I recently read a post by Mark Manson called 3 Things School Taught You without You even Realizing it. All of them resonated with me, but it was #3 that really hit me in the gut:
“You learned to Depend on Authority”
Yes, yes I did learn to depend on it, heavily. So heavily that I learned to keep my mouth shut until I not only knew the right answer, but also could say how to I knew the answer.
I was a follower.
I mimicked. I memorized the answers and regurgitated them. I didn’t think about what I wanted, I thought about how I wanted to appear to others. I had no real reason to care about or question anything I was told.
Still to this day when things get hard, I crave for someone to tell me what to do.
Sometimes I feel lost. Sometimes I want someone to swoop in an take care of everything that feels messy.
We are taught to rely so heavily on Authority, we can easily forget how much power we actually have over ourselves: power over how we feel, how we react, how we handle ups and downs.
I often see business owners talking about feeling like a fraud, not feeling good enough and even wondering “who the hell do I think I am”?
And so it is a common issue, we don’t trust ourselves to be our own authorities.
I’m not gonna lie and say this is something that goes away in a day, but I am gonna tell you there are a few things that can help.
Remember when you learned to ride a bike? Falling down a lot, scrapped knees and hands, and probably had a helping hand. And eventually all that hard work paid off – a year later the memories of falling down, scrapped knees and hands and needing that extra hand, were nearly wiped from your memory. And you were confident you could get up tomorrow and ride your bike.
Not that life is that straightforward – but if we practice something and make mistakes, we eventually build our confidence. Confidence is the antidote to feeling like everyone else has the answers and better than us.
2. Stop looking for an answer.
Because there is never just one right answer in life or business. Sucks. Yes, I know.
However, there are choices. You can choose to make a decision about that stressful thing or you can choose to ignore it and see how it plays out… but it’s all a choice. There is no religion, no guru, nothing that will give you one correct answer every single time you’re not sure what to do. And it’s not anyone or anything’s fault.
When we recognize our life and business are composed of what we choose, we can step more fully into accepting that we have more power than we think (or were taught).
And, um, this is way more uncomfortable than it sounds. But, again, go back to #1 and just practice knowing that you’re making choices, and eventually you’ll feel a little more comfortable not having an answer.
3. Give yourself credit.
We have this crazy ability to forget everything awesome we’ve done and accomplished in our lives and business. Take an honest look back at where you were 5, 10 or 15 years ago and think about how far you’ve come. I can almost guarantee you’ve done a lot of things you’re not thinking about.
Looking at how far you’ve come will build that Authority muscle.