About two months ago, I wrote a post that I was pretty nervous about sharing. I prefer to be the encouraging, supportive, “you can do it!” coach rather than calling someone out for the reasons that what they’re aspiring to is never going to happen. I went with it though, because I knew it could be a catalyst to propel you forward into your dream.
It’s turned out to be hugely popular, perhaps one of my most popular ever. In it I highlight five common reasons that the dream you’re chasing is never going to become reality, and challenge you to overcome each one. But I continue to see the recurring trends, and it’s still paining me to see it. So I’m here today to offer you some more encouragement in one particular area. Odds are, you’re still struggling with this.
You don’t really believe in yourself.
You don’t really think you’re good enough. And it’s holding you back.
(Don’t worry. It’s a common struggle.)
Now, if your initial response is…”sure I do!” I want you to ask yourself these questions.
- Use weak or mitigating language. Start listening to yourself. How often do you portray your own self-doubt (intentionally or not) by using phrases like “I think”, “I believe”, “I feel”, or “I’d like to”? How often do you insert the word “just” into your sentences? Using this type of weak language sabotages your efforts to believe in yourself and to present yourself with authority and confidence.
- Keep putting it off? How many years have you been talking about doing this? Are you really that busy?
- Get distracted by new opportunities? Yes, there are a lot of good opportunities out there. But they’re also good at keeping you from what’s great. Except you’re not going to get a chance at what’s great if you keep chasing the “good.”
- Think you need to do “just this thing,” and then you’ll be ready? Maybe it’s to write a book…get one more client…run one more race…achieve a higher financial status…lose ten more pounds…you’re just not quite qualified, yet.
Steven Pressfield would define these things as a form of “resistance.” In his fascinating book The War of Art, he explains:
Resistance cannot be seen, touched, heard, or smelled. But it can be felt…it’s a repelling force. It’s negative. Its aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work.
On one hand, it’s okay. I’d much rather work with someone who has a degree of humility, rather than an arrogant, pompous know-it-all. And your customers are going to appreciate that, too.
Even Pressfield agrees.
Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do….the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.
But you cannot let it hold you back.
So what do you do about it?
First, recognize that you truly are good enough. In Brendon Burchard’s insightful and motivating book, Millionaire Messenger, he defines three types of experts:
- The Results Expert: never forget that on the highway of life, you have come further than many others, and the lessons you have learned are both helpful and valuable to others.
- The Research Expert: never forget that experts are students first and that you can go research any topic and become an “expert” in that area, starting now.
- The Role Model: never forget that people listen to those they trust, respect, admire and follow –they listen to role models.
If you still think you’re not good enough, perhaps because there are “a million other people out there doing it,” I’ll blow up that for you, too. If there are other people doing it already, that just proves that there’s a need and a market for it. You bring your own unique strengths, experiences and perspective…and that is invaluable.
Secondly, you make an intentional decision to go pro.
Here’s how Pressfield defines going pro:
- You act in the face of fear. You don’t overcome the fear so you can do the work. You just do the work.
- You show up every day.
- You show up no matter what.
- You commit for the long haul.
- You’re patient, and you understand delayed gratification.
- You love your work, you’re invested wholeheartedly, but you don’t forget that the work is not you.
One Thought in Closing
Regardless of all of the above, simply ask yourself this:
What’s the worst that could happen?
If you pour your heart and soul into it and it turns out, you’re not good enough…
(Which, by the way, I don’t believe will happen. Yes, you’ll have some failures and setbacks but you can do this.)
Even so, what’s the worst that could happen?
So, what are you waiting for?
To believing in yourself so you can make the impact the world needs from you…
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