A great many of people never outgrow the self-doubt that began in high school. It may not show up in that high school topics and interactions, but it’s still there throughout adulthood. It’s what makes adults vulnerable to political pressure, or to be agreeable to others even when it means abandoning our beliefs.
Ultimately, this self-doubt leads very capable and talented people to hesitate in the face of opportunity. Is the time right to start my own business? Should I make the leap and apply for that big job? If I ran for office, who would vote for me?
The tragedy gets worse. There is another subset of humanity that is plagued with a different kind of disposition. The Dunning–Kruger Effect states that people with low ability at task often greatly overestimate their own ability. They fearlessly apply for big jobs, attempt to solve complicated problems, and ultimately make big decisions that impact many people. Yet through it all, they are incompetent. (Listen to a funny, fascinating podcast on this topic.)
So when you add those two together, it’s clear that we are living in a disordered world: people who should be in charge doubt if they belong, people who should not be in charge believe they should be king. That’s a terrible place to work, to live, to spend your life.
To be Ignored?
Now let’s get back to the title of this blog: “If you aren’t being judged, you are being ignored.” The thought of being ignored hurts, doesn’t it? On a personal level, on a professional level, who wants to feel like their life is of no consequence? Surely this should motivate us to step out.
But let’s go deeper. What if it’s not you that is being ignored, but the truth that you possess? What if the world needs truth, but you are unwilling to share the truth because you do not want to be judged. You remain silent because it’s more comfortable to remain silent.
The most obnoxious example of this is on college campuses. University professors enjoy the prestige of their place in society–they are the luminaries forming the next generation of leaders. Yet for all their knowledge and lofty stature, I find that university professors are cowards, especially on current events. If it’s popular to be anti-science, the scientists remain quiet. If it’s popular to reshape history, historians are remain quiet. It’s pathetic.
Show me one person with a PhD who is willing to lose tenure with just one tweet.
What am I asking? If you prosper from your prestige, have courage in the face of criticism. It is a privilege to have a career with ideological adversaries. This is part of what it means to be tenured. Elected. Ordained. There are people with less power and influence who are depending on you to be bold and advocate for justice and truth.
Is this Your Time?
So if you’ve been waiting for a sign, this is it: it’s time for you to take a chance. It’s time for you to do something that makes you uncomfortable. If you need a nudge, watch my video, then download the PDF below. It’s an exercise to give your analytical brain some confidence so that your heart is free for the big leap.
Final thought. Some of you reading this are lucky enough to be surrounded by people who care about you. Friends and family. A loving spouse. It’s often these people who you’ll go to for counsel before you take that big step. Because they care, they will vett your idea with 3 steps, almost all which sound like skepticism or doubt. Read my blog on this topic and you’ll be good to go! ◼️
The title of this blog is actually an inspirational quote shared on a recent client Zoom call with Bro. Tom Cleary, of the Marianist religious order. Over the last 9 months, we’ve worked with Bro. Tom and a team of innovative strategists on the Morning Star Initiative to boost enrollment for 30+ Catholic schools in Long Island, New York. Every marketing decision we made this year has felt risky and subject to judgment. But in the end, the results were remarkable and principals had a record upswing in enrollment to kick off the 2021-2022 school year. 🏆 🎉