“Be A Legend In Your Own Mind” is chapter 28 in 52 Ways to Live a Kick-Ass Life: BS-Free Wisdom to Ignite Your Inner Badass and Live the Life You Deserve by Andrea Owen that has stuck with me since I read it a few years ago. When I read that book, I created my own study guide to work through all of the topics I was reading about. This chapter is the one that stuck with me the most, and I printed the page from my study guide and hung it next to my makeup area. I see it every single day.Read More
When we think of legends we think of people who are known across the world for one thing or another. Being a legend doesn’t mean you have to reach that level. Andrea Owen wrote a chapter in her book 52 Ways to Live a Kick-Ass Life: BS-Free Wisdom to Ignite Your Inner Badass and Live the Life You Deserve that has impacted my life for the years since I read it. I want to share with you how it has impacted me.
Today I want to take a step back. I want to talk about where I came from because I know so many of you see where I am today and might be thinking that I have this perfect life or have had it pretty easy, but I haven’t.
I am about to turn 35 in a couple of weeks, and yes, right now in my life, I’d say that I have it pretty fucking good. My life is pretty easy at the moment. But it hasn’t always been.Read More
We all start somewhere. A lot of quotes you’ll see or direction from coaches tell you not to look back because you aren’t going there. I’m looking back at where I came from because it has determined how I’ve gotten to where I am today. Looking back shows you how far you’ve truly come.
I saw this in a post the other day and felt strongly about how well it represented my life. There is so much meaning in this simple graphic.
I am a critical thinker. I think critically about pretty much everything. And then I overthink it. And overthink it some more. It is a vicious cycle for me that I repeat over and over again for just about any topic, situation, or relationship.
I’ve always seen the quotes about “listen to your heart” but have never been able to do it. My heart didn’t analyze well enough. My heart didn’t ruminate over every possible scenario and every possible outcome. My heart is all about the feels and that just isn’t what a strong person listens to. There was no way in hell I was going to listen to my heart when my brain is what has kept me safe all these years.
Except, it really hasn’t. That safe feeling I have been thinking that I feel, that isn’t truly safety. That’s control. Control does not equal safety.
My brain would have me believe that any situation where I don’t already know everything needed, is a situation that I need to leave. Take for instance my new job. I work with a startup and my position, my actions directly correlate to the amount of revenue that we bring in each quarter. I mean, in much larger companies, it’s been the same way, but now this is a small company and if revenue isn’t met, then it directly relates to what I have or have not accomplished.
I do not like the financial side of being a project manager. I never have and never will. I have somehow been really good at having limited responsibility for project financials and I’ve been absolutely okay with that. Until now. Now I am directly responsible for meeting revenue goals.
When I realized this during my third or fourth week in, I had a panic attack. How the fuck am I going to make this happen? I don’t want to manage budgets. I don’t know how to make revenue numbers. Why me? Isn’t there somebody else? What if I don’t meet the goal the first quarter that I’m here? Will I be fired? I really like this company and don’t want to look for another job. Panic, panic, panic. I held it in well in front of my boss.
Just as fast as the realization came, so did the realization that I am not alone in this. I am not the only person who is responsible for this number. Yes, it might seem that way, but it isn’t. My boss, the SVP of Operations, and other management and/or executives are right there with me. We are all working together. I might feel like it is all riding on my shoulders and that can be crippling, but it isn’t true.
You see, my brain focused on one critical detail. It didn’t want to see all the other details in the situation. My brain was stuck in a panic state and didn’t want to listen to my heart. My heart knew and still knows that I am not alone in this. In fact, my heart has all the touchy feelies. My boss believes in me more than I think I’ve ever known a previous boss has. He frequently compliments my work and it has only been a few weeks. I ask for constructive feedback and he gives it, but not in a manner to tell me that I suck.
If I were to only listen to my brain, I might be finding another job. I would be stuck believing that I wasn’t good enough and that I will crash and burn. If I were to listen to my brain, I would take the pile of emails that I haven’t been able to read yet or even address and believe that I’m already a failure. If I were to listen to my brain, I would think that I have failed and should be fired.
But instead, I need to and desire to listen to my heart. I have learned in my heart of hearts and somewhere in my subconscious, that none of this means that I’m a failure. It means that I’m in a challenging position that I can grow in. I am not being held back and I am not going to be fired. I have been given an opportunity to shine and grow. My heart knows it and my heart has a lot of work to keep my brain in check.
I traditionally have listened to my brain and have horribly silenced my heart. I’ve only recently started allowing my heart to have a bigger voice. I’m not perfect at it, but I don’t want to be. I want to continue growing, continue being challenged, and show myself that I can do hard things.
Today, today I am listening to my heart. Each day I am checking in with my heart every time my brain makes a decision or assumption. My heart’s voice is getting bigger and stronger. We are growing together.
All my life I have been afraid of failing. It has never been one thing specifically, rather, failing at anything and everything. The thing that I didn’t know and that you’ve probably heard over and over again, is that everyone who is successful has failed. They have failed repeatedly. Success doesn’t mean we don’t fail. Success means that we get back up after every failure and keep going.
The thing that leads to my fear of failure is doubt. I have doubted I would be good enough for pretty much all of my life. I doubted everything about myself. It’s a wonder I have continued to progress in my career with all of the doubts that I have had about my ability to be successful.
Doubt is defined as a feeling of uncertainty or lack of conviction.
Doubt is what kills dreams.
Doubt has held me back from so many things. Until today, doubt held me back from branching out to YouTube. I doubted I would be able to edit a video. I doubted that I would be able to listen to myself and put myself out there in a video for all to see. Words are one thing. Video, now that’s a forbidden land.
But I am doing it. I have successfully edited my first video for YouTube. I will be posting it later this week and will continue to share my growth with you through video.
When we give in to doubt, we don’t even get close to achieving failure because we never start. We let that doubt steamroll us right into avoiding the thing that we might fail at. Doubt creeps upon us, fear takes over and we never take even a baby step.
How can we counteract doubt? By leaning into it. Ask yourself, ‘If I do ____, what is the worst that can happen? What is the best?’ List out all of the possibilities for both. Review the worst, then review the best. Do the best things that can happen outweigh the worst? Is the worst thing death? No? Alright, why the hell aren’t you moving towards that goal?
You think you might fail? You are doubting your ability to achieve even the smallest best thing that can happen? How are you ever going to know if you are going to fail if you don’t try?
Here is what I’m learning and leaning into: failure is good. No, actually, failure is fucking great. Failure is great because that means that I’m actually moving towards my goals and I’m doing. I am putting in the effort needed to get one step closer to my goal. If I fail, that means that I need to course correct and go down a different road. It doesn’t mean I need to stop everything I am doing.
Doubt tells us that if we aren’t successful right out of the gate then we are a failure. No. That is incorrect. How many people do you really think have succeeded at the very first attempt on their goal? Pilots can’t fly a giant commercial jet the first time they get in the cockpit. They have to go through hours and hours and hours of training in a simulator. Developers don’t sit down, write a bit of code and have a beautiful website or app the first time they attempt to run the code. They have to learn, tweak, and tweak some more to get it right. And then there still might be bugs.
This is my third or fourth attempt at a blog. I lost track because I gave in to doubt and wiped all of my posts away, multiple times. This isn’t my first attempt at growing mentally and emotionally. I fail over and over and over again.
I have a goal to stop giving in to my doubts. I need to lean into each one of them and explore why they are creeping in. Once I get over each doubt, I can move onto action and making shit happen. Doubt kills. Failure provides lessons.