Have you ever met someone, and when they opened their mouth, their voice sounded nothing like you would have imagined? Or made a preconceived notion based on appearance, job title, or any other factors and been absolutely blown away by that person's capabilities?
I imagine movies where the mastermind behind a heist is deaf, or the kick-ass ninja with Bruce Lee precision is a twelve-year-old girl. And when the hero is revealed or wins, we immediately want to scream, “hell yes, I knew they could do it.” And somehow, by the end of the movie, you have a newfound appreciation for the hero and their unique attributes; you cheer on their wins and actually come to admire how despite their “shortcomings,” they KILLED IT!
We can see rare potential in others if we are open to extending the dialogue or giving people chances where based on their current skillsets seems like a longshot. I encourage this in your organizations, and we touched on trusting employees and how people may surprise you in the workplace in a previous newsletter https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/bear-hug-surprises-rebecca-kinney.
However, in this edition, we want to speak to how the “unlikely suspect” might just be YOU, and maybe you’re hiding behind experience, job title, or past successes to define who you are now versus leaning into and expressing your awesomeness.
You likely don’t tap into all of your badassery daily (I know I don’t). You maybe get to dip your toe into the water while daydreaming about what it would be like to do what you “really love.” I can safely say that most of us operate in our zone of excellence versus our zone of genius (ZOG). The zone of excellence=things you are extremely skilled at but may not necessarily love doing. The zone of genius=things you are naturally good at and love doing—where you find your 'flow.
In your ZOG it’s a perfect collision of purpose meets action. It’s a tough space to discover and stay in. In a Forbes article by Brenna Wiest (source below), she states, “ The important thing to recognize is that your zone of genius is not just what you're "passionate" about. It's not just what you like the idea of. In fact, it can often be something you may not love a whole lot initially, but it's something you recognize you are naturally gifted at. When you can identify those skills or interests, you can capitalize on them by working on them consistently. The combination is what will help you strike gold.” I highly recommend you download The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks to truly start tapping into your ZOG.
You have so much untapped potential that is a true gift this world needs more of. It’s time to start unlocking it.
Being open to the idea of new or different can be downright scary. I’ll be the first to admit. If my routine is interrupted- I suck. If my day doesn’t go according to plan-I flounder. If I challenge my norms-I freeze. These are all completely natural feelings. However, what is more important is that you remain open to the idea of new & you stay curious as you navigate into areas of your life.
Our careers will change, and our dreams will shift, but will we create the room to walk into uncharted territories? It starts with you exploring and identifying what brings you alive and then seeking out opportunities to get better at spending more and more time in that zone.
Then comes the real kicker. Do you have faith in yourself that you can overcome the discomfort of entering new waters? This doesn’t mean you have to leave your current position. Maybe you LOVE what you do. But I am confident that there are areas, even in your current role, where you have untapped potential. Areas where if you tapped into the genius sides of your brain you could amplify what it is you do and have an even larger impact.
Tapping into bigger and great potential starts with you learning more about those deeper passions, learning how to take action, and then learning to express yourself as you navigate the potential.
Do yourself a favor and download the Audible version of the Big Leap here:
In listening, you can work on some exercises that help you identify your genius zone. It has been one of the best gifts I’ve ever given myself. Listen during your commute, on your walks, or whenever you have a few extra minutes.
Remember the unlikely suspects we talked about in the intro that we valiantly want to cheerlead on? That could be you- the next unlikely mastermind ready to blow us all away. It’s time to tap into that genius and start expressing yourself.
I’ll leave you with this: