Last year, I went through what I affectionately called an Identity Crisis: What do I want to be when I grow up?
I had been asking myself a lot of questions: Do I want to teach? Do I want to be a consultant? Do I want to be a world-renowned speaker? Do I want to head back into Corporate America? Do I want to go back to school?
I had finally decided to combine all of the above and go back to school to get my Ph.D. so I could be a university professor. It’s OK if I go into debt, I reasoned, because I’ll be doing what I love.
Enter in my best friend. “Jen,” she queried, “are you sure you’re not just going back to school because you don’t know what else to do?” I fumed. This couldn’t be the case. I’ve always wanted my Ph.D. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about it. How dare she suggest that!? “Learning is your comfort zone,” she continued. “Learning is what you’re good at, and you want to be good at something right now. But you don’t need to go back to school and spend lots of money to be good at something.” I made a hasty excuse to get off the phone and quickly filed away the conversation in the Forget This Ever Happened portion of my brain.
A couple weeks later, I shared with a friend that I would soon find out if I got accepted into the program to which I had applied. I guess he finally decided I wasn’t going to figure this out on my own so it was time to say something. “How much money is this going to cost you?” he asked. Uh, a lot. “Are you going to be able to teach what you want to teach after you get this degree?” Well no, but it’s OK because I’m studying what I love. I’ll just focus on my consulting business. Providence will provide me with opportunities when I have the degree if I’m following my heart. Wow – I can justify anything. “Jennifer,” he said, somewhat pointedly, “you already have the knowledge and experience to do what you want to do. You don’t need a Ph.D. to prove you’re worthy of consulting or speaking or writing a book.”
I needed to hear that: That I was good enough. I don’t need to hide behind more schooling and letters after my name. And I don’t need to seek for more answers. I already have what I need. Now I just have to apply it.
My question for you today is this: Are you hiding in your comfort zone and seeking for things that are already staring you in the face? While you’re pondering this, go out and tell someone they are good enough. It just might save them some money.