Get Out Of Your Own Way

During a recent session with a client, the topic of qualifications came up in conversation. He shared with me some frustrations around looking for a job. He had applied for a similar position to ones he had in the past with a company he really wanted to work for. But when a representative from the company contacted him about a higher-level position he thought he might be interested in, my client told the potential employer he didn’t feel comfortable pursuing a position that didn’t match his qualifications.

The potential employer was giving my client more credit than he was giving himself. He was presenting an opportunity that my client rejected based on what he believed was right for him.

So I asked my client “why did you get in your own way?”

When we limit what we believe is possible, we limit our ability to succeed. And unfortunately, this mindset is all too common.

My client didn’t pursue the higher-level position because he didn’t think he was qualified, but what does being qualified really mean?

We assume people who have achieved a high level of success are qualified in some way. Maybe they went to an Ivy League school, had a big break early in their career or grew up with more opportunities than us. Whatever the circumstances, we think they're somehow different than we are.

In reality, when people pursue something new they rarely have the comprehensive knowledge or know how to complete the job. They usually just put themselves in situations where they have to figure it out or fail. The successful person figures it out.

When I started coaching, I was terrified of my first client. I was so afraid I would say the wrong thing or wouldn’t know how to respond. But I didn’t say no to my first client. I chose to figure it out or fail. I didn’t let my own hesitation or fear get in the way. I didn’t magically know what to do, I learned over time.

Deciding to step out of your comfort zone and test your limits is not an easy choice to make and it’s not the one my client chose. When he was presented with an opportunity to step outside his comfort zone and stretch his limits, he chose to play it safe and not risk failing.

He got in his own way.

He was afraid he wouldn’t know how to do something so instead, he chose to do nothing. And in doing nothing, he didn’t have to risk failure. Regardless of what he was capable of, the risk of failure was too big a risk to take.

You see, there’s a difference between knowing something and being capable of doing something.

Knowing is about knowledge, doing is about taking action.

You have the capability to do something even when you don’t know something if you’re just willing to figure it out.

Capabilities don’t relate to your experience, they relate to your desires. If you’re willing to focus on your capabilities, your knowledge (and your qualifications) is not the determining factor of your potential.

So are you getting in your own way? Are you playing small in your life because you don’t think you’re qualified or because you just don’t know how to do something?

Are you missing out on a bigger, better version of you because you’re choosing to live inside your comfort zone?

Belief in capabilities is the only difference between you and the person in the job you wish you had. They chose to go after the job because they knew they were capable. And chances are, they weren’t even that qualified. They just didn’t let the fear of potential failure keep them from doing something.

It’s time to start doing. It’s time to step outside of your comfort zone.

It’s time to get out of your own way.

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