Monday, 26 November 2012

That Moment

That moment when you realize you are exactly where you are supposed to be and are turning into what you always were.  That moment of deja vu you have been preparing for.   That moment where you feel like you finally take up the right amount of space in your body.

When you can manage a 100 hour work week feeling and be at peace.  When waking up isn't a fight with an alarm clock to stay in a different story.
That moment where you end up surprising yourself.
I have had a serious debate with myself for the last 6 months about whether or not I am a leader.    My thoughts were around the fact that maybe I am just not good enough, perceptive enough, perfect enough, strong enough to lead.  Maybe I would be better as an independent contributor; less responsible for people, less burdened by the weight of decisions and high stakes gambles.  Contributing was easy and a default position, but still stung of a second place position in life.   My mentor would point out that my words betrayed that me as a follower.  Perhaps it was the limit of my experience, or maybe it was who I was at my core and had to accept it. I was still ill at ease with the idea of being an independent contributor.    The idea of being consigned to a 'just not quite good enough' role equated to failure.   I struggled for months even answering a question as simple as 'What are your strengths?'  I would sit, dumb-founded, at the other end of the conversation and picture nothing.  My mind would settle into the sort of silence you feel driving through fog at night that makes you feel so small in the unknown expanses around you.  If I couldn't engage with myself on that basic level, then I mustn't be a leader.   And just when I had nearly negotiated myself into a safe and comfortable harbour, something happened (as something generally does in a story) and I surprised myself.

The sudden strength is something that you always had, but just never used.  The uncompromising perfection you insisted upon is no longer important, but instead replaced with unwavering commitment to do what's right.   It's like hearing each individual instrument in a piece of music; you understand it in present and future tense and better yet, you are excited to show people what you can do next.  It's not about having all the answers all of the time, but instead showing up and being consistent with your actions. Oddly, the best comparison I can draw is like a duck on water.  Though you might be moving a furious pace beneath the water, your mind is the calm above the surface.  Adaptable, unwavering and confident in the steps pushing you ahead.

That moment will eventually fade.  Stress will creep in at the edges.   You will once again burden yourself with self doubt and feel you are not enough.  I listed my strengths as they revealed themselves and I showed myself that second best is sometimes a choice.  For now, my goal is to remember that I was unrelenting in my drive and only found it when I made a bet on myself.


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