The key to a fulfilled life
Let me get real with you today. That next level of success you desire? That feeling of craving to be seen, and heard? That new challenge you long for? You won't get it unless you get out of your own way.
In order for others to see you for the talented soul you really are, you have to start by seeing yourself this way. There is simply no escaping it.
And that's a good thing, because it means you're way less dependent on others to give you what you want than you think. You yourself are powerful beyond your own imagination.
And I get it if you're sitting here, reading these words and rolling your eyes at me. Because I have to admit, that does sound vague. So let's make this more concrete. Let me share some real life examples with you of how some of my clients have been getting into their own way these past couple of weeks:
'But I'm not supposed to already be doing this'
One of my clients, let's call her Jane, is a supersmart and multitalented person who works as a software engineer. She's only just started out on this career path, but already notices that the basic problems she is supposed to work on don't challenge her. This drains her energy. But when problems get complex, multidisciplinary and layered, requiring advanced engineering skills, she gets excited and lightens up.
Yet Jane feels insecure about this. She told me: 'I can't possibly call myself an advanced engineer if I haven't been in this profession for even a year, right?'
I asked her: 'Well, don't you solve advanced problems?'
'Yes', she told me.
'And aren't you successful at this?' I asked.
Shyly, she replied: 'Yes'.
'So then I don't see why you couldn't call yourself an advanced engineer.'
She objected, saying: 'But reaching that level is supposed to take years. I can't call myself that if I just started doing this'.
Now this moment, right here, this very objection she made... is something I see ALL of my clients doing. All of them. Obviously, it happens in different shapes, formats, and contexts. And the objections will be phrased differently from one individual to the next (eg. "I can't possibly do this because I am under-qualified", or "I don't have the right education", or "I don't have enough work experience", or whatever it is you tell yourself). In its essence, it is one of the most common things that will block your way to living a fulfilling life as a gifted person.
Because what this is, right here, is a STORY. It's some story you tell yourself about why you can't possibly be the advanced version of yourself. And by advanced version of yourself, I mean who you truly are, already, here and now.
It's a story that keeps you smaller than your true size. It's a form of self-sabotage.
Once Jane truly starts seeing herself as the high-level crazy talented engineer that she already is, and once she starts leveraging that potential and make it visible to the world around her, she'll notice that others will start seeing her this way too, and she'll quickly become a sought-after employee and leader in her field. No one will care anymore how many - or few - years of experience she's had. The real challenge for her is to first stop caring about this herself. And I'm pretty sure the same goes for you too.
So please, don't slow yourself down to fit some kind of story about how long it should take to get a promotion or advance to the next level. Don't put your talents on hold. Instead, be a rebel; make those badass moves; share your gifts with the world; and go after what you want.
Then, lean back and watch the magic unfold.
Jane here is no exception. And I only coach exceptional people ;) These past few weeks I've helped a gifted photographer truly see herself as precisely that - with or without registered business (this was her self-limiting story) - and go on to make beautiful artwork in line with her own creative vision, without worrying about what others will think. I've also helped a project leader at a major governmental service company to start pitching her brilliant ideas on how to improve the company, and her colleagues have started to listen. A while ago, I helped someone without a high school diploma get her dream position at a renowned research institute. Without coaching, she wouldn't have even tried, because she never even dared to dream this was possible.
In order to be noticed, you've got to show yourself. In order to be heard, you've got to speak up. In order to get your ideas recognised, you've got to tell people about them.
In order to be seen by others, you must start by truly seeing yourself.
And this is often harder than it sounds. Because it's those bloody stories you tell yourself about how you can't possibly be X, do Y or express Z, that limit you and your vast potential. They are a huge disservice to the fantastic things you're capable of.
Even just yesterday, I received a DM from someone about a creative travel photography project she wants to do. I asked her to describe it to me and she responded by saying it was a 'lowkey project', because - as she explained - she's never formally studied photography.
Do you see how it's the same kind of objections, stories and excuses returning again and again? I'm pretty sure you too are keeping yourself smaller than you truly are.
So let's stop shrinking ourselves. Instead, let's expand.
Let's take up space. Let's raise our voices. Let's share our ideas. Let's be visible.