DO IT BEFORE YOU FEEL READY.
One of the most inspiring TED Talks I’ve ever seen featured a woman named Amy Cuddy talking about the importance of body-language, and assuming a posture of confidence even when (especially when) we aren’t feeling all that confident. Standing more self-assuredly actually releases chemicals in our brain that make us feel more confident, and makes others believe we are, too. She also said something pretty spectacular that, when I heard it, sort of adhered to my heart: “Fake it ‘til you make it.”
When we begin something new, be it a job, a hobby, or any other life-changing pursuit, it’s common (and so normal) to feel un-qualified, ill-equipped, and unprepared. When we begin climbing the first few rungs of any ladder or start wading into new territory, it can be unsettling.
When I watched Amy Cuddy talk about the benefits of “power posing”, standing confidently, and going into an unsure, new situation with the attitude that you belong (even if you feel you don’t), I had an epiphany:
Instead of waiting for anyone else to pick you, to deem you qualified and give you permission, you have to first pick yourself. Even if somewhere inside you are trembling with nerves and the fear that you aren’t quite ready, good enough, or qualified, you have to insist enthusiastically upon yourself. When you do, even if you’re ‘fakin’ it’, people will start to believe you. And more importantly, you’ll start to believe it yourself. At the end of the day, the most important factor in your success at anything is this belief in yourself.
You don’t have to make a giant leap if you’re standing in the midst of unworthiness – just try, even for a little while, standing a little taller, walking a little prouder, and no matter where you are in the way of experience, acting like you do, in fact, belong. Then, we might see that all limits have been self-imposed, and we’ve cut ourselves off to the vessels of opportunity and success by thinking that we aren’t quite there yet, aren’t quite good enough, and aren’t quite ready.
When we begin feeling (even faking) a sense of belonging and worthiness, it’ll open doors and lead us proudly into our new ventures, until we find that we really do belong.
P.S. in case you missed it, watch this. You won’t be sorry…