2nd Place Ain’t So Bad
Second place ain’t so bad. I mean, it’s close to first, better than third. You’re not the winner, but almost the winner. It feels good. In a track race, you beat 7 other people. Only one person beat you. Second place ain’t so bad.
Recently I had a client that was committed to second place. And at first, I noticed fear in my stomach. Who would settle for second place? But she unpacked it for me and it made sense: You don’t have to work as hard to get second, you really can’t fail if you stay in second. You’re pretty much as good as first and you know it, but you don’t have the pressure of being first. It’s more comfortable to be in second; you have more free time to enjoy life. Second place ain’t so bad.
She didn’t like noticing she was playing for second. She wanted to be first, but realized she was unconsciously committed to Second Place. She wanted more, but she wasn’t willing to quit make the commitment to what it took to get from second to first. Let me say that again: She wanted more, but she wasn’t willing to do what it took to accomplish more. This is where the change formula comes in: Her Vision of first place X her Discomfort was not more than the First Steps it would take to overcome her Resistance to Change (VxD + F.S. > R = C).
So second place it is. However, she is now aware of her racket. She stays in second out of comfort. She has the potential to be first--to blow first away--if she wanted to. But second is safe. Second is comfortable. She has it pretty good. Why jeopardize second for an unknown first, when she doesn’t even know what it would take to get to first?
What are you committed to? What is keeping you from accomplishing what it is that you want? Are you willing to accept the one in you that is protecting you from something? That one in you is probably doing a pretty good job keeping you where you unconsciously want to be. No big deal. A high-five is warranted. A handshake, a hug. A nod of acceptance. Simply allow the one who holds you back to be here. When the discomfort becomes too great, the vision too big, and the resistance not enough to stop you, you will change. No need to force it.
In the meantime, second place ain’t so bad.