I was catching up on Michael Hyatt’s podcasts last night and “What if barriers were only in your head” was so insightful that I thought it was worth writing about what I learned from it. Amongst other things, I learned that some times the doubts we have about our abilities are self created with no empirical basis. It was a relief when Michael shared his struggle with confidence when he was a young executive of a large corporation
As leaders in our sphere of influence, many of us go through periods of self-doubts and negativity but how many of those stories are shared? We all hear about how someone started ‘from the bottom and now they are here’ but they rarely share how they overcame the difficulties they faced on the way to the top.
Is this lack of sharing due to the fact that we have temporary amnesia about the negative things that happen to us? Or is it because some struggles are so painful that sharing them is tantamount to reliving them? Or do we care that people would think lowly of us?
Whatever the case it, I think it is necessary to share stories of difficulties faced on the way to achieving our goals. We don’t even have to wait to achieve our goals to share, we can start now whilst we are on our journey to the top.
I realise that I don’t share the hardship I face on my leadership struggles but I have come up with ways to share:
- Journal: It is challenging to share how you have overcome an obstacle when you are not sure you know exactly how you got through it in the first place. This is where journaling helps as you tend to recognise patterns in your thought process when you felt exasperated. You are then able to extract relevant information from your leadership journey so others can learn without going through the hell you did.
Share with a purpose:Sometimes, we hesitate to share because we do not want people to feel the need to sympathise with or sneer at us. The way out of this conundrum is to understand why you are sharing in the first place and what you want to achieve by sharing your struggles.
Don’t give a hoot: One of the impediments I face in sharing my struggles is caring too much about what people say. My mother is a wise woman; she once told me that other people’s opinion about myself is none of my business and I should learn to mind my own business in life.
Obsessively pondering about what people would think about you and your actions is a slippery slope down the pit of irrelevance. Practice sharing what your difficulties are without feeling embarrassed.
As an example: even though I enjoy writing, I find it increasingly difficult to write daily because of my ever growing responsibilities and other distractions. Nevertheless, I still write even though I don’t feel like my work is good enough. I do this because I know that if I just hang in there and write ever so often, I would definitely stimulate creativity and be a pro in this writing skill. I share that with you not because I want advice but so other writers like me can know they are not alone in their challenge creating time to write.
What struggle can you share for us to learn from?