Are You Ruling Yourself Out Before You Know What Game You’re Playing?
Today I want to talk about something you might be doing that you don’t realise — ruling yourself out before the game’s even started…
A couple of weeks ago I was invited to tender for a project — something huge, with global impact, working with people I would love to connect with, and getting in ever-so-slightly above my head.
What’s not to like?
In the moment I opened the email I only saw words that were the things I didn’t do, so I wrote back saying “thanks, but no thanks.”
Later, it struck me, “what was I thinking??!”
I’d assumed it wasn’t for me without even giving it a chance.
What’s true is, yes, there were parts of the project that didn’t look like the kind of work I do. But the person designing the project doesn’t see the world the same way I do, so, of course, she wouldn’t use the same words. She assumes the way to reach the outcome she wants is on the path that makes the most sense to her.
But what does she really want? What change was she aiming for? And maybe something (or someone) a little disruptive could be the answer to her dream.
You see, I’d ruled myself out before I even knew what game we were playing.
How crazy is that?
In this case, I spotted it and I was able to go back and apologise; to explain that I’d had second thoughts, and to please send me the further details. I might pitch, I might not, but I’m glad I gave myself that chance to consider more fully.
We can only make decisions one step at a time.
The first step is to find out more, the second might be to ask some questions. The right step definitely isn’t to imagine an outcome that’s thirty steps down the line!
So, I wonder if there’s anywhere in your life that you’re doing this? Ruling yourself out before the game’s even started?
Maybe it’s a job, maybe it’s in a relationship, maybe it’s just trying a new restaurant or taking a chance on a holiday destination you’re uncertain about.
Maybe you’ll find that game isn’t for you, or perhaps you’ll find that it can be fun to play out of your depth, and you can bring something new to people who need it.
At least give yourself the chance to find out what the game is before you rule yourself out.