Are you tired of seeing people all over social media, or perhaps at people you know, who seem to be doing something purposeful and meaningful in their professional lives, while at the same time appearing extremely financially successful?
Seeing these purpose-led professionals may leave you feeling a little despondent or ‘less-than’. Perhaps you’re wondering why this is not you. Perhaps you're starting to consider whether you should be making some sort of change in your professional life.
As you look at these people you may be asking yourself if it's too late to make a change, or, much like I did, if you’re ‘too old’ to start considering doing something different.
If you find yourself in this position then the first thing to remember is that when you spend your energy looking at others, feeling just a little bit jealous, then you need to recognize that what you are doing is comparing. And you’ll have heard it before, but comparison really is the thief of all joy.
The danger of comparison:
When you look outwardly and compare yourself to others, then you put yourself in a place of lack.
When you focus your attention on the lack, you actually start to train your brain to look for more and more areas of ‘lack’. This is called selective attention. When your attention is on all the areas you begin to perceive as lacking in your life, then not only is your mood negatively impacted, but your brain stays stuck in that loop of ongoing negative thinking.
Go from outward to inward:
As soon as you realize that you are comparing yourself to these people you need to stop yourself in your tracks and turn your attention away from looking outwardly. Turn your attention inwards and ask yourself these questions:
Why are you comparing yourself to these people in the first place?
Why are you feeling ‘less-than’?
Is it because deep down, you know that you're not really fulfilling your true potential and that you're not really operating from your zone of genius? That you know that you've got more to give? If this is true, then the last thing you need to ask yourself is:
Why aren’t you realizing your full potential?
What is really holding you back?
If these questions make you realize that you are not exactly where you would like to be in your life, then it's time to do something about it.
Why aren’t you finding purpose in your work?
What’s stopping you from really excelling in your chosen field?
When you know you are not living in your zone of genius, the first challenge is to begin to understand why.
In the book, The Big Leap, by Gay Hendricks, he talks about the four hidden barriers that many of us experience that are holding us back from breaking through our own glass ceilings. These hidden barriers are beliefs that we hold about ourselves. The problem is that these beliefs feel really true. Yet these beliefs are usually completely false. These self limiting beliefs are the very thing that are holding us back from our true genius.
When I was a medical doctor, before I made a big pivot to the world of corporate finance, I had this feeling that there was unrealized potential that lay within me. You may feel the same and know that there is a whole next level of success that you have yet to achieve. And if you are anything like me and so many of my clients, then deep down you may have a fear.
What’s your barrier to success?
For most people the deep seated fear they hold is: “If I really put myself out there, in the fullest version of myself, I will still full short of achieving this true success”.
Do you have resistance to fully stepping up and owning your true genius, owning your full
potential? Or do you have a deep seated fear that should you really make the commitment to step up and operate fully from your zone of genius, you would find out that you still weren't enough? That perhaps your self limiting belief is that you are flawed, or perhaps that you think you don't have a true genius?
This is how I felt for so much of my professional life. And I hear the same deep seated fears rise up in my clients as we work to unlock their genius and build a professional life with purpose. It is those false self limiting beliefs that are really holding us back from breaking through our own glass ceilings.
Find your zone of genius: take these first steps:
If you want to start getting to your genius, take these steps:
Notice how you are comparing yourself to others.
Stop looking outwardly and go inwardly. Reflect, and ask:
Why are you comparing yourself to others?
Do you have a deep seated niggling feeling that you know you want something more from your professional life? If so, then what is the number one thing that is holding you back from reaching and maximizing your full potential? What is the deep seated belief that you hold about yourself that is preventing you from making this change?
It is only once you can tackle your deep-seated self limiting beliefs that you can then face the next exciting challenge. To begin to discover your unique superpower. To figure out where you are in your zone of genius so that you too, can build a purposeful and powerful professional path.