How many of us have ever thought “there’s nothing very exciting about me?” Like someone is standing beside you directing traffic around you saying, “Nothing to see here, move along please…” Do you imagine that you have little to contribute? Is there a voice in the back of your head that’s always reminding you of everything you’re not? I beg to differ. You are exceptional! Your story is unique because you are unique.
Have you ever caught yourself comparing your life to someone’s Facebook highlight reel? Ever caught yourself thinking you must be doing something wrong since your still struggling while your friends or competitors are experiencing success? As a leader, you might be wondering why your style isn’t more effective or why folks aren’t fawning over your guidance. It’s not a bad, introspective question. Self-examination can lead to improvement…but generally, that’s not our approach. Our approach is comparison and comparison is deadly because it keeps you focused on what you can’t control!
Some of us have stories that are hell on wheels, right?! They are awful, horrible stories of unimaginable pain and suffering. You might be thinking to yourself right now, yeah, right Mark – what good is there in my story? My story is the trainwreck you can’t HELP but look at! No one ever took an interest in me.
So all of that pain, all of that misery, all of that scandal, that trauma – it produced something in you that no else has: empathy for the difficult journey many face. You KNOW what it’s like to battle each day. An endless struggle for each breath MEANS something to you! And guess what? You are still breathing. Others need to know what you know about the battle. The will to survive. Live to tell about it! It’s not over!
Three things you can do to get back on track with your story:
- Stop life-envy
- Give up the search for the magic bullet or formula and start doing
- Remind yourself of your story: your hopes and dreams, the crazy path that got you where you are today and reinvigorate your hope for tomorrow
You are exceptional. Invest in these practices as a leader and pass this method of leading down to your team. If you lift everyone up by reminding them that they too are exceptional, you position you and your team for progress. You have inherent value and something to contribute. Be that person this week. Find someone to encourage and pass it on!
Resources Mentioned During The Show
Val Brown blog post: How to find the threads of your story and discover your why
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