What if you were asked to stand in front of a room of colleagues or friends and finish the sentence:

“I am ____________________.”

How would you feel doing it? Nervous? Scared? Thoughts of “what will they think?” running through your head or “what if I sound arrogant?” “What if I’m wrong?”

I was asked in my recent coaching class to stand up on a chair in the middle of the room and shout my response to the “I am ______________” statement. I could have told the person coaching me “no.” I didn’t have to do it. But if I’m seeking learning and personal growth, then I knew my answer couldn’t be no. I had to do it.

I climbed up on the chair. I looked at the person who asked me to do this with what I’m sure was a look of terror in my eyes and on my face. I almost cried.

But then I did it. And guess what?

I survived.

And so would you.

We were recently with an outstanding group of faculty and staff from a charter school in St. Louis. I gave them a worksheet for their final activity. On top of the worksheet was a quote from Brene Brown:

“What we know matters but who we are matters more.” (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)

I then asked them to write down three reasons why their school needs them. I heard groans. I saw blank stares. Someone asked if they could ask someone else to fill it out for them. I said no. There were more groans. There was nervous laughter. There were sarcastic jokes about what some individuals bring.

What I learned is that I’m not alone. We all struggle with what I’ve started calling “owning my greatness.” So I challenge you with this – the work that exists in each of our communities is too great and too important to be hiding our greatness.

It doesn’t mean you’re perfect. It doesn’t mean you won’t make mistakes.

It does mean that by owning your greatness great things will in fact happen.

I would love for you to leave a sentence in the comments finishing the statement:

I am _________________________.