Ep. 168 Am I good enough?

Am I good enough

In this week’s podcast, Anna looks at the idea of “good enough” and how we can move forwards with confidence.

There’s a question we all ask ourselves as we start a new job, a new business, a new project… “Am I good enough?” Are we as good as these other people over there? As good as this impossible standard of perfection that we’ve set ourselves? What is *good enough*? How can we reframe this question? And how can we move forwards with confidence?

*Resources mentioned during the episode*

Level up with The Outsiders Business Accelerator – This is a mastermind for entrepreneurs, freelancers and small business owners who want to create a long-term sustainable brand and business. www.onestepoutside.com/accelerate

Am I good enough?

Transcript:

You’re listening to reimagining success, the podcast where we help you reimagine your future, designing a life and career beyond the nine to five that allows you the freedom, flexibility, and fulfilment that you’ve been dreaming of. I’m your host, Anna Lundberg. Now let’s get started on those dreams.

One of the reasons we might be procrastinating, one of the reasons we might be held back in not taking action, not working towards our most important goals, and it seems illogical, is that we’re asking ourselves implicitly, am I good enough? Can I really do this? And the subtle nuance under there, I guess, or again, implicit in that question is no, probably I’m not good enough is the answer. So there’s no point in trying, because I’m just gonna fail out anyway. So why do I bother? Why am I even gonna try, who do I think I am, et cetera, et cetera. Right? So all that could be going on in the little tiny cells in our brain, as we think, oh, we’re just being lazy. We’re procrastinating. I’m just not getting off my bum to do that thing, take that one step that we talked about last week, but no, we’re actually holding ourselves back with those limiting beliefs that we talk about in coaching even though it’s a rhetorical question. The implicit answer there is no, I’m not. And so I’m not gonna do it.

I have shared before my goal of getting more media coverage and to be honest, I’ve sort of optimistically been kind of identifying that even over my maternity, even so on. And you know, I did everything. I had identified the publications. I had the template, I’d got expert advice on how to formulate the pitch, et cetera, cetera. I just didn’t do it. I sent a couple of emails tentatively and then nothing. And of course, if I got a no, if I didn’t hear back at all, that just confirmed like, oh, it’s so hard to get media coverage. There’s no point in trying, oh my goodness, who am I to think, et cetera. And recently you may have seen, hopefully you saw that I got a double page spread in our local magazine Dorset Living, which is a magazine we’ve been really enjoying the last few months since we moved down here really very high quality glossy magazine.

And they were really lovely. They gave me the opportunity to write this piece on, on sort of my story, but really giving tips on how to redefine success. So really core to my message. And that’s incredible for me, it feels like such an achievement to get it. You know, something I’ve written into a print magazine, beautiful pictures who knows what it will lead to, but certainly it’s been an incredible opportunity, incredible experience. And I hope there’s more where that came from. However, in this process. And more recently as I, again come back to this goal of, of getting more publicity, I guess, with the goal of spreading my message more right, building the community, getting more people to question the conventional definition of success. When I read magazines, there is so much content and so many interesting pieces. So many pieces that I feel like are just regurgitating old stuff.

You know, it’s the cycle of January new year, new you fitness wellness goals, et cetera. There’s a lot of very high quality journalism as well. There is a lot of content in print, certainly, but even more so of course, online, right? There is so much. What happens? My brain says literally not just implicitly, but my brain says, okay, what could I possibly have to say, that’s unique? What could I have to offer? That’s a totally different perspective. That’s completely mind blowing, game-changing, life-changing, worthy of, of inserting myself into this. And to some extent that’s true for all of us in, in business, in branding, in the message we have we in on the one hand we feel it’s so important. We’re so passionate about it. We have this mission, this why on the other hand, there’s that imposter syndrome? Am I good enough?

We start going, hang on a second. And the truth is there is so much clutter out there. So many, many other business coaches, personal trainers, freelancers, graphic designers, consultants, et cetera, et cetera, what you happen to, to be doing. And it’s so easy to think because of that. There’s no point again, you know, I have nothing to contribute. I can’t possibly become the go-to expert here. You know, who am I to think that I could have something to say on this? I’m never going to be good enough, et cetera. And I think that’s really dangerous and it’s something that we all need to, and certainly I need to work on. And, and I wanted to share a few thoughts, I guess, on how we might begin to, to address that, to overcome that. And I think it’s going to be hard. There’ll always be. And in fact, I think there’ll be more and more doubts as the more successful we become, because then we’re going to rub shoulders with even more successful people.

Who’ve done even more things than we have. So it’s hard not to feel that sense of doubt. And, and am I good enough, but a few things to bear in mind, first of all, good enough, according to Houston standards, because we have this kind of fluffy thought in our heads. Am I good enough? Am I good enough? First of all, what does good mean? And then secondly, what does enough mean? Right? Define your terms so enough for what good enough to become the go to foremost leader on this topic. Maybe not right now. Good enough to have something to say. Yeah, I’d say so most of us, right? Good enough for me to at least try good enough to help at least one person out there. I always say, and I hear a lot of people saying, you know, that as long as you are one step ahead of someone, speaking of one step, you are an expert to somebody.

You might think certain things are easy and obvious, but for other people, it seems really difficult.

You know, I quit my job now eight years ago, or I want to say nine years ago now my goodness, almost nine years ago. And so, you know, I’ve had quite a bit of experience of the process since then, I’ve coached a lot of people through that process. I’ve had my own twists and terms of freelancing, consulting, building my brand, building my business. And so actually, yes, I believe I am good enough to say a few little things on this topic, right? Something else to bear in mind, you’re not starting from a blank slate. That’s something I see again and again, in clients, when we are quitting a job and starting a new thing, pivoting into a new arena, we might feel like we’re starting from scratch.

If someone asks and now again, it’s been some years for me, but if someone had asked how long you’ve been coaching, I would’ve said, oh, I’ve just started. You know, I’ve, I’ve just become a coach, but actually I’ve been coaching, training, mentoring in my corporate career for years before. And many people will find that too. So even if you’re doing something that seems on the surface to be very different to what you were doing in your previous job that doesn’t take away that experience, that experience makes you uniquely you. And part of that is Steve jobs, you know, connecting the dots. Part of it is identifying your transferable skills. And part of it is creating that magic, unique combination that is you. I mentioned before my previous business coach some years ago, Kelly Roach was a cheerleader as well as working in a big corporation like me and so on. And that’s sort of the, the professional athlete kind of vibe that she brings. And she’s focused more and more on that because that’s what makes her a part of what makes her magic sauce, I suppose, as they call it.

And, and you know, my particular experience, it could be a hobby I have, it could be my particular journey having, I don’t know, even had Swedish parents going to international schools to some extent growing up in the UK, travelling, living in Switzerland for 10 years, et cetera, cetera, all these experiences will have given me a certain viewpoint, certain experience, certain expertise again makes my little magic source that isn’t identical to anyone else. Of course, lots of other people have worked in a big multinational corporation, even at P&G where I worked again, there are lots of business coaches, lots of life coaches, lots of writers, but I have something unique to bring to the table.

I, again, I have that experience from previous roles and, and possibly previous careers in some cases for you. Right? So don’t think that you have to start from scratch. Another one, which I say again and again, I hope we can get into our heads is that we shouldn’t compare our year one to someone else’s year five, year 10. Again, I’m now coming up to many more years now I should say. And I’m partly saying this to you know, make myself feel better about not being further along because we always want to be further along. I initially, when I quit in two hasn’t thought, 13, 14 did digital marketing consultancy for a couple of years. Amazing gave me lots of freedom to travel between contracts. I was earning a lot of money, really exciting projects to work on. I then came to coaching. I didn’t take it that seriously, to be honest for the first couple of years, it was working with Kelly, my business coach that really kind of stepped up my mindset there to show up consistently and think of it as a business.

And then I relatively quickly, after that, as I started focusing on as a business had two kids. So, you know, being off quite a bit, albeit I have kept the brand going and I’ve kept, you know, a certain level. I haven’t had that much time. And I have to give myself that grace, you know, give myself a little bit of compassion to see, actually, even though it seems like it’s, you know, eight, nine years it hasn’t been concentrated times. So of course it’s gonna be slower if you’re building a side hustle alongside a full-time job. If you’re juggling with kids, if you have a portfolio career of several businesses or careers, et cetera, if you have, you know, if you’re taking care of your ageing parent or, or someone, you know, you have to think about your particular situation. And again, the point of this is don’t compare yourself at all, but certainly don’t compare yourself, starting out to someone else who is five years ahead, 10 years ahead.

And important to note there is you don’t know how long they’ve been struggling.

I shared some time ago that the long game, the book by Dorie Clark, I loved hearing her story because she says she took five years of speaking of media, trying to pitch herself to media, getting rejected, getting dumped by her agent. She wanted to get a book deal. And after that, only after that, when it took off, when she’d written 500 articles for Forbes, whatever it was, then she was approached to write a book. Then her career took off. So five years under the surface and you only see the tip of the iceberg. What else? Something else about mindset, the growth mindset, which I’ve talked about before, growth mindset versus a fixed mindset. Meaning it’s not that I’m not good enough ever. I’m just not as a person good enough to do this. It’s I may not be good enough yet. I can’t do this yet. I don’t know how yet I’m not the best yet. Right? But I can learn. I will get better. And in the meantime, by the way, that doesn’t mean we have to sit until we are perfect. Cuz I that’s one of the things that holds us back as well, right? I’ve gotta first do this two year MBA. I have to have that formal qualification. I have to first blah, blah, blah, whatever it is we think we have to have by all means start. We can start coaching today. No, we won’t be the most experienced. We might start pro bono. No, we might start with a bit of barter as we called it in our coach programme you know, I coach you, you me peer coaching, you might start with quite a low rate and so on.

But as you get the confidence and experience and realise that, Hey, I do know what I’m doing. You’re getting the results. Your clients are getting the results. Then that confidence will build. So again, growth mindset. You’re not there yet, but wherever there is, you know, you’re certainly getting closer every day. And then finally, this is a real big one for, for me. You don’t have to be sorry to, to disappoint you. Maybe the one, all powerful, all knowledgeable guru on the topic. It seems incredible to be the Dalai Lama or to be Oprah or to be these, you know, incredible iconic people. But there are so many other experts, successful people, driven people, people who have incredible thought leadership. And so on that maybe aren’t as publicly known. And there are many others that aren’t at all known and still have a successful business, still make important contributions to the discussion.

So that’s the key here. Aim to make a contribution, contribute to the discussion, literally whether that’s a post on LinkedIn, an article, Hey, this is my own story. My experience. Ask your audience. You know, don’t presume to know better than everyone else by all means, be a little open, but, but aim to make that contribution, don’t go in thinking you have to know everything as an aside, but I think it’s relevant here. I often share, I, I do some training sessions, webinars for corporate organisations and employees. And one of them is on presentation skills. And I love sharing the example that when I first did presentations in, in the corporate world and I have to say, we never did this at – so I went to Oxford university, very traditional and a bit of a strange model where we had tutorials.

We didn’t have big lectures in my topics. We didn’t have seminars. A lot of my colleagues had had to do presentations and things. And I guess I’m getting quite old now too. We didn’t have a huge amount of tech, I suppose as well, but I hadn’t even used PowerPoint when I started at P&G putting the presentation together, I certainly hadn’t made big presentations, so, okay. I wasn’t good enough yet. Certainly I didn’t have the experience. My story was that I made some pretty bad, well, certainly one particular really bad presentation. And without getting into detail of that particular presentation, one particular shift for me was that someone pointed out or someone prompted and asked: What’s the purpose? Why are you presenting? What are you there to do? Is it to prove to everybody that you are the most knowledgeable person that you are perfect, that you are the expert?

If that’s the case that puts a whole lot of pressure on you, right?

Every question they ask me, I have to know the answer to, I don’t wanna look like a fool. I have to pack the presentation full of everything that’s ever existed on the subject. Arguably, that’s not the purpose. That’s certainly not. My purpose is the purpose. Instead to teach the audience three things often, it’s, you know, why is this important? What do you need to know? And how can you do it? Or, Hey, this is the context. These are some key points. This is how you can find out more of, you know, it’s, it’s really one thing, three things more than that, people aren’t gonna take away. So it, that is better to focus on something simple. And while we’re not teaching presentation skills here, I just love that reframe that you need to think about why you’re doing this.

Are you trying to prove to everybody that you are good enough because that’s, you know, getting you off on the wrong foot to begin with actually to come around full circle to the title. Are you trying to prove to yourself, to your parents, to society, to your colleagues, that you are the best, or are you trying to make a contribution? Do you have an important message that you feel is valuable and that you want to share? Do you have your own personal story that you feel is important to share for other people, your situation? Do you want to help people? Most of us with businesses are driven to help people. So think about why you are wanting to contribute to this topic, why you’re wanting to build this business, why you’re wanting to perhaps get more media coverage, exposure, and so on and focus on that and focus on, okay, well, if that’s the case, if I’m just trying to make a difference, even if one person joins my Facebook group, even if, you know, three people listen to my podcast episode and, and make a change, that’s incredible.

So I hope you can reframe it. And, and I hope you can maybe pause and go back and listen to a few more of these again, and see, not just, you know, listening to them and sort of forgetting all about it, but thinking which of these would be most powerful as a reframe for you? You know, is it thinking about, okay, whose standards are you trying to live up to? Reminding yourself, you’re not starting from a blank slate. Not comparing yourself to someone else who’s way further along. Remembering the growth mindset there, And finally, really aiming to make that contribution at the end of the day. So I hope that was valuable for you.

Am I good enough for something that can hold us back? But I hope with a few of those shifts that I’ll be able to help you and myself to stop procrastinating, to stop thinking we have to be perfect and to take action and make that contribution. See you next week.

Are you ready to build and scale your business to achieve everything you dreamed of when you started without sacrificing your personal life and your sanity to do so? The truth is that escaping the nine to five is not just about saying I quit to your boss or putting up a website and ordering a set of business cards. A sustainable escape requires you to design and build a viable business that consistently brings an income and that fits in around the other priorities in your life. Join us in the Outsiders Business Accelerator to get ongoing coaching, training, and mentoring, to help you create a long-term brand and business that works for you. Read more and apply at onestepoutside.com/accelerate. That’s onestepoutside.com/accelerate.

If you’re ready to start to reimagine what success could look like for you, here are some of the ways in which Anna can support you:

Get private mentoring for your business – Partnering with a business coach can help you see those blind spots and get both external accountability and expert guidance to take your business to where you want it to be. www.onestepoutside.com/freeconsultation

Get private career coaching – Individual coaching is fully tailored to your specific goals and desires so we can create the programme that works best for you, with the support that you need to move forwards. www.onestepoutside.com/claritycall

Grab a copy of Leaving the Corporate 9 to 5 – After interviewing 50 people who have left the corporate 9 to 5 to forge their own path, Anna has collected their stories in a book that will inspire you with the possibilities that are out there and reassure you that you’re not alone in looking for an alternative. www.leavingthecorporate9to5.com

Join the One Step Outside the 9 to 5 Business Incubator – This is your roadmap to transitioning from a corporate job into setting up a meaningful business that will bring you more freedom, flexibility and fulfilment outside of the corporate 9 to 5. www.onestepoutside.com/9to5

Level up with The Outsiders Business Accelerator – This is a mastermind for entrepreneurs, freelancers and small business owners who want to create a long-term sustainable brand and business. www.onestepoutside.com/accelerate

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