My poker face is lousy. I mean, really, REALLY lousy.
When a client or someone whose hopes and dreams I know intimately shares with me that they did something spectacular, I can’t hold my excitement in.
“How fantastic! You did the thing you’ve been wanting to do for such a long time!”
Now, after ten years of being a professional leadership coach, you’d think that I would know better.
Can YOU spot the trigger words in: “How fantastic! You did the thing you’ve been wanting to do for such a long time!”?
You get partial marks if you guessed: “How fantastic." Only partial credit because this is most unique for people-pleasers who think I’m just being nice as they would be. (Hint: I’m not. I no longer have time for that.)
You get FULL marks if you guessed: “You did the thing you’ve been wanting to do for such a long time!”
While I’m genuinely excited for their accomplishment and wanting to root into celebration (which is the only way to truly lock in accomplishments), they want to go ahead and bypass that and hang out in the “Damn. She’s right. It did take me too long.”
You’ve heard that too, right?
You finally get to the other side of the pivot or launch or ask or hire or creation or sale or award and, though there may be an immediate surge of dopamine, it is swiftly followed by:
“What took you so long?”
Hands down, this is THE LEAST HELPFUL of all of our Inner Critic questions and it shows up just on the other side of a breakthrough. To be clear... our breakthrough of THEM. But like death and taxes, you can count on it showing up.
And the truth is, there are a thousand reasons that it took as long as it took. I mean, of course it’s possible that you were colluding with your Impostor Complex by hanging out in procrastination or perfectionism. And you can make yourself as wrong as you want for that (you get to choose).
Or, and just hear me out on this: maybe it was something else.
Maybe on some level you knew it wasn’t safe. (I have more to say on this in this week’s Friday Finale - you can sign up for those emails below). Maybe you were subconsciously fearful of who you would piss off. Maybe you hadn’t done sufficient analysis. Maybe you took exactly as long as was needed to do this the way it needed to be done. Maybe you weren’t actually ready for reasons you may never, ever, ever know.
Any of these statements could be true. And probably another hundred.
But I’m here to tell you the bottom line:
It doesn’t matter what took you so long. It just matters that you’re here now. (tweet this)
And let us celebrate you.
You did the thing.