The Dreaded "C" Word.........
And no, its not what you think!
Credibility. We’ve all questioned it, whether its someone else’s or our own. But what is credibility, and what determines who has it?
Credibility, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is “the quality or power of inspiring belief” which, to be quite honest, doesn’t help much here. When I think of credibility, it tends to be both very genre specific and involve tangible experiences or credentials. For example if someone has a PhD in Psychiatry I would likely find their views on Schizophrenia and other DSM disorders credible without a second thought. After all, they have spent years completing coursework in an academic setting, fulfilling strict requirements for the title of PhD, and likely have many more hours applying this knowledge to people and situations that are complex and have real life consequences. Seems pretty simple doesn’t it?
But what about your credibility? Yes, yours. And mine. Who has the right to place judgment of whether we are credible in our chosen line of work, study, hobby etc…… or not? Do you feel comfortable standing in your power, not looking for an outside source to bolster your achievements? Or are you like I was, constantly waiting for someone to find value in my work, to allow me to take my career to the next level because of some secret threshold that had been crossed?
This is something that I have struggled with in my “day job” as well as when I entered the world of coaching. Although in my 9-5 (not really 9-5!) I did have the titles, positions, and experience that would provide external credibility - I still felt internally lacking. I was waiting for some milestone, some monumental event to occur that would allow me to feel worthy enough to be considered an expert, or even a well thought of amateur, in my field. This feeling grew exponentially when I began considering coaching - who did I think I was??? I don’t have it all figured out, so how in the world could I help someone else figure it out?
Taking it back to Merriam-Webster’s definition, to the quality or power of inspiring belief, I realized it was I that needed to be inspired to believe. In MYSELF! If I did not believe - internally, unshakably, and undeniably - in my inherent worth and value in this world, then how could I ask someone else to? This small, yet monumental, mindset shift was the one thing I needed to finally put those nagging insecurities to rest. That’s it! No kudos from my boss, no promotion, no exceptional performance evaluation - just me. Could it really be this easy?
So I have a task for you, a challenge you might say. Take a few minutes this afternoon to stand outside of yourself - get out of your head - and view your contributions, achievements, work WHATEVER through the lenses of an outsider. What does it look like without the “shoulda woulda coulda’s ?” Make a list and stick it somewhere where it will be a constant reminder that you inspire belief in yourself.
And that’s all that matters.
P.S. I would LOVE to see the results of your exercise! Drop me a note below and let me know how it went!