“And above all things, never think that you’re not good enough yourself. A man should never think that. My belief is that in life people will take you at your own reckoning.”~Isaac Asimov
I was in a coaching class recently – working on my CCEs for my coaching recertification – and the instructor offered a phrase that coaching is built around, but that I hadn’t heard, or thought through, in a while. “Our clients are perfect, just as they are.”
I know and have experienced this to be true. And this knowledge allows me to show up with and for my clients so that they can find their own answers and truth.
Another thing I have witnessed time and time again, and therefore know to be true, is that many, if not most, of my clients can easily point out their flaws and “development areas”, but few at best can easily and willingly list their strengths. Many are hesitant to do so, or make light of their strengths, or struggle to focus there instead of on their flaws. Some clients can’t seem to list them at all. When I ask my clients to list their strengths – because effective Thoughtful Leadership stems from knowing and building on our own strengths – they often balk and resist. “That would be too pretentious of me,” they offer. “I don’t know,” they stammer. “I’m uncomfortable with this,” they say.
But there is strength in knowing, and owning, our strengths. And there is strength in knowing that we are enough, just as we are. There is strength in knowing and owning this, because it actually makes us stronger, and there is strength in knowing and owning it, because others will believe it of us if we believe and know it of ourselves. When we see and speak of ourselves in a positive, strong light, others see us that way, and in many ways, that is what we become.
When we don’t see ourselves in our strengths, we often feel like we have to prove ourselves. But when we move through life trying to prove that we’re good enough or smart enough, or that we deserve the position or promotion (that we may doubt we deserve), we get in our own way. Energy we expend trying to prove ourselves is energy that is wasted. It’s energy that could be much better spent on actually accomplishing something, or reflecting on past challenges and how you’ve overcome them, or visioning the future and necessary action steps. It’s energy that could be better spent on just about anything.
Give up trying to prove anything to anyone – even yourself. Spend your time Thoughtfully making the most of yourself today, and of your today.
People take you at your own reckoning – so own who you are and what you bring.
How have you learned that you are enough?
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If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.
For support in giving up needing to prove anything to anyone, contact Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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