My life’s work is about helping people step into their starring role. (Perhaps you’ve noticed.) The first challenge (and it’s no small feat) is naming what that role IS. Writer? Entrepreneur? Leader? Expert?

For those who are clear about the role they want to step into, I see two places where they may stop short and not move towards stepping in.

1)    They want to step into their starring roles BUT they doubt that they have the ability or the RIGHT to do so.

Which sounds like:

I’m not a “Writer”. Writers are…smart. Accomplished. ACTUAL Artists. Me? I’ve just got decent ideas and can kinda string ‘em together. I’m not an “Expert”. I know what I know, but it’s not very much. “Experts” have 10,000 hours under their belt and legitimacy and credentials and degrees. Me, not so much.   Impostor Complex 101 stuff right here.

You want to be known as a Writer? Do you write? Then, Love…you are a Writer. Keep doing it. You have the right to write. Proceed.

You want to be known as an Authority? An Expert? Yes, that’s available to you too. Check out my TEDx talk that guides you through a process. Or this program. You’re way, WAY closer than you think.

2)    They want to step into their starring role, but the very thing they want to claim is supercharged and spring loaded with their own judgment.

Which sounds like:

I can’t want to be an “Expert”. Experts are…stuffy and stodgy. That’s not me. Sure I’d love to BE an Authority, but I would never call myself an “Authority”. Anyone who calls themselves that is a fake and a phony. It’s a fabricated construct. “Star”? Pfft. That’s fluffy and silly and selfish and pointless and pure ego-driven BS. Only an overinflated gasbag would call themselves a “Thought Leader”.

And, I suspect that there is a part of you that reads those words, feels their familiarity and still wants…THAT. If so, then lean in nice and close.

Here’s what I want you to know.

1)    You are allowed to want what you want. In fact, it’s your job. Without apology, shame or embarrassment. 2)    You are safe here. I won’t tell anyone that you want to be a Star. An Expert. An Authority. I promise (Until you’re ready for me to, and then I shall sing it from the mountaintops.) 3)    Your discomfort with that title is the very thing that is holding you back from allowing yourself to step into it.

But because it’s just you and me, will you whisper the title that you want. Authority? Expert? Star? Muse? Thought Leader?

That wasn’t so bad, was it?

Can you now try to say it a little louder?

Mm hmm.

Now, can you proclaim in a statement, from the depths of your belly?

I WANT TO BE A _______!!!

There. Infinitely better.

But even as you sit there, a little breathless for what you’ve just named, the familiar voices are creeping in.

It’s selfish. That’s stupid. It’s for someone else. Not yet.

Yes. Yours is clearly a complicated relationship with that label.

So let’s have a look at what’s sitting under this tension you’re feeling. The tender yearning to be known as an Expert and the discomfort you feel with what it represents.

Typically, we experience this tension because our relationship with authority has been informed by witnessing the behaviour or impact we’ve felt by someone else in that role.

Let’s try this out, super quick.

Think about someone in your sphere (or beyond) who embodies (pick the label that lands with you): Expert, Authority, Star. How do you feel about them, in general? Notice what you admire about them (that’s a mirror, by the way). AND notice when you disconnect from them. Notice what feelings come up that cause you to disconnect (disappointment, anger, frustration). Notice what you would “do differently” if you were them.

Do you see the correlation between how you feel about that person and how that may be well be holding you back from claiming that title for yourself? From stepping into your starring role?