Scared is OK, disqualifying yourself is not
If you want to move forward in your life, you will be scared sometimes, particularly when you face a new, big challenge or opportunity. That is totally normal.
While it’s OK to be scared, what’s not OK is if every time you feel scared, you think, “Because I feel scared that must mean that I am not qualified. If I was qualified, I would not be scared, and a person who IS qualified wouldn’t be scared.”
That’s not the way it works.
Everyone gets scared. Executives get scared. Every time I got a big promotion, I was scared.
The people who get promoted are the ones who are scared and do it anyway. They trust themselves to make it work, even if they don’t have 100% of the pieces lined up that would make them feel more confident.
Please don’t use scared as an excuse not to move forward. That’s how you get stuck.
Success is more scary than comfortable
The most successful people spend more time being uncomfortable than comfortable. That’s just the way it works.
The invisible risk
It breaks my heart when I see gifted people hold themselves back simply because they are too nervous to step forward.
Staying in the background because it is more comfortable, means you, well… you’ll stay in the background.
In reality, that should be the scary thing, because you are actually much more vulnerable if you are invisible.
Being out there and being imperfect, trying to move things forward, and committing to contribute is actually a much less risky way to behave in your career, because you are moving forward.
The scared-try-anyway-fail-learn-cycle is far more valuable than the safer-feeling, opt out approach, where you learn and accomplish nothing.
Don’t build your own cage
I had to include this photo! Please don’t build your own cage. Really check in with yourself… Is someone else actively holding you back, or are you holding yourself back?
Answers come from being in motion.
When you are staying still, you learn a lot less. When you start moving you start learning.
Move forward and see what happens.
Don’t disqualify yourself. That’s not your call to make.
If you put yourself forward for judgement you’ll learn if you are ready or not. Don’t make that decision on your own. Find out.
If you let other people tell you if you are not ready, then you’ll either get surprised and learn you are ready or you’ll learn something important for next time.
If you are not ready, you’ll learn more about the gap — you’ll learn what you could do better. You’ll grow. You’ll set yourself up for more success next time.
Don’t get discouraged. Everyone who moves forward hears NO sometimes — or a lot.
Don’t ever give up your own power by being the one to tell yourself you are not good enough.
It’s hard advice to take, to “do it scared”, but it’s worth it. Don’t build your own cage.