Who are you trying not to be who you know you really are?
That’s the question I posed to myself as I struggled to decide how to start this blog.
I got the question from listening to a story by Jonathan Fields, founder of Good Life Project.
On stage in the theatre at Good Life Project’s amoxicillin dangers Jonathan was sitting with an advanced copy of his new book, How To Live A Good Life. 380+ eyes were on him.
Before reading a chapter to us he began with sharing the 3 year journey it’s taken him to get to the book from publisher deal to just about ready to hit the shelves.
It turns out he wrote the book, and then rewrote it entirely 2 more times before his publishers said, ‘Yes, this is the book we want from you.’
After the writing the book for the second time he, after all that time and work and effort, he had to do some serious soul searching to find out what exactly is the book his publishers were looking for. At this point they were out of ideas and feedback too, he was alone.
And it was there, in his soul, that Jonathan realised he knew the book he needed to write (the one that would end up getting published) and he knew how it needed to be written. The problem was that he didn’t see himself as that style of writer.
He saw himself as a factual, non fiction writer instead of the inspiring, passionate writer that he so effortlessly is. By letting go of who he thought he needed to be and allowing who he was to come through, he wrote an amazing book in record time.
Which brings me back to this morning, sitting on the couch asking myself this question.
The answer came quickly, it always comes quickly, and it’s always an answer that I dislike.
The answer is: Leader.
Just that one word.
That one fricken terrifying word.
Quickly followed by a dozen reasons of why I can’t/am not a leader.
Being a leader is scary. Being a leader means standing for something. Being a leader means people seek you out. Being a leader means no more hiding in the shadows. Being a leader means possibly being publicly wrong about something. Being a leader means [insert all of the bad things here].
I could go on and on. Actually, my brain is continuing on as I write this.
My brain tries to keep me safe (thank you brain) by objecting to this however, it does keep coming up for me.
When I stop to think about it though, there is actually a lot of evidence to back up this statement.
When I was studying at University, guess who always ended up the leader in group assignments?
My favourite, and by far most terrifying, year playing soccer in my teens was when I captained from the goalkeeper position.
I trained to be a Personal Trainer and swore never to train groups, only one on ones. 12 months later I was leading 20+ people around a park 3 times a week working out and felt completely in my element.
After admiring several online leaders for many years, I was able to meet them and was surprised when they quickly treated me as a peer and an equal. Introducing me to their friends and networks.
And when I moved to another country, friends and acquaintances would often comment on my leadership qualities. On more than one occasion from different people I was told that I lead just by being who I am.
So who am I trying not to be who I know I really am? A leader.
Here I am leading with this first post on my new blog where I hope to share what I’ve learned about being a reluctant leader, creating community, making a living by teaching what I know and living my own good life.
I hope you’ll join me on this journey.