m not cut out for this.”
We go through all of those internal battles because the growth is significantly larger than what we were expecting.
That doesn’t mean that you’re not the person that’s meant to be in that role.
Remember, the data shows that on average, it takes a typical executive 12 months to reach the level of performance.
That means it’s not the typical few months to get up to speed like the prior promotional growth windows.
Recognize that 12 months is the average number, which means there’s something wrong with you.
There is a significant growth curve that every new exec faces.
Fear is natural in this instance.
So, why are you holding back?
Why are you procrastinating?
Push Past the Fear and Take Action
It’s because maybe you don’t know how to exec correctly and yet you think think you should know how.
Tony Robbins, says “When you’re in your head, your dead.”
You have got to get out of your head, you have got to get away from the fear, and you have got to acknowledge that this is very typical for the role that you’re in.
It’s not a you thing, it’s an executive thing.
When you acknowledge that, you can look around and go, “Oh, well, this is normal.”
This is not you being broken or having something wrong with you.
It doesn’t mean that now you’re a procrastinator or you don’t you’re undeserving.
When you start going down that path realize that you’re in an emotional flood that is causing some overwhelm.
Let’s get out of that.
It’s okay to be afraid.
It’s normal to be afraid.
What you’re experiencing is something new.
There’s a lot of uncertainty because there is a lot of growth.
How do you solve it?
Accept that there’s nothing wrong with you and that the fear you’re experiencing is 100% normal.
Recognize that you are meant to be in the role so don’t start doubting.
Instead, 1. acknowledge the fear and then 2. create a plan to push past it and start getting results.
Know that you can face the fear alone or together.
Many new execs think they need to earn what I call a “badge of honor” in figuring out how to exec correctly.
This is the primary reason it’s taking an average of 12 months to get results.
There’s no badge of honor for figuring it out as you go and playing that trial-and-error game with your career.
That route is only going to inject more fear which is going to create more delays, and it becomes an endless cycle.
Don’t do that to yourself.
Go and find someone who has the proven strategies, either a mentor or with us, but go get the solution.
Let those solutions get you through the growth and generate results in a few months instead of 12.
And if we can help, we’re happy to.
If you’d like to join the next cohort kicking off, I’d love to tell you more about it.
We only let 10 women in per month and if this is where you are in your career, you need to be one of those women.