College degrees. Extra-special certifications. Bells and whistles. I had it all, but, I still wasn’t getting ahead. — And I had no idea why.
In the beginning, I thought I needed even more credentials. Proof that I knew what I was doing. In the corporate world, the more degrees you have the better you look. The better the school you attend, the smarter you are. It seems like a good valuation system, right?
In the real world, we know that the size of our “success factor” doesn’t always correlate with the size of our brain. Just because you know how to study and ace a standardized test doesn’t make you any smarter than a person who doesn’t. Book smarts, I’ve learned, only get you so far. — Intuition. — Now, that’s the thing will take you to the next level.
Over the last twelve months, I’ve undergone a transformation. I’ve learned to trust my gut – to listen to my body and the signals it sends my way. I’ve also learned that if you don’t believe in yourself, the change you’re hoping for — will never materialize. I’d been using the wrong system my whole life and, I suddenly discovered that all of my accolades meant nothing if I couldn’t find a way to believe in my abilities.
I’d been struggling with a lack of confidence. I was looking for validation in all the wrong places – from my parents, friends, colleagues and clients. What I didn’t realize was that I needed to start from within. Nobody could tell me how great I was or that I was qualified enough. I need to believe it for myself. — And, this was the big piece. The Holy Grail of realizations, if you will. And, I’d been missing it all along.
It took some time but I finally came to recognize that I was enough. The woman who I’ve become, who stands here today, is enough. She is ready. She is qualified. She has what it takes to succeed. And through that realization, I learned to let go.
I won’t lie to you. — Letting go required a lot.
It required quitting the negative thoughts and habits that weren’t serving me. No amount of education was going to validate my worth or my value. I knew, deep down, that I had all the skills and qualifications to do what I dreamed of doing — I didn’t need another certification. That extra piece of paper, wasn’t going to help me. I no longer needed to rely on external things to prove my worth. — Only I could do that for me.
I’ve been people-pleaser my whole life. Big time. Putting the needs, desires and wants of others before my own. I was doing certain things to appear a certain way to others, to gain their approval. But, I began to realize that their approval was never what I wanted. To my own detriment, I was valuing others above myself. My passions and interests were sidelined and I found myself doing things that I didn’t always enjoy, for no other reason than to make other people happy. I never stopped to ask myself — Am I happy?
Then a light bulb went on. — It’s about me and my happiness.
With this new knowledge, I was able to re-evaluate my life and the things I was doing to move myself forward. How was I spending my time? Did those activities help me? Did I enjoy them? Why was I doing them? In the end, I realized some things were worth my time, and others, well, — I just had to let them go.
Letting go often gets confused with quitting. But, they’re not the same thing.
Releasing the things that no longer served me didn’t make me a quitter. It made me smart. It made me strong. It made me confident. It meant that I had the courage and conviction to stand up for myself and do the things I wanted to do. — And, kids, there’s no certification for that.
Others may not always understand you. They might not approve of you. But, that’s okay. You don’t need them for that. Because, at the end of the day, I am enough.
And so are you.
Author: Nicole Ramano
Author Bio: Nicole Ramano is a Confidence Coach supporting women on their journey from fearful to fierce. She believes you deserve to be happy, every day. When she’s not working with clients, she can be found brunching her way through New York City, checking out the newest chocolate craze or napping.
Follow her adventures on instagram, instagram.com/bringyourall, or catch her on a live video walking through Central Park M – F, facebook.com/bringyourall.
Link to social media or website: http://www.bringyourall.com