It may seem silly to you, but I always feel sad on the last day of February. Not because the month is over, but because there’s a little sliver of a day that goes unrecognized 3 out of every 4 times – the 29th.
Have you ever felt that way before?
Like no matter what you do and how much you’re equally qualified, talented, and ready – you just keep getting overlooked?
For years when I worked for the government, I wondered what other people had that I didn’t. Why they got picked for the jobs I wanted. Even in my first few years as a coach, I would feel hopeless when I heard prospective clients chose another coach I knew couldn’t do as good of a job as me.
It didn’t make sense!
But then I had a good hard look at myself and discovered a few truths I wasn’t exactly happy to see.
If you feel like life is passing you over, then this list is for you too:
1. You’re seeking permission, not taking charge.
One of the biggest holes I fell in – and still struggle with – is subtly asking others for permission to do what I want. Here’s how you may notice this insidious little habit in yourself:
You think that once you have money, clients, that special person’s love, etc, then you’ll be a success. That will prove and validate that you are worthwhile, doing good work, and a successful person.
Hate to break it to you, but not only does success not work this way, but this way of thinking is a clear sign that you’re putting the onus of getting there on someone other than the one person who can – you.
You have to decide you’re already a success. You have to decide you’re already worth it. Then you have to tell people what you decided is true.
Scary? Yes. Different than what other people do? For sure.
But when you take charge of your own self-worth & success and stop seeking validation from external events and circumstances, then you can finally stop shrinking, crying, and hiding every time something doesn’t go your way and get on with feeling good and reaping the rewards you deserve.
2. You aren’t convinced.
If you feel like opportunities are passing you by, then you’re not fully convinced with 100% conviction that you want / can do / can handle it. Because confidence is infectious.
How many times have you seem some doofus get what you want because they said “PICK ME! I CAN DO IT!” while you sat on the sidelines smiling your big silent smile hoping your accomplishments will speak for themselves?
I get it. I’ve been there. I know you’re waiting for success / love / money to give you confidence, but again (see #1), it doesn’t work that way.
You have to KNOW you are up for the challenge. You have to believe 1000000% that if you’re not chosen, it’s the biggest loss they’ll ever know, because YOU are the best possible option.
More than that, you have to know that you are capable of rising to the challenge.
That doesn’t mean you’re perfect right out of the gate. But it does mean that you don’t blame yourself for what you don’t know and you give yourself the compassion to make mistakes on the path to greater success.
You can learn along the way and still feel CONFIDENT you are the best choice.
That kind of belief changes futures. It’s the kind that makes you look at your daring 6-year old about to leap from the couch convinced he can fly and think I wonder if he can…
3. You’re playing the victim.
This is the harshest truth I may have to face with myself – all the myriad ways I victimize myself day in and day out. If you’re still reading this, I bet you do the same.
Because you play the victim when you seek permission (#1) and look outside of yourself for validation. You play the victim when you wait for life to prove to you that you’re enough instead of knowing it within (#2).
You play the victim when you don’t take action grounded in belief that you can be, do, have, and achieve whatever it is you want.
Instead, you feel like nothing really good happens to you and everyone else gets the gold at the end of the rainbow, even though you saw the rainbow first, darn it!
Now, all of this is not to say that you can’t be a success. I was able to accomplish mind-boggling achievements in the government while still acting out these habits in other areas.
But that’s how I know what works and what doesn’t – I have first hand experience.
When I built a new office, negotiated new partnerships, and got my 220,000+ person Department to think in new ways about priorities and responsibilities, it wasn’t because I was waiting around for someone to pick me.
I KNEW (#2) it was the right thing to do, and so I DID (#1) it despite years of delays, hurdles, and challenges. I had a single-minded focus to create what was the best possible outcome for the government, country, and the world.
But at the same time, I was blaming my boyfriends for not making me happy enough – for not fixing my life and healing my wounds. I was also playing the major victim with my house, which was falling down and made me feel powerless and trapped.
(Spoiler alert: Once I took charge and decided I wanted something different, those both changed too. Now I have an amazing relationship, plus I renovated & sold my house).
The point is, you don’t have to be perfect. But if there is an area of your life where you feel dissatisfied and like life is passing you by – STOP.
You have the power to take control, get clear on what you want, and then make it happen for yourself.
Because you are the champion of your life. No one else. Just you.
Be free. Be brave. Be YOU!