Have you been asking “Who am I to ____?”?
Every now and then, a question just keeps coming back at you…over and over and over and over!
This week the question I’ve been hearing everywhere is “Who am I to do this?”
Who am I to help people change their lives?
Who am I to be the boss?
Who am I to be a professional photographer?
Who am I to teach women to have better relationships?
And this from my type-A, get outta my way, kickin’ ass and taking names, typically shining with confidence folks!
Why are these normally bright, shiny stars doubting themselves? Well, it’s because they’re now putting themselves outside of their comfort zone. They are playing in a space where the risks are no longer “safe”. Since leaving my “safe” corporate job, I’ve definitely come face-to-face with my own versions of this question (who am I to teach mindfulness, coach people, lead workshops, etc).
Look around and you’ll notice a trend that as we get further into a career or a relationship or other long-term venture, we start to take only the risks that are safe. We accept the challenges that we are pretty positive that we can knock out of the park. We get out of the habit of doing anything that’s truly scary.
And that “Who Am I To ___?” question is all about FEAR! It’s the fear of failure, loud and clear.
That fear is what allows us to start setting ourselves up for failure – but gives us the perfect excuse to use when the failure then happens (hey, we’re type-A, we’re prepared for EVERYTHING, even failure). We can just say “I didn’t try hard enough. If I had just done x or y or z, I would have been successful”.
So when the project doesn’t get done or the client isn’t happy or the retreat doesn’t sell out, then it can be because you (or I) didn’t work hard enough, didn’t schedule the meeting far enough in advance, didn’t prep for the conference, didn’t do the right follow-up or pre-event promotion, etc. That little “Who am I to” question always brings a bunch of friends with it – you might be familiar with procrastination,over-
analyzing, obsessive house-cleaning and, my personal favorite, binge-watching television. There are always plenty of ways to stay busy until it’s too late to really put your best effort into taking the risk.
If you’re hearing a little too much “Who am I to _______?” right now, here are the questions to ask yourself to clear the way back to forward momentum:
What will happen if you DON’T do it?
What happens if you don’t prep for the meeting or you don’t take the scary risk? If you don’t run the workshop, does the world lose something that it might not get anywhere else? How will you feel? How long will you carry the guilt of letting that chance pass by? Are you talking yourself back into the “comfort zone”, where, even if you fail, you’ll still be “safe”?
If you can honestly say there will be zero repercussions, then maybe it’s not the right risk for you to be taking. But if the answer is something you can’t easily live with, then it’s time to figure out a way to do the work and take the risk.
Everyone has something unique to offer the world.
Don’t let the rest of us miss out on your particular genius because fear gets in the way.
Let me know if I can help you bust through your own personal “Who am I to _____?” block!
Shoot me an email to email@example.com