A few days ago, I opened up on my Instagram post (here) on how I had been struggling with feeling like I am not good enough or smart enough in this role I have in my career. To give you a little back story, I lead a small team of recruiters and a business development manager in a brand new office in a brand new market. Easy enough, right? One would hope it is as easy as it sounds.
The trouble I find myself is the expectations and requirements for my position have landed outside of what I know and outside of what feels comfortable. My comfort is operations and coaching recruiters because that is what I have been doing for most of my career in the staffing industry. My comfort is teaching processes and fundamentals of our company, the value it has and why it works to be operational in their individual roles. What I don’t know (or so I thought) is anything outside of that which includes sales, how to lead and mentor a sales professional and where to push the company and the body of people when it seems to be trending rough waters.
I won’t even pretend that last week was sunshine and roses. We had a day where we had a team come in to “blitz” the area and to put their heart and soul about our company out to individuals in the communicating for our business purpose. Following that day, I found myself in a hard conversation with my mentor about things that could have been improved upon and she met me where I was at on this scary journey we are all in together. From that, there was a plan cultivated and I left that conversation feeling free and awoken with a sense of empowerment and motivation to press on. And I want to share this with you because if you are struggling on where you are in your career of how you can "make it" with where you are, you need to keep reading.
One thing that I will say is that I don’t give up easily. I mean, if you know anything about me, you are now shaking your head validating that I am as stubborn as they come. Truly. And on a professional level, I would consider myself tenacious, driven and passionate. But there is just this little thing that haunts me in the back of my mind:
Am I good enough? Am I deserving of what I have worked hard for? But most importantly, can I really do this?
I’ve wrestled with this since I was a pre-teen. I have always thought that if I asked for what I wanted in my adult life, it was an automatic "no" because that is what my childhood consisted of. What I will say is that my “no’s” that came from my mom were not because she didn’t want to give me what I wanted or thought I wanted, it was because she couldn’t. Conversely, I wasn’t told why or given any alternative to what I was asking for. Additionally, I was immediately told to stop asking and should I continue on, there would bar consequences. So I stopped asking. I stopped asking the people who were capable of giving me what I need because I didn’t think I was deserving enough to have it. I stopped using my voice (who people actually like to chat with) to project what I am scared of, what makes me human. I stopped using my voice to be confident that I know my role and I can learn and do new things.
After my conversation with my mentor, I realized that I do the same thing that is being asked of me, it just never had a label on it. I wasn’t being asked to reinvent the wheel but with the label of “sales” I was reinventing the wheel. I was making this seem like I needed another business degree just to get out and build relationships with people. I was talking myself out of what I was already capable of because of some request in black and white.
A month prior when the new expectations come out, I’ll be honest, I immediately complained and expected the worst out of myself and my initial reaction was to “fake it till I make it”. How many things do we say that for in our daily life with everything else? Be honest with yourself. “If I just fake it until I make it, no one will know.” But, with these recent events, I am showing up until I make it. I am consistently putting this hard thing as a priority that I immerse myself fully into and I am showing up. And, until I make it (wherever that is) I am showing up with honesty, dignity, integrity and self love. I am being honest with not only myself but with everyone who is watching and learning with me. I am maintaining dignity that I am deserving of this and if it hadn’t been so, then it wouldn’t be. I am, even in the dark, keeping my integrity and what I hold true to myself to be fervent in this process. I am showing up with self love because that is love that will triumph over everything.
My mentor said this “Thank you for being open and honest this whole time about what you fear and what you need.”
And that, my friends is all that you ever need to do with any relationship. Show up until you make it. Show up for yourself in such a way that you get what you need but also what you never thought you needed.So maybe it is as easy as it seems. Maybe getting out of our own head and sharing in what others see only move the needle forward. This life is about growth and about doing scary things but if we can't show up for ourselves, how then do we expect to make it? Show up until you make it.