Coming in at #4: Stay in Your Lane.
Helpful in a construction zone. And for athletes so they don’t lose a nano-second of time. But careers?
Back in 2011, the NBC show The Voice had launched, and we were all intrigued by the blind auditions concept.
Christina Aguilera coached one of the singers on her team by saying, “You’ve got to stay in your lane.”
Aguilera was advising this contestant to stop imitating the riffs and other vocal stylings of competitors and to “stay with what got you here. You do you!”
When is “Stay in Your Lane” Good Advice?
We believe it’s excellent advice when it means “keep the focus on yourself, don’t compare yourself with others; stick to the course you chose and manage what’s in your control; don’t second guess yourself.”
When is “Stay in Your Lane” Horrible Advice?
When the subtext is: stay in your comfort zone, or this is my area of expertise so back off, or keep the blinders on and focus on other people’s priorities.
To push the metaphor: heeding this advice would mean you would stay in cruise control – never getting off the highway, never switching lanes when needed, never using your blinker to signal to other drivers that you were about to make a move.
The next time someone tells you to stay in your lane, question the intention behind those words. Is it to stop your growth, curiosity, and expansion? Or is it to help you stay focused on your goals?
P.S. We went into the attic to dig out this blog post about The Voice from 2011.