I'm getting asked for advice more and more - which is lovely as it means I'm beginning to get known as a coach...but something I've noticed is that as much as I can tell you you're on the right track, as much as I can say I love your work, and as much as I can applaud your ambition the most important thing for you to do is TAKE ACTION.
You want to write - stop worrying about whether something is "good enough" - and just WRITE - lots!
You want to start a business - don't just get approval from your mum - get your name out there and SHOUT publicly about what you can do!
You want to get known as a specialist - don't prove it to me - DEMONSTRATE TO THE WORLD you've got the goods!
The most successful people I've supported have just gone out there and done it and emailed me to let me celebrate their success with them, knowing my door remains should they wish to ask anything later down the line.
While it's always important to seek feedback and of course there are so many wonderful sources out there that you can learn from, the only way you will really develop YOUR style and build your confidence is by doing it. If it doesn't work, learn from what you have done and do it again.
Of course I will always listen to my editor, or the delegates (or their managers) from my talks and workshops, and my mentors when it comes to my work, but I will also ensure I go out there and have a go at each opportunity too - sometimes trying something I haven't run by anyone before. But seeking too much advice can at best be a stalling device, and at worst - keep you wallowing in your comfort zone.
If you are constantly seeking advice ask yourself - and be really honest:
1. Are you doing it because you like being told you're great (ie. you're asking about similar things again and again just because you're safe with them).
2. Are you doing it because you really DO believe that someone else's ultimate opinion is better than your experience?
Either way you are holding yourself back - in the former situation, if you want to stay in the slow lane, great for the rest of us; in the latter - let's talk about self-esteem!
I recently got to play The Crystal Maze. As I use team games (especially escape rooms) to deliver training, I am always interested in my own (and others' performance). I was genuinely proud of myself in the Maze, I got both of my crystals. (A dream come true for a die-hard fan like me!)
So, consider what you might do - and bear in mind there is a time limit.
In the first game there were maths puzzles - maths is not my strong point (and I like the sound of my own voice, plus I'm a bit of a control freak)...and I was given a clipboard to start with four maths puzzles that with time I could have worked out but I could also have read out to the team.
My husband's description of what happened is "You just thrust the board into the window so everyone could see it except for you - and we were able to give you the answers." There were three mathematicians in the team, plus many eyes checking was better than me reading it out. They gave me the code, and I could then do the rest.
In my second game I had to solve a tangram. Were I doing it in an escape room I would have delegated it to my husband - again not because I couldn't do it, but because I don't really like them!! I have no brain for visualising shapes...perhaps you do. I could have tried to think it through - but, again knowing my strengths - I just threw the pieces in and the team shouted at me when they could see one was definitely wrong.
What the Maze taught me was that unless you can guarantee thinking will save you valuable seconds...and especially in a limited time situation - you have to just have a go. Where we faltered was when we panicked or "froze" and deferred to the judgment of others before we acted.
Of course life is not like The Crystal Maze, we do have time to think and plan more - but if you:
- Know what your strengths and weakness are
- Trust others completely when you choose to delegate
- Are able to rely on yourself as well (so keep learning)
in the lifestyle most of us live where we are to some extent trying to fit 25 hours worth into 24, just doing it may help get more done!
Audrey's book "Be a Great Manager Now" is available from Amazon, her second book on Mindfulness for the busy executive will be released in March 2019.