Have you ever noticed this?
What does it mean to be great? When you see people in positions of authority, don’t you expect them to be great at what they do? I have lost count of the times that I have noticed seeing people who are not in positions of authority but would do a fantastic job. If you have been an adult for any amount of time, you have probably seen the same thing yourself. Maybe this got you upset because you can sense an unfairness around this but did you ever stop to ask why?
People who move on to positions of authority have an ingrained belief that they can be great and they also feel like they belong. Being the most knowledgeable in order to move up is often not as important as feeling like you belong because once you get there you will learn what you need to know. This may not be as true for highly technical fields like Medicine or specialized research but is very true where leadership is involved.
What is your family background?
Family history plays an important role because this is often the source of that internal sense of belonging. If leadership is common in your family history, your sense of being a leader may not be a stretch for your own internal belief system.
The flip side is that it may also be the sense of not belonging when you are growing way beyond your family history. If you find yourself here, know that this feeling is irrational. People seek the familiar because the familiar is comfortable and believable. Never see this as a real limitation or ceiling into what is possible for you.
What greatness is not.
I have to clarify what I mean when I mention becomeing great. That is because history has misused this word to describe conquerors of nations, people who taken ownership of land and other people, and people who are known for being egomaniacs and arrogant. All of this comes at the cost of making someone else feel small or insignificant while you feed your own ego.
True personal greatness.
If you lived your life believing that it was a miracle, that it was precious, that you had to do something with it that provided value, that you were born to grow, overcome and leave a legacy. Would you be ashamed of taking this definition of greatness as your own? Would you be ashamed of having used your life in this way? True personal greatness is really living a life of significance.
Live your own personal greatness.
I meet people who want to make a difference and they are filled with self doubt. You can spot them because they are constantly asking for the approval of others. They are always asking for direction and looking for feedback. It is as if they are always saying, ‘do you think I am good enough? do you think I can do it?’ I know this place myself. I learned that so many people live with self doubt or feeling like an imposter afraid of being found out. Again, these are irrational places of the mind.
Know that the world around you was created by people like you who overcame that internal fear and doubt and as a result, were empowered to live out their own personal greatness. We learn about them. We celebrate them but we seldom learn about or celebrate their journey. Not the journey of accomplishment but their journey of the mind. These are people who came to a place of clarity about how they wanted to grow and what they wanted to give. They came with the understanding that they belong at the table where the work was being done because of their own internal significance. The same significance lives inside all of us because we are this miracle of life with the ability to learn, grow, overcome and achieve.
You don’t’ need permission to be great.
You don’t have to ask to be great. You just have to believe, reach, learn, work, overcome, dream and jump. Stand up, join the team, give your input, contribute and serve. Don’t ask for permission, do it. It is in the doing that you are molded and a new you emerges. This new you that was destined to do great things!