I keep a 365 day calendar on my desk called “YOU are a BADASS” by Jen Sincero … author of a book by the same name. It is an awesome daily reminder about being present, being connected and being real. This post is one of an ongoing series inspired by Jen’s work.
Watching someone else go for it can be incredibly upsetting to the person who’s spent a lifetime building a solid case for why they themselves can’t. – Jen Sincero
How `does that feel to read? Do you say “wow, that is totally me and it hurts to see.” Or do you say “I can’t believe people think that way. I work with people like that and they are frustrating to be around.” Finally is there a voice that might start to urge you to take a risk and go for it at least a little bit?
You get to choose how you perceive your reality. So why, when it comes to perceiving yourself, would you choose to see anything other than a super huge rock star of a creature? – Jen Sincero
To shy away from who you truly are would leave the world you-less. You are the only you there is and ever will be. I repeat, you are the only you there is and ever will be. Do not deny the world its one and only chance to bask in your brilliance. – Jen Sincero
How do these next two statements change the sense of self you had after reading the first quote? Do they increase your desire to go for it? Or evoke your ego and some negative dialogue about needing to be humble? Does it cause you to doubt yourself, wondering how you (or anyone for that matter) could ever be that important?
When I think about what these statements are trying to tell me here’s what I come up with. It is easy, or safer, or less visible if I avoid the idea of being great in some way. My upbringing that had me believe that humility and believing that I’m no better than the next person wants to get out in front of me and tell me “don’t try to be too much! Stay in your place … others will ask you for what they need.”
When I heed those voices I feel comfortable, safe, and I know how to belong. I can stay that way for a long time. At times I can be present with that existence, enjoying the simpler parts of life like cooking, eating, cleaning, bookkeeping, etc. But I can’t say that this is my place of meaning. I can be happy in those moments, but when I play it small and safe happiness gives way to boredom, restlessness, and a sense that I should / could / need to be doing something bigger.
It’s hard. I’ve come over time to know that I do have a purpose. I’ve spent many years uncovering it, testing it, understanding it more deeply and becoming confident in it. In parallel I have spent time crafting it into a couple of sentences that resonate as truth to me – a personal mantra. I know that when I embrace this meaning or purpose, there is a deep resonance of my personal power within me. It isn’t a power designed to make me better than or more important than others around me. It is a power I have to contribute to others, to give strength to my friends, family, community and those I work with on a daily basis. I don’t sense that I have been given the power to impact the world like Mahatma Ghandi, Mother Theresa or Nelson Mandela. I more sense that my gift has been given to me to facilitate progress for others, one (or a few) person(s) at a time. More like ripples on a pond that when combined with ripples made by others can make a meaningful impact.
So as that sense of should / could / need to I mentioned above comes to me and I encounter my desire to stay in my comfort zone, play it safe or small, I need to shift my thinking away from me. I need to shift it towards thinking of these gifts as things that only have power when I give them to others. That I have a contribution to make. Only in doing so will I feel fulfilled, growing, and, in some way, powerful.
So how does one embrace their inner rock star and release the associated brilliance into the world for the benefit of others? It’s a bit of a cyclical process. It starts by deciding to believe that the whole idea is true, followed by fighting off our inner self-limiting beliefs to say “I have to try!” Trying means committing to working to understand your superpowers. And as you do learn about them, continually working to suppress the inner critics who want to you to play small and stay safe.
If you’re interested in an exercise I use with clients click here. It is a three-part exercise that in itself isn’t linear. It also isn’t a one day thing. Read it over and then commit to step one. Start figuring out who you really are at your core. As you get comfortable that you are feeling something real building, move on to steps two and three. Mold your first draft of your mantra and then start going for it. It will take time to fine tune it and become comfortable living into it, but your superpowers are in there waiting for you! Will you let them out?