It's the very thing that you have dreamed of and planned for, for as long as you can remember. You finally got the invite to attend the big meeting, you got the call for the job offer regarding your ideal role, or you finally got the call with the opportunity of a lifetime.
For years you have dreamed about it, talked about it, planned for it, and anxiously awaited the day when you could finally answer the question, "When is it going to be my turn?"
If you're like anyone of us, waves of emotions from extreme excitement, overwhelm, disbelief, and joy sweep over you as you dually sit in shock and try to take it all in at the same time. More than likely if there is anyone near year at the moment, your reaction is causing an unidentified alarm in others who don't know whether you're excited or terrified at the moment!
And then all of a sudden, it never fails, that the moment we've been waiting for turns into our biggest moment of fear:
What if it doesn't work out?
What if I fail?
What if I can't do it?
What if I'm not really ready?
Who do I think I am that I could do this?
Why am I even here?
Am I even ready?
These questions along with so many others cause a level of fear that can paralyze you, cause you to want to either play small, shrink back, or try discredit all the years of hard work and planning that got you to that moment.
That is exactly how a good friend felt recently. After years of keeping the fact that she was a survivor of domestic violence a secret, she started sharing her story with small organizations like her church and other not-for-profits. Then she had the idea that she would go and start her own business of helping other victims go from victim to victor through her new services. Although an executive, this was a huge step of courage for her as it would be for many. Knowing that she didn't want to take the journey alone she invested in herself and joined a mastermind. While it was the most amazing time of her life and the opportunity that she once dreamed of, she found herself in her hotel room just hours before the meeting started immersed in a black cloud. Thoughts of, "you don't belong here," "who do you think you are," and "it's not going to work" furiously invaded in her thoughts and emotions.
Has something similar happened to you right before a big opportunity or major life change that you finally had the courage to go after? I'm sure she is not the only one that has had that type of experience right before a big meeting or a big opportunity.
In a recent Forbes article by Kathy Caprino called, "The Most Common Reason People Fail to Pursue the Best Opportunity in Front of Them", Kathy shared, "behind these fears is a nagging sense that they're not worthy of this big opportunity, and that they'll let other people down. I've seen in my work that women are often afraid to leap into a big new role where they don't feel they have 100 percent of the qualifications."
It's an all too common feeling, but here are four steps to consider the next time you are standing at the door of opportunity and ready turn and run in the other direction or play small:
Recognize and Remember That Title and Status Don't Matter
So often we have the misconception that we belong in the room whenever our title and status either match or exceed those that are around us. We don't need more group think with the same ideas, the same people, and the same experiences sitting around the table.
The quicker that we can build our confidence that we can impact change and the lives of others at any level regardless of what ours is, the quicker we can bring about transformation for them and us.
You belong in the room regardless of age, tenure, title, race,
education, or years of work experience.
Decided the type of life and career you want lead?
Before you succumb to the all the crazy thoughts that invade your space that causes you to stall, remember why you started in the first place. There was a reason why you wanted to get a seat at the table, get the new job, start the new business, or simply go to a higher level in your career or business. More than likely, it was an overwhelming desire for you to:
You saw a need and you knew you had a solution! And not only that, you were part of the solution. So how can you stop now when the very people that you had in mind regarding that change are waiting on you? You are not only the key to your change but you are also the key to the change of others.
What if You're Right!
A lot of times we will allow ourselves to miss an opportunity or play small because we have a fear of what if I'm doing something wrong in my career if take the opportunity. What if I don't like it, move to the wrong city, take the wrong job, or start the wrong business? Or we have the fear of what if say or do something wrong once I get the opportunity. To be honest there is no easy full proof answer that ensures the door you are about to walk through will be the perfect experience.
The only wrong experience that exist is that we choose not to go after because of fear.
What happens if you don't do it?
Technically life will be ok. Let's just be honest. If you decided to not take the job, go to the meeting, or follow through on the commitment that you made to yourself, there is no scarlet letter that you get for not doing it. If you had a great job before, you will still have a great job after. But who wants to spend their life wondering what if?
- What if I have followed through with it?
That's exactly what a lot of people do! However truly examine how you would feel and what would the consequences be if you allowed fear and complacency to trap you in a box of comfort.
Don't let the success of where you are stop you from having the courage of going after what you should be doing next.