Step Up

I get asked to do things that stretch me. No doubt, you do, too.

Maybe it’s being a guest speaker in a webinar, a coach for a  new audience of professionals I haven’t experienced before, or even customize a topic for a presentation. My first reaction is usually, “gosh, am I good enough?”. And by contrast my response to the request is “give me some more information.”

I know enough about my mode of operation to understand that when I lack information I get nervous. If you’re at all like me – maybe you also have my introvert temperament – you find yourself in this experience quite often. Does this also mean you hesitate to step up?

Our mode of operation either drives us to move forward to seek success or to step back out of fear of failure.

When I step back, I usually regret it. It may give me short term relief of the anxiety, yet it also restricts opportunity. Maybe there were people I needed to meet that this opportunity would provide me. Maybe I needed to discover something about myself this opportunity would have uncovered. Nonetheless, I stood in my own way when I resisted.

Yet when I step up, I allow myself to experience challenge. This helps me find out information. I engage my “in the moment” thinking. I focus. I am present to what life has brought me and although I undoubtedly encounter a struggle between faith and doubt in my abilities, I also find my footing on the stairs of progress.

This footing, whether steady or tainted, fuels my confidence.

Move forward.

Consider times you were invited to speak to an audience. You prepared your message, rehearsed the flow, practiced using your resources and memorized the introduction and conclusion. This preliminary work fuels steady footing.

Yet you also know that you must be present to the audience – respond to questions and comments. Although you tried to anticipate everything, some things you simply had to experience in the moment. These are the tainted steps, the step you take that proves you are human and still willing to handle it. This demonstrates your vulnerability and at the same time, your faith in yourself. Find out what this is like for yourself. This is information you need to know.

Life is not about perfection. It is about reality.

Although it’s great to be prepared, it is inspiring to demonstrate faith while finding out more information.

Step up.

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