I have a confession to make.
Every time I go into a voting booth I have to fight to resist the urge to write my name in for whatever is the top position open.
I have no real desire to run for office, believe me.
But where I think that little temptation comes from is from a deeper call inside me that — in all honesty — I’ve been trying to ignore.
While you might not be tempted to write your name in on the ballot, I’ll bet you have the same call I do.
There’s this burning desire to stand up and speak out about an issue…a problem you not only see but know you have a solution to.
There’s something big you know deep in your heart you’re meant to accomplish. Some wrong you’re meant to right. Some problem you’re meant to solve. Some people you’re meant to help.
Oh you probably tell yourself you’re trying.
You’re doing enough. Or maybe you tell yourself you’ll do something about that someday.
You tell yourself you don’t know enough…you don’t have enough time…you don’t have the reach….
You tell yourself there are others out there that are smarter, more talented, and better suited to this.
That’s what I told myself.
And I asked myself…
- What will my friends say?
- What will my family think?
- Will my husband still love me?
I had to recognize that all of that is rooted in fear.
Fear that standing up for what you believe in will get you ostracized.
Fear that if you lead, no one will follow you.
I’m going to share something that’s frankly a little scary to admit; but I want you to know I understand how you wrestle with putting yourself out there in a bigger way versus staying nice and safe where you are.
When I was a little kid people told me…
- You’re bossy.
- You talk too much.
- You’re pushy.
- You’re opinionated.
And that was by the time I was 5!
When I became a teenager I was told the same things only then they had outcomes attached to them. Outcomes that made it clear standing up and speaking out would lead to pain….
- You’re bossy and no one will like you.
- You’re pushy and should wait for others to give you what they think you deserve.
- You’re opinionated and no guy wants that.
- You’re too smart and that intimidates boys so no one will ask you out.
As a woman of a certain age, you may still be afraid of hearing those things.
But you’re also afraid of being called a b—h.
Or the c-word.
I was in a convention hall filled with thousands of other human resources professionals when legendary strengths expert and multi NY Times bestselling author Marcus Buckingham told us…
“Leaders are born not made.”
You could have heard a pin drop.
He said the reason Leaders rise to the occasion is because they’re born with the capacity to lead. The circumstances just bring it out.
Lady Gaga was right. You – and I – were born this way.
That’s why you feel this pull in your heart and why you feel it NOW.
Because your very soul is crying out for you to do what you were BORN to do.
And you’ve probably seen it peek out throughout your life.
I was continuously picked for leadership positions in classes, in volunteer activities, and wherever I worked.
In corporate life I was promoted by every employer I worked for.
3 times in 18 months for one of them.
I was sought after for my help, my advice, my opinions. I was assigned to projects, sent out of town, spoke in front of groups (as big as 500), and my potential was even discussed at a board of directors meeting(!).
But part of my success was because I knew how far to push my luck and how to deal with crazy bosses.
I had learned to “dummy up and deal” as we used to say in the casino industry.
In other words I would reach a point at work where I would just shut up rather than keep voicing my opinion and risk being seen as “not a team player.”
In social situations continuously standing up and voicing your opinion means you’re polarizing and you risk repelling people.
But you know what else happens to you?
You die a little inside because you’re out of alignment with your beliefs and values if you DON’T stand up.
Out on our own, we actually NEED to be polarizing.
As crazy as it sounds, we need to attract people who love us and help those who don’t love us to just go on their way.
And I have big news for you – ignoring it won’t make it go away.
You’re called to lead.
The clock is ticking. The calendar pages are turning.
It’s time to take the wheel. It’s time to stand up, stand out, and claim your position as a leader to bring about the change only YOU can create.
When you were conceived, the little seed that was you was gifted with everything you need to fully become what your Creator intended for you to become.
Are you ready to grow into that intention? To share your message with the world? And share it powerfully?
It won’t be easy. But, as one of my bosses told me once “If it was easy everyone would do it.”
And that’s why it’s important to be with others who get you. Who understand what you’re dealing with because they deal with it too. And they’re as committed to their mission as you are to yours.
If you’re ready to courageously lead the change you want to see and make your next big leap in your business journey, comment below with the change you stand for and the mission you’re ready to accept.
Add the hashtag #CourageToLead
And if you know someone else who is ready to step into leadership, share this with them.
You really were born for this.
The world needs you. It’s time.