I have a friend, who has long inspired me, even before we became friends. She has 3 kids, all younger than mine, and was the chair of a local charity event, Relay for Life. I was a new team captain, just getting some friends together for a night of fun and raising money to fight cancer. I don’t know that we even had a real conversation that year. But Aubrey? She inspired me…
We’ve since become good friends, we text or email daily, and try to get together for coffee or a walk when we can.
Recently, I told her about an idea for a book I want to write. I was more than a little surprised when she said my dream had totally inspired her. She said the conversation in her head went something like this:
Wow, that’s so cool!
I should do that.
Do you want to write a book?
No, not really.
Well, then what DO you want to do?
I want my own line of t-shirts!
Aubrey is now creating her own line of sportswear. It’s crazy awesome. She had the idea in her head. She told someone. She contacted a graphic designer. She’s got a logo now, and is working on the shirt designs. Does she rock or what?
Aubrey is a leader.
I am just
learning starting to embrace the idea, to claim: ‘I am a leader’. I’ve been hiding behind being quiet and introverted all my life, but I now accept I’ve always been a leader. After senior year in high school, I went to a National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C. I remember being so excited to go… but thinking it was such a joke that they thought I was a leader. Or even a potential leader. Now, 22 years later, I get it. I can give a long list all the ways I’ve been a leader all along, going way back to high school. I didn’t see it for all those years. I wish someone had pointed this out to me. (Maybe they did, and I was just too stubborn to accept it.)
I didn’t accept the role of leader, because my personality didn’t fit my idea of what a leader looks like. Aubrey, I thought. Now, she’s a leader. Strong. Outgoing. Talkative. Fun. Optimistic. Encouraging. And she IS a leader. Those qualities, however, aren’t what make her a leader. Recently, Michael Hyatt posted 12 Ways to Know if You Are A Leader. Go read it, then come back. It will only take a minute. I’ll wait. 🙂
Did you notice? Nowhere on that list does it say you have to be extroverted, outgoing, or talkative. Yeah, I noticed that too. I also noticed I fit almost every single item on his list. Even being introverted, quiet, and reserved. Huh. How about that?
I‘ve been hiding behind being quiet. Refusing to acknowledge that I’m a leader. Well, no more.
I (quiet, calm, introverted me)…
I am a leader.
How about YOU?
Are you a leader? Do you have a dream? Have you been hiding a part of yourself because you don’t fit the image in your head of the kind of person who fills that role, does that thing? Knock it off! If you have a dream, a desire, something so big it seems impossible… Go for it! (see #3 & #4 on Mr. Hyatt’s list).
Go for it! Stop waiting. Start now.
What’s already there, beneath the surface, just waiting for you to claim and embrace it?