A Woman Struggling to Believe in Herself

Robert Terson

Laura (not her real name) is a waitress. She has a second job selling in a mall retail store. She’s 24, single, easy on the eyes, and one of the best waitresses Nicki and I have ever encountered—efficient to the Nth degree, along with a real pleasant personality. She’s so good at waitressing that, in my opinion, she stands out from all her colleagues where she works. It’s a popular place for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but we’re not, by any means, talking fine dining here. I’m sure Laura is making decent money, but her talent is such that she should be earning a lot more, and she would be doing that if she went to work at a classier establishment where the check totals are much higher.

One evening during dinner I told her that, and suggested a particular restaurant I thought she should apply to. When I told her how much she could be making there, her eyeballs almost popped out of their sockets. I told her I’d speak to one of the managers I knew there, mention her, and find out what she needed to do to get on their radar. She said she was interested, so I took her information, said I’d get back to her in a week or two.

When I called her on the telephone about 10 days later, I let her know what she needed to do to apply. I had greased the spokes for her, so to speak, even had an email address of the guy who does the hiring, so she could send him a personal note (as had been recommended), in addition to formally applying online. Really, I had set it up so the odds were well in her favor.

Now I heard a hesitation in her voice; she was scared. This led to a long conversation, a motivation session, if you will. I tried to pump her up, told her how great she was, how great she’d be in this new environment. I spoke to her like I used to talk to my kids, building up her less-than-stellar ego. She told me how touched she was that I had gone out of my way for her, that I was taking the time to talk to her this way, but the fear in her voice wasn’t going away. She said she’d follow through and apply, but I had my doubts.

A couple of weeks later Nicki and I were having dinner and she stopped by our table to say hello. I asked her if she had applied. She was noncommittal, said she was going to, but hadn’t gotten to it yet. It was time for me to let it go; it wasn’t my place to push this young woman into something she didn’t feel she was ready for.

One of my favorite quotes is from Henry Ford; I’ve used it many times on this site. “If you think you can do a thing, or if you think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” If Laura can’t believe in herself, she’s not going to step out of her comfort zone, take a risk; which is beyond sad, because she’s selling herself so short it’s ridiculous.

I’ve always said fear is the Great Enemy. It certainly is in Laura’s case. Life will give her (and you!) anything she demands of it, but she has to find a way to believe in herself, to bet on herself, or she’ll remain where she is and what she is: an underpaid under-achiever.

What about you? Are you selling yourself short like Laura is? Is your ego so beat down that you can’t see yourself performing on a much higher plateau? What is it going to take for you to kick yourself in the ass and step out of your comfort zone, take the necessary action to elevate yourself to a much happier, far more successful life?

Do you need some help? I’m going to do some coaching for a limited few individuals. Call me!


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