I don't know about you, but I can be the queen of excuses. Pretty dumb ones too sometimes.
Take speaking gigs, for instance. Public speaking is something I absolutely love.
Plus, I have tons of experience doing it.
But when I moved to the US and pivoted into coaching, the naysayer part of my brain told me that I could not seek out speaking opportunities because "this is different".
Oh, and why would people in the US want to learn from an immigrant with an accent?
That became the really big one.
I actually I met with a coach who helps people get rid of accents. I didn't hire her, though, because somehow deep down I knew this wasn't what the whole issue was about.
These days I'm pretty glad I didn't.
And I have Arianna Huffington to thank for that.
My lightbulb moment came when I listened to her audio book on sleep, written AND read by Arianna Huffington. A woman with a very distinct accent – and she reads her own audiobook.
Of course she does, because she's a badass!
If anything, her accent has become something of a trademark.
This was the moment when I called bullshit on my so-called "reasons" for staying out of the spotlight – because I suddenly saw clearly that they were excuses.
I was just afraid to do something new, something I wasn't certain would be successful.
And as a high-achiever "back home", I didn't want to start out in my new country with collecting No's and failing.
Since then, “Arianna Huffington” has become something of my personal safe word.
Whenever I feel self-doubt about doing something new, I ask myself:
Would Arianna Huffington do it? Has she done it?
Most often – actually, always up to this point – my answer has been, Hell yes!
And there goes my immigrant-with-an-accent excuse.
What's your favorite excuse that disguises itself as such a good reason?
Maybe “I don't have the time” or “I can't afford it”?
Those do sound like great reasons, don't they?
But I betcha, they are not.
*Disclaimer: When I call most "reasons" excuses, I am absolutely NOT talking about systemic injustices and patriarchial structures that keep women and marginalized groups back. I am refering to the thoughts we make true for ourselves by believing them instead of questioning them.*