Recently, I was struggling with how to achieve success with something I had agreed to do.
Ultimately, I had to eliminate three beliefs and wanted to share them with you.
To set the stage for you, here’s the background about my struggle. My daughter’s high school takes a break between semesters and all students do something different. Some go overseas and build homes in impoverished areas while others stay more local and serve communities in need. Still others take courses at school that they ordinarily wouldn’t have the opportunity to take. The goal is to develop students into lifelong servant leaders.
The school seeks parents, alumni and friends who are willing to teach a class. The classes are three hours a day for seven days. I have been thinking about this ever since I saw it in the fall of 2021; however, my stroke recovery didn’t allow me the energy to volunteer. This past fall, I decided I would raise my hand to teach a leadership class to a maximum of 12 girls. When I got word that my course was full and would be happening, I quit. I typed out the email to the principal, letting him know that I’m not a teacher; I’ve never written a lesson plan; and I had no idea what I was doing. It took me a few days to get up the courage to send it. Instead of pushing send, I remembered a friend who used to teach, is wildly creative and still has a deep connection with her former students, so I reached out to her and asked if she would review everything I put together. Thankfully, she agreed. This fall, I juggled my coaching and business development along with writing all the course content and putting together all the course details.
January 9 was go time. The excitement and energy in the room was palpable and it carried us through our first day of learning all about our CliftonStrengths. The next day, I felt like I was trying to read a room that was in another language, one I didn’t know. It was hard and I was ready to send my resignation that afternoon. Instead, I decided I needed an interpreter and brought it with me. Did you know that candy is a great interpreter of the language for teenagers? Thankfully, it worked and the rest of the class was a breeze. We even had amazing field trips to McDonald’s Corporate offices hosted by my fabulous client, Sandy Rodriguez, and to Kolcraft, hosted by my talented friend, Shannen Chin, so the young leaders could see these phenomenal leaders in action.
It brought me so much pride and joy to see these young leaders investing in themselves and their growth. One of them wrote on a feedback form that she wanted me to start a leadership club at the school and I wrote to the principal “One thousand times yes to this!” So, at least for now, the journey continues with a handful of students.
As I looked back at my struggles to get to success, I identified three beliefs I had to eliminate or they would have been destructive and ruined my success with teaching this class. Here are the three beliefs and some tips to help you eliminate them.
1. I don’t have the ability
The first belief is a common one among just about everyone – not having the confidence to do whatever task that you’ve set for yourself. In nearly all cases, this simply isn’t true. At first, I thought I didn’t have the ability to write curriculum and almost quit over this belief. The truth is that I did have the ability. It took me a while to research what I needed to do to put together a lesson plan and then I did it – I wrote my first lesson plan. The rest got easier. I also chose to work with a friend who is a teacher as she knows the teenage audience better than I do, so my lesson plans were even stronger. If you find yourself thinking you don’t have the ability to do something, spend some time researching the topic and how to do it and my guess is that, like me, you will quickly realize that you do have the ability to do this.
2. I don’t have any good ideas
This is simply an excuse. I didn’t think that I had any good ideas about how to teach this content to high school students, a group with whom I have never worked. As I started to put my content together, I began to think about how I could make the concepts come to life for the students. Once I shifted to thinking about concepts in this way, the ideas easily flowed. By opening ourselves up to new ideas and different ways of approaching subjects, we often will find that we have an abundance of good ideas.
3. I don’t have the determination
Finally, I needed to get rid of the belief that I didn’t have the determination to reach this goal and be successful. There is one very simple way to combat this. I had to understand that if I believed I didn’t have the determination, I wouldn’t have it, and if I believed I did have the determination, then I would have it. There was nothing for me to do, except change my mind that I would delete my resignation email and determine to make this class a success. It was completely my choice whether or not I had the determination to stick with this and reach my goals.
Today, I kick off the next stage of the journey with the students who wanted to continue to invest in their leadership growth. I will follow the same process I do for my mastermind groups and, this time, I have every confidence that I will be successful.
Work with me
Do you have beliefs that are holding you back or getting in the way of your success? I very much can relate to how this can happen. If you’re ready to leave those beliefs behind, here’s the link to set up a time so we can talk.