There are many people I admire in business and life, and Oprah would be at the top of my list. She has spent her life owning her story and sharing her gifts and perspective with the world. Her work has impacted millions of people and her message stays strong.
I aspired to that. I wanted to step into my story and live a life I can be proud of, with plenty of lessons and no regrets. I wanted to help people see that they could create the same for themselves.
But aspiration wasn’t enough. I was not taking the action I needed to. I was stuck in fear and doubt, and stalling with way too many excuses.
Frankly I got a little sick of my self-sabotage and decided to flip things around. Rather than wait until each moment was perfect, I took another step. If I hesitated for too long, I would ask myself ‘What would Oprah do?’
Asking this simple question allows me to keep moving forward. Oprah did not get where she is today by waiting for perfect moments or for her fear to subside.
There are plenty of common traits within the people that I admire but one of the most important is their ability to think bigger. They continually step into the vision they hold and act like they have already achieved it.
Think about that for a moment…
If you want to make an impact in the world, start today. Start taking the action and steps required to get you into your bigger vision. Make decisions based on where you want to be, rather than playing small with where you are.
When asked what made IBM so successful, Tom Watson, founder of IBM, said: ‘For IBM to become a great company, I (realized) I would have to act like a great company long before it ever became one’.
Stop waiting for a permission slip to act like you want to show up the world. Embrace all that you have to offer right now.
Don’t look back.
One of my favourite reminders from Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, is ‘Let’s go invent tomorrow rather than worry about what happened yesterday.’
Looking back is OK when you want to check in, but don’t stay there. Take the lessons on board, adjust your sails accordingly and keep sailing.
If I spent all my time looking back and focusing on all the things that didn’t work, I think I’d be pretty miserable. Instead, I take a peek back every now and then, acknowledge how far I’ve come and keep moving forward.
I’d love for you to try that too.
Create your own vision.
Aspiring to be like others is great, but it’s also important to use their success as an indicator that dreams are possible. The trick is to make sure you are stepping into your own dream and vision, not someone elses.
You may know you’re here for more, but you’re not quite sure what your bigger vision is. That’s OK too. You’ll find it as you step forward, follow your curiosity and pay attention to your natural talents.
Your vision will show itself when you are open and ready to receive it. Just because it doesn’t exist, doesn’t mean we can’t create it.
Find your silent mentor.
Oprah is only one of my silent mentors. I have quite a few that I call on from time to time for insight and inspiration. I don’t need to meet them to learn from them.
I want you to start to think about who your silent mentors will be. Check in with them when you’re feeling stuck and ask yourself ‘what would they do?’
If you’re game, I’d love you to share who your silent mentor is in the comments below.