Big Brave Bold
There is always a certain peace in being what one is, in being that completely - Ugo Betti
My personal mantra is to be the biggest, bravest, boldest version of myself that I can be. This comes from my belief that exceptional does not come from copying others or following others rules and formulae for success.
The breeding ground for success, in my opinion, is uniqueness. Bravely and gloriously pursuing a path that is individual to you and your experience of the world. Most of the people I admire: Larry and Sergey; Einstein; Steve J (and W); Reid Hoffman; Tony Hsieh – these are unique cats with unique visions that they fearlessly pursued their OWN way.
We can all point to self-doubt as something that stops us from the pursuit of the remarkable. The voices in our head that question whether we are truly good enough to succeed. And should we even try in the first place?
We bundle this into fear of failure but we don’t often unpick the reality of self-doubt.
One of the seminal early moment in my career occurred in the first week at my law firm. Wide eyed with expectation, shit-scared of the weight of being a practicing attorney, overwhelmed by what might be now expected of me. The managing partner of the firm, a brilliant and rather foreboding man, talked to us about what lay ahead.
I remember absolutely nothing about what he said, expect one thing. One thing that changed my life then and continues to give me pause. He said, you will likely feel now, and your entire career, a sense of imposter syndrome. That you don’t know everything, that everyone around you knows more than you, that somehow we made a mistake when we hired you, and one day you will be found out for the imposter you are.
Boy did he mainline into my deep insecurities. I was not the smartest kid in school, I did well at university – even snagging honors – but I felt like the intellectual slouch of my honors program. I truly felt I had charmed my way into this prestigious firm (and I probably had).
And to this day I cannot shake my concern that, any day now, I will be found out. It’s irrational. I know this but, when I am called to do the hard things and I have to trust myself to make the tough decisions, my biggest obstacle is grappling with my own self-doubt.
We are not one-dimensional. I am where I am today because I am charming. I am also smart – not the smartest but, actually, that doesn’t matter. I also enjoy people and I am good at cultivating trust and relationships. And there are a lot of small puzzle pieces that make up the whole of Claudia Batten. Where I succeed is by being the Biggest, Bravest and Boldest version of myself that I can be. People find that authentic, sometimes interesting (surely sometimes annoying) and mostly seem to want to come and play on my team. THAT is what makes ME good at what I do.
What are you not doing? Where are you letting self-doubt eat away at your path to exceptional? How are you limiting your expression of being the biggest, bravest, boldest version of yourself that you can be?
STOP. Register the fear, understand it and move beyond it. Not only will this help you find your way to the exceptional, I truly believe that Ugo Betti is right – there is also a tremendous peace to be found in being that completely.