Today I’m talking about showing up as an authority even when you don’t feel like one.
And here’s why I’m talking about it:
I’ve been talking to so many people lately about authority and about showing up. And I’ve been recognizing that there is a real issue with feeling like you have to be someone else, you have to put something on, or everything has to be just right to show up powerfully.
First, let’s talk about some of the common pitfalls that leaders face that keep them from showing up as an authority.
Perfectionism is probably the most common one that I’ve been hearing. And I also add procrastination because these two things go hand in hand. We put off doing things such as going live, writing a post, having difficult conversations with our team or with a relationship because it feels uncomfortable or it feels scary, or because we’re afraid of doing it imperfectly.
Perfection kills just about everything it touches. It’s so funny because I’m a perfectionist. So I feel I could say that. I’m a perfectionist, and I also attract other perfectionists to me. I completely relate and understand this concept.
We think it’s a crutch that we use, and we believe that it’s helpful. When it comes to things like authority, it’s a killer. It goes hand in hand with procrastination. It prevents us from showing up because we don’t think that it’s going to be right. When we don’t think it’s going to be right, we don’t want to do it. When we don’t do it, then we’re not showing up, which means we are not leading; we are not an authority. It’s common to feel this way.
If this is you, I want to hear from you.
Perfectionism keeps us from being an authority.
Another thing that keeps us from being an authority is what I call “putting on a costume.”
The feeling like you need to put on a costume can show up in a whole lot of different ways. You might even show up in more than one of these. Again, it’s totally normal.
Your costume can be some persona. Like turning a light switch on and off, it’s like you feel you put on your authority face.
It can show up like a shot of tequila that you need to numb your senses and make your perfectionism and inhibition go away so that you can let it all out and be confident, be yourself.
It can show up as a full face of makeup or your hair or your clothes. Whatever the look that you need to have, that you wouldn’t dare show up without, for fear of looking like a fraud.
We’re looking like someone who doesn’t belong in a position of authority.
All of these types of putting on a costume are also massive killers to authority. One of the most attractive qualities in a person of power is, besides confidence, is in their authenticity, their abilities to be themselves to be vulnerable in front of people and to be confident. When you put these things on it, no one thinks that it’s real. Everyone sees through that.
These things are killers to your ability to show up as an authority. Instead, we think we’re helping ourselves.
Any costume that you’re putting on, you think that it’s helping you show up as a leader, but what it’s doing enables you to show up as the exact thing you’re afraid of, which is being an imposter.
That’s what happens because we are intuitive beings, and we pick up on all these kinds of things. We pick up on cues like that; we can pick up on that kind of insecurity, that kind of facade that people are putting on. So putting on a costume is another pitfall.
The last one and this one’s probably my favorite one: indecision.
Being an authority, having confidence are not things that you wait for other people to give you, like an award or trophy. They’re also not something that grows within you like a seed that you plant. They are decisions, choices that you make.
I talk about this in my book. In it, I talk about how, in my marriage, I realized the things that I lacked (feeling loved, desired, beautiful, sexy) were decisions that I needed to make about myself, rather than something I needed to wait to be bestowed upon me.
The same is true about authority, confidence, and showing up. These are decisions that you make. They’re not qualities that you grow or that are given to you, like a present or like a trophy. They are your decisions. When you learn how to make these decisions with a clear head, it’s so much easier to be an authority; it’s so much easier than how it feels when you’re waiting for them to come to you.
Are you someone who battles perfectionism and procrastination?
(As I said, they go together.)
Are you someone who puts on some costume, whether it’s a persona, whether it’s doing a shot of tequila, whether it’s your full face of makeup, your hair, the clothes you wouldn’t dare go out in?
Do you show up as an authority without those things for fear of looking like a fraud? Or are you stuck in indecision?
Let me know which of these things you relate to, which of these things are you, and if you want help getting to the other side of this, let’s have a conversation.
I want you to know that you’ve got this. It’s not as hard as it may seem or feel or that you may think it isn’t. It is a doable thing, and I would love to help you. If I can make these decisions in the middle of the toughest grief I’ve ever experienced, then so can you.