They say the best way to learn is to teach, and I’ve found that to be true. I’m always amazed at how much I learn from my students.
On one particular occasion a few years ago, I was teaching a course on Overcoming Anxiety to a small group of about 12 students. We were talking about how a belief of “I don’t have what it takes to do this” might impact the way we feel and how we act.
The discussion went along as usual.
But then one student said: “When I believe I don’t have what it takes, I’ll still try, but I won’t really try...
“What I mean is,” he went on, “I’ll act like I’m making an effort to do the thing, but I don’t actually give it my all. That way, if I fail, I can just tell myself that I didn’t even try in the first place.”
I paused, surprised, as a wave of realisation washed over me.
At the time, I wasn’t taking as much action in my business as I’d have liked. I was even seeing a coach about it, and one thing I kept hearing myself say in our sessions was, “I mean, I haven’t applied everything I could yet…” or, “I still need to properly focus on it…”
But when my student spoke about engaging but not really trying, I became suddenly aware of something.
I didn’t believe that I had what it took to be a “real” entrepreneur.
Not enough of a risk-taker, I told myself. Not comfortable enough with the financial uncertainties. Not someone who ran open-armed towards rejection and failure, embracing them as part of the entrepreneurial package deal (come at me!).
This “I don’t have what it takes” belief was holding me back - big time. And until I worked to shift it, it would subconsciously sabotage me, whispering in my ear, if you don’t really try, you can’t really fail… right?
The thing is, not trying felt pretty awful.
It felt worse than failing or getting rejected or criticised.
Because at the end of the day, I couldn’t even look back and say I acted true to myself or my dreams.
Plus, I wasn’t really getting anywhere. (Of course I wasn’t! I wasn’t trying.)
Friend, if you’re holding back on really giving your all to your dreams, check in with whether you believe you’ve got what it takes.
Changing this belief is imperative for your success.
I got to work immediately, solidifying my sense of worthiness in that area so I could start stepping up - and so can you.
These days, I show up for my dreams.
And although rejection and failure remain an inevitable part of life's package deal, my sense of being true to myself remains steadfast too.
And that feels pretty awesome.
P.S. Building your confidence and finding the courage to pursue a meaningful goal is something I teach in the Positive Perspective course. You can add yourself to the waitlist here.