Step Into Yourself
Have you been holding yourself back? I was. For years.
Once, I was the man with the plan. I knew what I wanted, where I was going, and how to get there. And I got there! In just four years, my living room language “school” became a juggernaut. But “there” was no longer where I wanted to be: I wasn’t satisfied. So I published my first book, launched my speaking career, and crushed that, too. I could do no wrong, apparently: every decision I made was the right one.
I reached the mountaintop. From my pinnacle I saw a new, higher mountain I just needed to climb. So I started in on that peak, and then the next, and then next, and….
Well, at some point things went sideways, as they say. And I went on a journey of self-doubt and, finally (thankfully!), of rediscovery.
I walked through the fire. I lost my mojo, and in reclaiming it, I claimed a whole new, somewhat more serene and much more self-secure me. At 47, I am literally not the man I was at 34 when I started that living room school of mine.
My trial by fire cleansed me. The deepest parts were very painful. The road back up hurt quite a bit as well. Instead of feeding my bottomless ego through business accomplishment, though, that painful journey of mine helped me to shed the worst parts of my ego. In so doing, I found my lost sense of clarity, of purpose, and of certainty.
I’m ready to lead again. I’ve stepped back into myself.
Instead of feeding my bottomless ego through business accomplishment, though, that painful journey of mine helped me to shed the worst parts of my ego.
How about you?
Where are you on your journey?
Are you striving to fill a bottomless ego, as I was on my first at-bat leading a company? That is a necessary experience for most of us. If you’re still there, you likely stopped reading this post before you got this far, because you’re the person with the plan. Self-doubt is for the other guy. And because you’re afraid of your own doubt, you are your own bottomless pit.
Are you wandering, searching for your lost mojo? Did you take a misstep, and now you’re desperate to end the pain of self-doubt and uncertainty? I hope this post, and others I share on this topic now and then, can guide you, if just a bit. I aspire to lead you back to yourself. If nothing else, take heart: you’ll get through it. We all do. And take solace knowing that the painful journey serves an essential purpose in your development as a leader, and as a complete human being.*
The painful journey serves an essential purpose in your development as a leader, and as a complete human being…if nothing else, take heart: you’ll get through it. We all do.
Are you back to your true, confident self? You’ve noticed a difference, haven’t you? Not in your situation, or your surroundings. But in yourself. You can feel it. You’re back, but you’ve changed. It’s almost like a different person is back in your place, looking at your familiar “you” in the mirror.
That person is still you, don’t worry. But you’re stronger, aren’t you? Your confidence has replaced your previous swagger. The hole within you has been mended. It’s not about you now, not at all. It’s about your mission, your team, your organization and your movement.
You’re ready to lead. Truly. Powerfully, though not forcefully.
You’re back. You’ve found yourself. Let’s change the world together! It’s time.
*Have you read Man’s Search for Meaning, by Victor Frankel? It’s a very short book. The first half is very hard to read, though the way he writes about his experience in the Nazi concentration camps is, I think you’ll agree, somehow not crushing. If you haven’t read it, you owe it to yourself. Among other insights, you will never resent suffering again.
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