Recently I was having a conversation with an admired coach and friend, of how we hold ourselves back with our subconscious bias of comparing ourselves to the best of the best rather than seeing where we are in relation to the rest.
I am 'creative'. Not in the artistic sense of being able to draw or paint, but I definitely have a gift when it comes to seeing possibilities and solutions and synthesizing disparate insights.
Being able to think outside the square and solve problems is me in my happy place.
But I didn't always see this let alone realise it is one of my distinct gifts and how I add value to others. And while it was something that often came up in different personality tests that I had undertaken throughout my corporate career, it was only when I had trained and started coaching that I had the a-ha moment.
I have the classic habit of comparing myself against those who sit at a 10/10 on the scale of creativity and innovation. You know, truly inspiration creative geniuses. Let's say I sit around the 80th percentile of that scale. How I should be bench marking myself is on the bell curve and law of averages that puts most people in and around the 50th percentile +/-.
By benchmarking myself against those at the very top, rather than the majority of whom I can really add value to, I find myself holding back in fear and resistance.
This is particularly true for me when it comes to writing and posting articles such as this. So I don't. I just journal all my thoughts and ideas instead. But recently I was introduced to a podcast of a super experienced and successful behavioural coach. What struck me is how intentionally imperfect she is. She is just doing 'her' and keeping it real.
It was so empowering. The insight, inspiration and love she creates and shares is all of that. And perfectly imperfect.
It made me reflect on all the things and ways I have been holding myself back. Stopping me from doing the work I feel called to do. All because I consistently measure myself against the wrong end of the yardstick.
- What are you holding yourself back from out of fear of not measuring up?
- What artificial standards are you holding yourself too?
- Where can you add distinct value to others?
- What benchmark could you reframe to give yourself the freedom to create?