When army ants set out in search of food, they travel in groups known as “raids.” These raids storm forests, killing everything in their path. When they are on the move, they rule the road, leaving a trail of destruction. When the raid comes to a gap or chasm on the path, using their collective bodies, they build a bridge. They are creating new lanes.
When the Road You’re Traveling On Comes to an Impasse, What Do You Do?
Do you retreat and turn around, or do you find a way to forge a new path? Life places obstacles in our path for the sole purpose of growth. It is only through adversity that we get to learn what we’re really made of. These challenges force us to get creative, think differently, learn, evolve, and grow.
You Might Be Thinking, “I’m Comfortable Here, and I Don’t Want To Fail.”
In an interview on Oprah Presents: Master Class, Jay Z said, “I’ve learned more from my failures than my success. It can be paralyzing to some; failure and the fear of it.” He went on to say, “I couldn’t be successful doing what other people were doing. I had to do what I believed in, and what felt real and true to me.”
Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway!
This is what Reginald C. Fuller III, Managing Partner at Commercial Business Partners did. Below, he shares four key focuses to help you in creating new lanes:
- Follow Your Passion
Two years ago, I decided to take my experience, knowledge, and skills to a new level. I created my own lane, a consulting firm, and began working for myself. After years of working in the higher echelon of banking, I grew frustrated. The needs of my clients were lost in a maze of internal corporate nonsense.I value getting things done and delivering a quality product. I’m passionate about service. The work I do today, helping commercial borrowers level the playing field with lenders, allows me to live out my values.
- Be Fearless
Starting my own firm opened me up to new risks, and there were lots of them. [I had] lots of unanswered questions, like where will my next paycheck come from? How do I pay for my own health insurance? For the chance to find happiness, I was willing to risk it all. This meant being fearless in the face of uncertainty.
- Ignore the Negativity
My decision was met with negativity on many fronts. People made comments of disapproval and cast doubt about my ability to succeed. Instead of giving up, I limited my exposure to these people. I focused on two things: my mission and leveraging my supportive centers of influence.
- Embrace the Unknown
Despite the unknown, I embraced the opportunity to use my background, positive energy, and network to build this business. The journey is still in the early stages, but I love what I do. I wake up every morning looking forward to the challenge.
Army ants teach us that all roads come to an end; it’s what you do when about it that counts. You may have to make a decision to turn back or create a new lane. It’s normal to feel fear, but don’t let it paralyze you. When the road you’re traveling comes to an impasse, ask yourself, “What’s the opportunity here?” There are always lessons.
Use Reginald Fuller’s four key focuses to forge ahead on a new path. And when the time comes, I hope you choose to go forward and grow by creating new lanes.
Elisha Lowe is a registered nurse, business strategist, writer, entrepreneur, and inspirational speaker with two decades of experience in health care. She works with top healthcare organizations to grow novel products that support better patient outcomes in hospitals while engaging in entrepreneurial pursuits. You can follow her on Twitter @ElishaLoweRN or learn more at www.elishalowe.com