“I know what I am, and I know what I am not, and both are ok.” — DeAnna Murphy
I remember the first time I heard this sentence. It felt so utterly simple, and yet incredibly profound. You know that feeling, when suddenly you feel as if you have arrived home. For me nothing sums up authentic confidence better than these words above.
I know what I am – not a polished, presentable “I”, but the real one. The one that sometimes gets things right and other times messes up completely. The one who seeks to understand before judging, because judgment comes from fear. And strong “I” does not lead with fear, it leads with compassion. “I know what I am” is knowing what I can bring and then be brave enough to own it.
“I know what I am not” is not a sign of weakness, or something that needs to be hidden. It is part of me (us) that allows co-creation with others, whilst making them feel truly valuable. “I know what I am not” is standing tall with just as much confidence and acceptance, that I do not need to be “all”. What I am is more than enough to fill a lifetime of contribution.
Thirty-three point four million is the number of people you would need to meet to find someone with the same top five strengths as yours, in the same order (data from Gallup). Thirty-three million. So, next time you are going for an interview, aiming for promotion, asking for the project you are interested in, never question if you are better than the other people in front of you. Ask instead how you can contribute to the project that will add most value. Not because you are better or they are worse, but simply because the value you will add will be one in thirty-three million.
Once you know your true contribution, you really can embrace the above quote. You will not need to compete and constantly try to prove to yourself and others that you are “good enough”. It will become about understanding how your unique talents can be best aligned with your career path. You will also be able to seek out partnerships that will truly contribute towards better outcomes for your projects. You will begin to see all people around you as incredibly unique. And the ones that you might have found the most irritating in the past, might be the ones with whom you can achieve most. Too often we are drawn to the people that are most like us, but what we often need are the people who can complement us.
So, this is my request for you: To find some time to sit down and reflect on what is truly unique about you. This might be an incredibly difficult task for some, as too often we are raised to be humble and never talk ourselves up. There is nothing more humbling though as understanding that each and every one of us was given an incredibly unique set of traits and talents, that only we can bring (through DNA or divine intervention, the answer to that is not that important).
Do you want more information on how to unlock your unique talents, contact us.
Dovile Corrigan. Azkua Coach