The reality is we’re all worried about whether we’re good enough. Everyone is ‘trying to look good’ which perpetuates the silos and attitudes that keep us in our comfort zones. As a result we create layers around ourselves of who we believe we need to be vs. who we really are – and the gap in between is how we experience our leadership – and often times it’s through judging ourselves as not being good enough.
Showing vulnerability is a leadership strength – not a weakness
Leaders who perceive themselves as not good enough don’t allow themselves to bring their true selves to work. Instead leaders believe they have to: be bullet proof; always have the right answer; present finished and complete thinking rather than the skeleton of an idea; and to not show vulnerability or emotion. This approach can only fail with today’s Gen X & Y demographic. Instead, people are looking for leaders who are authentic, who show emotion and who are prepared to show vulnerability. We want self-aware leaders who bring their best selves to work and lead by example, making it safe for others to do the same.
We all make mistakes – we’re all imperfect
We’re all trying to do the best we can with the stuff we’re dealing with – it’s called being busy. As one example, I know women – just like me – working hard balancing career, motherhood, kids play dates/activities, friends, aging parents, family, community projects and so on. We’re stretched keeping it all together so that it ‘looks good’….like it’s easy. We’ve created expectations that we can do it all based on who we are supposed to be – it’s anything but easy! So we hide behind ‘stuff’ and ‘busyness’ because we don’t know how to fill the void within us. We all carry shame. We think the past is our future and we become trapped. In focusing on being busy we forget we are whole. We believe we are unworthy.
It’s time to give yourself a break
The starting point is knowing that you are enough – that you are actually whole and complete (even with what you think is missing). There is nothing to ‘get’ outside of you to ‘fix’ you. Your success is the day you remember you have everything you need within you. You’ve always had everything you need – you just need to be able to access it.
Your power comes from understanding you – your strengths and stretches that all play a role in who you are. The biggest gift you can give yourself is to give up judgment on yourself for the leader you were, and focus instead on the leader you want to become. This is the way to empower yourself to bring your best self to work.
The gifts to give yourself:
– To learn to keep promises that you make
– To know your values and live by them without exception
– To learn to be worthy of others trust
– To choose a perspective that’s optimistic (see the world positively)
– To be open and focused on what you can learn
– To know when to be kind, gentle and empathetic toward yourself
– To have fun and be able to laugh at yourself
– To know what you want, is to know you
Your attitude about what’s on your plate, your belief about what’s possible, and what you believe about you will be the making of you – as a person and as a leader.
Every belief you have about you is made up. How will your life and leadership change with the belief you are enough? What other beliefs are hindering your leadership that you can let go of right now?