Updated: Feb 2, 2019
How many opportunities have you walked away from simply because you didn’t feel ready or good enough?
“I’m not ready to apply for that job”
“I’m not confident enough to deliver that presentation”
“I’m not prepared to step out of my comfort zone to do something differently”
The fact is, your mind will always be afraid but that doesn’t have to stop you.
We enter this world with no pre-conceived ideas or expectations…. no conditioning. As a child, we live in the current world with no thought for the future. We are a sponge soaking up life and trying to learn and understand the world around us. Our only need is to feel safe, secure and loved which quite rightly, we deserve. However, with this one, ever so important need, our impressionable minds start to take in the environment that surrounds us with what we see, feel and hear and this is where our inner beliefs begin to form.
Society tells us not to trust. Society tell us to make comparisons. Society tells us we are not ready yet or good enough. You are defined by how much power you give to these beliefs.
You are good enough to fail
We all screw up, it’s how we learn, develop and grow. Failure is part of life and everyone does it. The actions we take following a failure will either strengthen us or weaken us. Do we act upon it or do we blame ourselves or others for it?
Imagine a bridge built between two islands. What does it mean if the bridge collapses? Well, it could mean that there was a flaw in the design, prompting the need to build it better this time round or, if you’ve tried it a few times and it’s just not working out, perhaps it just isn’t a great place to build a bridge.
The following quote absolutely sums it up for me. "Failure is either a lesson or a pivot, it is not a statement of your worth".
You are good enough to be successful
For some, the word ‘success’ might not even resonate because they feel they aren’t smart enough to be accomplished. For others, they may only view themselves as successful if they win the equivalent of a ‘gold medal’ at work; a perfect performance, the right answer to every question or know everything possible in their given field. For others still, they may only feel successful if they get ahead without any help at all.
Moving away from this mentality requires a huge shift in beliefs. You are never going to be perfect all of the time and if you believe that success only comes from being right all the time, you will never learn and grow from worthwhile failures.
To shift this mind-set, you need to tackle your self-talk by re-framing a situation and fostering a kinder voice. If the dialogue in your head is something like “Oh god, I am in way over my head! People are going to find out the truth about me”, try reminding yourself “Wow, I am going to learn a lot”. This change of habit does take time but works wonders in the long run.
You are good enough to be YOU
You are unique. No one else is like you and this is your magic.
You may look around you and compare yourself to others that appear super-confident and self-assured. Remember those that you compare yourself to, also compare themselves too. Under that veneer, they will also have had times when they’ve had self-doubt and lacked self-belief, they may just hide it well.
Be realistic with your expectations and comparisons. There is nothing wrong with aspiring to be like the top performer in your company but remember their success didn’t appear overnight. Learn about their journey but don’t let another person’s progress discourage you. You are on your own journey, not someone else’s.
Learn to accept compliments rather than play them down. Surround yourself with confident and positive people. Embrace the chance of failure. Breach your comfort zone. Don’t give in to negative self-talk instead re-frame your thoughts.
Most importantly, accept your wonderful self for who you are.
None of this can be achieved overnight. It takes time, persistence, resilience and a willingness to undo beliefs and to create new ones.
(This blog is based on my own personal experience and my own journey. Thank you to those who believe and have believed in me and to those who inspire me every single day).