Michele Attias Life Coach

Choosing Yourself - Before Someone Else Does

In the early part of the 12th century, the famous St Marks Square in Venice was adorned with countless spoils deviously taken from ancient Turkey, Rome and further afield.

The Venetians then laid claim to these treasures as rightfully theirs. They adorned the Basilica at St Marks, proudly displaying it in ownership.

This takes a certain measure of chutzpah which translates into determination, pro-activity and tenacity.

We can learn so much from this.

What if we were to stake a claim on our talent and capabilities and display it in the same way the Venetians did? Instead of hiding it in a casket for all eternity whilst we watch enviously as others rise up and claim theirs.

It’s possible to claim the title of best sales representative, marketing specialist, or leading coach in the industry. Could we possibly dare to be so bold as to claim it and choose ourselves in the process?

This isn’t a ‘fake it until you make it’ process. The key is to claim your expertise and then begin the process of truly owning what you can do, committing to the process of excelling in that area and embodying what you represent.

Often what occurs is we wait to be chosen.

We wait for someone of importance to hand us the coveted title. This further incites an intense need for the external validation we seek. It simply isn’t enough to value ourselves and claim the talent.

It seems to only come into fruition once we receive an award, a recognition or a pat on the back from someone we deem as superior.

I recently met a speaker at a networking event who claimed to be the best speaker in Europe. I had never met him previously or even heard him give a presentation so could not comment on his talent. Even he didn’t know with certainty that he was the best, but he still proudly claimed the title.

Like the boxer claiming the heavyweight title and raising it up for all to see.

Choosing yourself might have selfish connotations. It doesn’t. It’s simply a way of making a claim. Standing for something you know you can offer, then choosing a course of action and striving to develop this further.

One of the biggest impediments to choosing ourselves is a fear of rejection. Instead we become acceptable, pleasing to others and frankly forgettable in our desire to mask who we truly are. We use this mask to get contracts, clients, relationships and love.

This isn’t claiming who we are, this is simply wearing a costume so aptly worn by the Venetians during their Charlevoix venetian festival, filled with colour and pageantry, but little else.

In his great book 'Choose Yourself', James Altucher stated the following:

Understanding the rules of the choose yourself era will give you the confidence and skill set to go out there and simply ask the world for your proper place in it.

I used to go to every business event I was invited to, you never know I would think, I used to go on tv every time I was asked, you never know, I would think, maybe someone will see me and like me, maybe someone will press the like button on my face.

This quote resonates with me as I spent the first few years of my career entertaining endless meetings, events and talks in the hope that someone would make a surprise discovery. Like Columbus discovering America or some potential broadway star who just needs that lucky break.

At times, one of the most powerful and self affirming actions we can take is to stop waiting, develop a value for what we create and just go ahead and carve out a place at the table; or even create your own table and decide who you want to have sitting next to you.

Much more empowering and pro-active than the waiting game.

We are no longer in primary school where we wait for teachers to hand out stars for being the best behaved student, star sports player or star girl of the week. We still live by the same rules and wait to be given an accolade, an award and validation before we can take action and stake a claim for what we stand for.

Staking a claim is not in any way shallow or lacking in integrity, it needs to be accompanied by a commitment to learning, development and growth.

In the same way as Venice built a beautiful, unique and mesmerising city, despite having staked a claim on treasures that had not been theirs. We must also do everything in our power to build around the claim we make as a way of creating a solid and robust foundation in which to build our professional expertise and value.

Self Development