One of the hardest, most growth-inducing professional experiences I’ve ever had was taking on a leadership assignment that I did not believe I could do. Now, you’re probably wondering, why would you take it on if you were convinced that you would fail? Well, the honest answer is I said no twice. The third time I was asked, it was more of a “you have to do this” kind of request. So I hunkered down and got to work, but not without a whole lot of self-doubt, angst and worry. It was an exhausting, but ultimately very successful assignment.
It would be a few years later that I would come across this quote on the Be Leaderly website from Sara Sperling, a human resource leader and executive coach.
When people trust in you and believe that you will be good at something. Trust what they see.
The truth of this quote seems so obvious. If I’d been able to put my own self-doubts aside back when I took the assignment and been able to give over a little more of myself to the belief that my boss trusted me and knew I was going to do a good job, I could have been a bit more relaxed and had more fun doing work that I was capable of and good at.
But what’s the difference between someone seeing something true that you just aren’t able to see and someone blowing sunshine to get what they want? I think it’s also about trust. Can you trust the source? Is what they are saying only going to benefit them? If you can trust the source and trust their intentions, then do what Sara Sperling says, “Trust what they see.”
Fast-forward several years to today…
My little family of three is a name-generating factory! We name everything!
- Our automobiles…Graziela, Ovolicious, Cam Wagon, Tidy
- My son’s stuffed animals…Garcia, Lil Jackie, Davis Bacon (shout out to my PrOhana!)
- Neighborhood stray cats…Brownie, Calico, Nutmeg
So it should be no surprise that we also have nicknames for each other. One my husband gave me years ago was Long-Arms McCoy. Apparently I have long arms. Not something I really knew about myself.
Recently, while on the tennis court, my husband encouraged me by saying, “Trust your arms! You can reach further than you think.” I took Sara Sperling’s advice with my next shot and instead of crowding in my body to hit the ball, I let my long arms do more of the work. Turns out, my arms are longer and can reach further than I believed.