How do you see yourself?

What role are you playing in your life?

Are you the successful CEO who leads her company to success by being bold and innovative? Are you the artist who creates amazing works and has a following of fans? Do you see your role as being wildly successful, or like many people, are you walking around with the feeling that you aren’t living up to your own ideas of success? Do you find yourself repeatedly stating what you “know” you aren’t good at doing, and so you feel that you are failing?


You aren’t alone.

Every day I get one client or another who tells me how terrible they are at something and how it doesn’t fit with their idea of the role they are supposed to be fulfilling. They say it with assurance, they know that they are right about this idea, and yet, every time we dig in further to what proof they have, the argument starts to fall apart. One minute they are convinced that they suck at leading their team, or juggling work and family time, or running their graphic design business and the next minute they are starting to see how what they believed to be true for much of their life simply isn’t.

What changed?

When you take ten giant steps back, and look at what role you have been telling yourself you have to live up to, you also start to uncover a limiting belief you have about yourself.

You aren’t alone. You are human.

For example, the team leader who tells herself that her role…

demands that she lead with authority and strong direction goes into a meeting only to have it fall apart on her. There’s no “buy in” from her team despite her being empathetic and compassionate and really trying to get them to work together. So what happened? When we sat down and went over what she said to begin the meeting, we discovered that in the first two minutes, she apologised and undercut her own authority, and she put herself in opposition to her team members. Until we pulled apart exactly what she was saying, she wasn’t able to see how the words she used in the meeting created the very thing she was trying to avoid. She told me over and over that she struggled with being direct and with her team members. Yet this same woman is one of the most direct when we talk about what goals she sets for herself and what she wants to achieve in her own life. The more we talked the more she told me how terrible she was at being direct and the more she told me how bad she was at it, the more convinced she became until she just stopped talking.

This is when great things happen!

What she saw was how the idea of being a great leader had boxed her into specific ways of interacting with her team members. She hadn’t believed she could show up as her authentic self, direct and witty and enthusiastic about her work, and still have the buy in from her team. This started to shift as we ran through a quick practice of new ways to start the next meeting. By understanding how her own expectations had been holding her back, she was able to start to let them go, be herself and feel far more confident with how she walked into the next team meeting. Seeing how her own ideas about how she “should” be, what she “should do”, were really part of the problem limiting her success, she was able to move past them.

In recognising that the roles we try to play, are often cover-ups for what we fear we suck at, we get the chance to uncover the lies that hold us stuck, or limit our ability to succeed. The lie my client had bought into was that she was terrible at being direct with people, this is the belief she’d been working against until the day she saw it for what it was. The truth was that she is someone who is very direct and when she couples that with her love of what she does, she gets people on board very quickly.

Take time to sit quietly somewhere. This is when great things happen!

So back to you…

What’s one thing you are telling yourself you aren’t good at doing? Take a few minutes to think about what thing you are totally sure of about yourself, what one idea do you have about who you are that undercuts what you want to accomplish?

Now look at your life and your past and ask yourself for hard proof of that thing being true. Or is there proof to the opposite? Are there outcomes and reactions from other people that actually let you know you are good at what you do? When you get down to brass tacks, what does the proof of your life tell you?

Once you have looked at that, ask yourself this question, “What would happen if I let go of my expectations and concentrate moved directly to taking action that moves me closer to my goal?”

By taking the time to see what ideas are holding us back, and then identifying the action steps we need to move towards the outcome we desire, we do an end-run around the problem.

The truth is…

You don’t even need to do all that thinking. You can cut to the chase and just move directly into the action steps that will move you towards your goal. Try it right now, drop the ideas and identify the next 3 physical actions you need to take to move yourself closer to your goal.

Now! Go do them and see what happens next!