What if I told you that YOU’VE ALREADY GOT IT! The IT, I’m talking about is your authentic-IT-y. IT is the thing that makes you, you. And IT is the superpower that will pave the way to your ultimate success.
How can I be so sure? Because my own success is rooted in being authentically me. Easier said than done when your identity is made up of being a lesbian, trans nonbinary, black, cisgender female, Gemini, southerner, wife, sneakerhead, Bay area transplant, and nerd all rolled into one.
I know what you’re thinking, but Bethany, how did you actually get comfortable with being your true self? For starters in 2012, I took a hard look at my personal strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. And since I’m holding nothing back, it went a little something like this:
- My strengths were: I’m reasonably intelligent, extroverted, and have excellent social skills.
- My weaknesses were: I have a lack of confidence in my technical and professional skills, I’m uncomfortable with my sexuality/gender, and I also happen to lack engagement in my work, as well as follow through.
- My opportunities were: I would love to attend grad school, find mentors, read all the things (newspapers, mags, blogs, etc.), attend local events, and find accountability partners.
- My threats were: after spending lots of time thinking about this, I realized I actually have no external threats holding me back.
Once some of my insecurities and discomforts were brought to the surface, I knew I would have to make some changes and learn some new skills to help me get to where I wanted to go. I decided to focus my energy on creating an action plan that would help me further develop some of the skills I aspired to have. The more I focused on developing these skills, the more I realized I was creating my own secret sauce for success. Want to know the 4 key ingredients? Read on below.
4 Key Ingredients to Achieve Success (a.k.a. my secret sauce)
- Remember to use fear as fuel – did you know that F.E.A.R. stands for ‘false evidence appearing real’? So next time you’ve got negative thoughts posing as evidence, lean into the fear and replace every “I can’t” with “How can I?”
- Be patient but know your worth – no matter how tempting it may be, don’t let others be the judge of your worth and what you’re capable of.
- Always lead with facts – when you separate facts from emotions, you can focus on what’s actually happening versus the story you’ve created in your mind.
- Pay it forward – the more we lift each other up as a society, the more successful we’ll be individually. So, pay it forward with kindness every chance you get.
Ready, set, your turn! Now make a list of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats followed by an action plan that addresses your main goals and needs. Then take the 4 key ingredients mentioned above to truly unlock the thing that makes you authentically you. And know I’ll be cheering you on every step of the way because remember – you’ve already got this!