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Are you in a “Dip?” As Seth Godin describes it in his book – it is that place between beginner and mastery that inevitably happens to everyone. It is that spot that is in between the effort you have been putting in and the results that you want to see. If you are on the right track in terms of knowing that you can become a master in the area that you are working in then “the dip” is just something to persevere through. It is what distinguishes the ones who are excelling in their fields (experts) and the ones who are just mediocre. Mastery entails going through “The Dip” and becoming stronger through it, knowing that the dip is a challenge to step up your game and become the best you can be. It is a time to intensify your activities and effort and know that you are working in the right direction.
On the other hand those people who excel and persevere also know when the actions they are taking are leading into a cul-de-sac or an area that is really not going to have any returns or the returns that they desire. People who excel know when to quit and what to quit quickly so that they are not wasting time on areas that do not add value to where they truly want to go. They let go faster of cul-de-sacs so that they can spend their time on things that truly matter.
If you know you can truly excel at something and it totally suits your personality and strengths then persevering through the dip is the only thing that matters – keep going and keep making the strides necessary to excel in what you are doing and become an expert in your field. If you are struggling and know that to continue to persevere in this area will just lead to more heartache and non-results then it is time to let go and focus your energy on something where you can make the results that you so desire.
I agree with Seth that knowing when to persevere and when to let go are critical aspects for leaders especially in this time of economic uncertainty. It is standing tall in your belief and in your knowing that what you are spending your time on is worth all of the effort that you are exerting.
Monica Thakrar has over 14 years experience in business focused mainly on strategy, change management, leadership development, training and coaching resulting in successful implementations of large scale transformation programs.