Are you selling yourself short (again)?By Margie Warrell | Apr 04, 16 08:54 AM
What possibilities would open up for you if you dared to trust that you are capable of anything you set your mind upon?
I’ll never forget where I was the day that altered the direction of my life. I was laying on a beach in Cancun, Mexico, doing a visualisation exercise imagining the life I wanted to be living 10 years out. I had just moved to the US where I knew close to no one, had three children under four and wanted to embark on a new career path. Suddenly, into my mind's eye popped an image of my family 10 years out. Only problem was that in it were four children, not three.
What?! I slapped my face.
Alas, it was too late. Deep down in my heart of hearts I knew that the highest vision for my life was to pursue my new calling in coaching and empowerment, and to have a fourth child. Needless to say, the idea of doing both terrified me as much as it inspired me. I simply didn’t think I could. (I didn’t know any Emma Isaacs back then who were!)
Lucky for me, I married a man who believed in me more than I often did myself (still does!) and with his support, we took the plunge toward baby number four. A year later, Matthew arrived into the world. He’ll be 13 next week.
Looking back now, it’s easy for me to see that having four children and a career was possible. A little messy sometimes, a juggle always, but infinitely possible with a ‘forget perfect’ mindset. It’s why, when asked what advice I would give to a younger me, I always say this:
Don’t underestimate yourself. You can do more than you think. Way more!
While I know we all have our own unique set of insecurities, doubts and unconscious biases, one that’s far more prevalent in women is the tendency to underestimate what we think we’re capable of. It shows up in every area of our lives.
We underestimate ourselves as inspiring leaders.
We underestimate ourselves as entrepreneurs.
We underestimate our ability to be great mums while pursuing big aspirations outside our home.
We underestimate our ability to make money and build wealth. Lots of it.
We underestimate our ability to take risks and handle failure.
We underestimate our ability to stand up to bullies and change the status quo.
We underestimate our ability to stand on our own two feet, independent of any man.
We underestimate our ability to handle the pressure that accompanies power.
Of course, not all women underestimate themselves in all these ways. Some never do. But I’m sure that if you don’t recognise yourself in any of this, you’ll recognise a woman you know.
Which begs the question: What possibilities would open up for you – in your work, relationships, health, wealth, leadership, love and life – if you dared to trust that you are capable of anything, anything, you set your mind upon?
I’m not saying that you can do everything, perfectly, now. I’m simply saying that if there’s some goal or vision that’s calling you – whether to lead a global business, have another child, launch a start-up or start a movement, then it’s because you have everything you need inside you to turn it into a reality.
A few thousand years ago the Chinese philosopher Lao Tsu observed, “We are all capable of much more than we think we are.” This is as true now as ever (perhaps with the exception of Donald Trump) and doubly true for women.
So before you finish reading this article, cast your mind ahead 10 years from now and connect to the grandest, highest vision for your life. What would you love to be doing? Who would you love to be impacting? How would you be using your strengths, skills, creativity and passion in a way that not only honours the best of who you are, but makes the biggest possible mark on the world you inhabit?
The truth is that there are amazing things that will never be done if you don’t do them. But doing them will take courage.
Courage to trust that you are more than enough.
Courage to risk failing or falling short in the process.
Courage to put yourself out there, again and again and again.
Courage to pick yourself up when you slip up.
Courage to stand in your power, and own your imperfection.
And courage to let go the beliefs, excuses, doubts, people and safety-blankets that are keeping you from becoming, creating and contributing all that inspires you most deeply.
Are you ready?
Go on, be brave.
Bestselling author, women’s coach and speaker Margie Warrell is leading a Live Brave Women’s Weekend from May 27-29. More information available here.
Margie is a Business Chicks Premium member. Request her business card here.