Denial is a powerful thing. You’ve no doubt heard the old saying, “Denial is not a river in Egypt.” But when it comes to our career, there really are things we refuse to face, often because they are embarrassing or we feel inadequate. As a result, it’s amazing the lengths we go to hide it. It can be seen in:
A preacher who can’t actually preach.
A writer who can’t write.
A speaker who can’t speak.
A leader who can’t lead.
It can also be seen in personal issues like not controlling a temper, too much drinking, an addiction to pornography, or being difficult to get along with. It could be refusing to face the growing financial, sales, or legal challenges in your company. The problem happens when our insecurities keep us from the potential embarrassment of exposing the problem, and then working on a solution. For instance, maybe it’s too humiliating to admit we didn’t finish college, so even though we’d like to, we don’t go back and take classes. Maybe it’s too embarrassing to admit we’re an inadequate speaker, so we just slog through thinking nobody is noticing.
Maybe as a leader we’re afraid to make decisions, so we cobble together a “leadership team” to make them for us, even though it’s horribly inefficient. In almost every case, we jump through these hoops thinking no one will notice the real problem (guess what – they do).
Over the years I’ve met plenty of leaders who have blind sides they refuse to face. But in spite of the potential for embarrassment, ridicule, and even a career setback, I believe you’ll never regret staring down what every voice in your head tells you to avoid.
Wherever your insecurity lies, face it. Trust me, everyone else knows it, and your refusal to deal with it is holding you back from your potential.
So do the hard work of overcoming the problem. Go back to school if you need to. Take some classes. Find a mentor. Practice. Study. Read. Better the embarrassment now, then the failure in the future.
Your future self will thank you.