The only thing keeping you from achieving your highest potential is you. How do you go about getting out of your own way? It’s time to learn to believe in yourself.
I was talking with a friend and colleague yesterday, and I had one of those moments where I could see her struggles reflected in myself. She was passing up an opportunity that she wanted because she was afraid. We all do this sometimes. In her case, she had convinced herself that she wasn’t ready for the challenge. She thought that she couldn’t take on a leadership role until she had her act together.
Guess what. You’re never going to have your act together. No one ever does. In the same way that we aim toward the horizon, we never arrive at the horizon. This is one of those situations where it truly is about the journey, not the destination. As Dori says, “Just keep swimming.”
“I’m not ready,” my friend said to me over coffee.
My eyebrow raised. “When will you be ready?”
“When I feel like I know what I’m doing,” she replied.
I looked at her even more skeptically, “When is that going to be? Do you think any of us really knows what we’re doing?”
My friend was comparing herself to people that she looked up to, and she was minimizing herself in comparison to them. She was afraid that if she took on this responsibility and wasn’t perfect, the people around her would judge her. What she didn’t see was the the only person judging her… was her.
No one is perfect. We are all in the same boat, and we are our own worst critics. These feelings of hesitation are natural. Now is the time to decide to be the person that you want to be “someday.” The only way you become that person is to start making the choices that person would make. Each moment we choose, and every moment there is another opportunity to choose bigger and better. That’s why they call it taking a leap of faith and crushing your comfort zone.
It’s time for all of us to be getting out of our own way. Again and again. Every day.
Follow your intuition. When a possible course of action gives you the emotional combination of excited and scared, it means you’re going the right way. If you choose to wait until you’re “ready,” you may never be. Some of us are more risk-tolerant than others. Keep in mind that all of the people you look up to feel the same way. They question their abilities, and they doubt their capacity. Don’t let those doubts stop you from getting out of your own way. Seize the moment, and run with it.
Sometimes it helps to have someone else believe in us when we are not quite there for ourselves.
My friend looked at me timidly. “You really think I’m ready?”
“Absolutely. You’re going to be great at this. It’s your time, if you want it. You just need to decide if you do.”
Ask yourself, “What is the worst case scenario if I fail?” It doesn’t work, and you feel disappointed. You learn, grow, and move on. If you want it, then go for it. Don’t wait.