- Are you waiting until you know more about your subject?
- Are you delaying things until you get one more qualification?
- Is it ok for others to put their ‘stuff’ out there, but not you?
Many of my clients hold themselves back because they don’t feel they’re ready. This manifests in their not applying for a promotion, not launching a new product, not declaring their new identity or simply not ‘owning’ who they already are.
It’s very human to hold ourselves back because we don’t feel ready. I think very often what’s holding us back isn’t a lack of readiness, though. I think it’s fear. Fear of failure / fear of what people will think / fear of not being enough. Those are pretty universal, but maybe yours is a different fear.
- If I go for that promotion, what will people say? What will they say if I don’t get it? What will they say if I do?
- What if no one’s interested in my new product? I’ll feel like such an idiot.
- I can’t claim I’m an HR specialist because there are people in the team who are more qualified than I am.
- I can’t say I’m an actress when I still earn most of my money doing something else.
I guess I’m talking about your vocation. What you were born to do. The spark in you that’s unlike anyone else’s. If you’re an HR specialist, you don’t need to quantify it by saying you’re getting some more training. You’re an HR specialist. Own it. Share that unique spark with the world. Get some training, sure, but don’t wait to share your gifts. On-going training that lasts a life-time is a beautiful thing. It is not an excuse to wait to be who you’re supposed to be.
I don’t believe we ever feel ready. At least, not until we’ve taken the plunge. If we wait for the confidence to show up, we’ll be waiting forever. The confidence shows up after we’ve stretched out of our comfort zones, so what are we waiting for?
Of course, there are people who claim to be all sorts of things that they’re not. There are those who repeatedly jump feet first into myriad ill-considered projects. Equally, there are also those who are very comfortable with their skills and talents who have no problem sharing their gifts with the world. I’m talking to the wall flowers out there — the overly-British, self-effacing, hiding-their-lights-under-bushels types. Is that you?
- In what areas or situations are you holding yourself back because you don’t feel quite ready?
- If you took one step towards owning who you are and why you’re here, what might that be like?
- If you accepted that you’ll never feel ready, how might that change things?
- Say out loud that thing you’re holding yourself back from. If you’re an actress, and someone asks you what you do, say, “I’m an actress.” If you’re a photographer, show your work and say, “I’m a photographer.” If you’re a training manager, say so. Saying things aloud has power.
- What do you notice?
- What are you going to do by the end of today to move this forward? The end of the week? The month? The year? The decade?