Who am I to be doing this?
I’m doing business development coaching with an entrepreneur who has created an amazing foundation for her new and evolving business. Well, she calls it new and evolving. What she is missing is that this business is simply the leveling up of all her experience, study, practice, and skills. The culmination, if you will, of all she’s accomplished into one package. She’s an expert in the making.
This client is working with me because within this leveling up, she has moments where she asks the age-old question, “Who am I to be doing this?”
In my experience, this is a question women ask themselves a heck of a lot more than men do.
From where I sit, the answer is simple. She has years of experience in a closely related position, she has an advanced degree in a supporting field, she has done and passed the coursework and certification testing for her new career, and she has social proof.
She has done the foundational work. She had brought in people more skilled than herself within the areas she needs support (e.g. marketing, planning and branding). She has hired a leadership/business development coach to reduce isolation and to have a sounding board (i.e. me). She has gathered fiscal resources to invest and to support herself. Most importantly, she has created space for self care as she begins this journey. She cooks, dances, and bikes.
Additionally, she has joined and taken an active leadership role in the professional association of her chosen field. Nevertheless, she reports that at the most unexpected moments she wonders “Who am I to be doing this work?”
To me the moments aren’t unexpected at all; they are as easily identified as each time you stretch out your arm and lift your leg to go to the next rung on a tall ladder. The questioning arises when you look down over your shoulder and see that you’ve come farther than you expected. At such moments you notice that the ground, your comfort zone, is a bit further behind you than you realized because you were so engaged in moving forward.
She describes these moments using words like “fear” or “anxiety.” We’ve changed her words to “excitement” and “wonder” at where the climb is taking her. What unanticipated opportunities, experiences and connections will appear? What joys and accomplishments will she feel? She may, at times, be too busy asking, “Who am I to be doing this work?” to sink into the joys and accomplishments that are happening now and to actually feel the incremental successes.
We all have something to learn from the young and mesmerizing Olympic athlete, Simone Biles when she declares, “I’m not the next Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps. I’m the first Simone Biles.”
The answer to the question, “Who am I to be doing this work?” is easy. You are the person most uniquely poised to do what you uniquely desire to do. You are the authentic leader of your own journey. You are the expert of the knowledge and practice you choose to engage in. Your perspective, contribution, and talents come together like no other’s. You are unique and authentic.
In order to let go of the questioning, show up in your life in this very moment, as your authentic self. Show up in this moment. And in this moment.
Ready to go to the next level? Let’s crack open the question “Who am I?” Email me to set up a confidential coaching session.
Remember, whenever you try to make your own way by following another’s beaten path, you will always question “Who am I?” When you step into your own journey and path, you—like Simone—will always know the answer.