Then, Meet Them Here...
I love the little moments, the game-changers that shift things, changing everything from that moment on. This was one of them.
I was doing a Creative Jam Session with a client recently, a woman who is brilliant at what she does. I mean crazy brilliant.
We were brainstorming on creative ideas to get her business going in a new way.
“She intimidates me,” she said, talking about a high-profile woman for whom she’d done some coaching.
I understood. The woman had some really impressive creds, was a genius at what she did and was running a large event where she was required to speak, which is where my client was coaching her.
She floated quickly through the comment, “She intimidates me.”
It got me thinking about the idea of intimidation and more apropos to our discussion, the meaning and weight placed on it.
One definition of Intimidation is defined as "inducing fear or a sense of inferiority."
To my way of thinking Intimidation is a wall. It’s a stopper. It’s a dam that cuts off flow.
It creates a hierarchy, a ranking order that’s created in your mind. When you allow someone to intimidate you, you place yourself in the state of inferiority.
The truth is, it’s not real. It’s a story you make up to keep yourself safe and small, to stay in place. Even when we’re not at all aware of it.
You can’t go anywhere when you’re in intimidation, at least not anywhere forward. How can you build a successful anything if you’re intimidated by the very people you want to work with, have hire you, partner with.
Meet Them Here
I asked what it was that she found intimidating about the woman. And, it was all of those things that made the woman fabulous, the qualities that described exactly the type of client she is hoping to attract.
And, yet, I said, “she hired you to help her with something she’s lacking, something she’s not good at. And, that you are. Her expertise isn’t yours, but yours isn’t hers either.”
The thing is, you carry intimidation into the room with you. When you’re intimidated it makes you weaker and not fully authentic. It’s an unlevel playing field with jagged surfaces and bumpy paths.
I said, "it sounds like you’re in awe of her. You admire her."
And, the energy in the room shifted. “Oh, that’s so true,” she said. That was it.
And, based on the feedback my client received, the feeling was very mutual. Chances were very strong that this high-profile woman was in awe too, perhaps even a little intimidated.
So, what if you took intimidation out of the equation?
It’s been said people meet you where you are. So, if you’re continually intimidated, it's likely that the people who will meet you there are those who use intimidation, by those who are fed by the power of intimidating others to get what they want. Those relationships will not grow you, your relationships or your business.
Those playing at the higher levels won’t put up with the out-of-balance energy between you. They may not be able to explain exactly why, but they won’t want to work with you.
However, if you meet them at awe, then that's a reciprocal relationship that flows in a positive direction. And, you’ll be met at a higher level, at the higher vibration of awe.
It levels the playing field. Intimidation does not. Awe and admiration do.
So, change the meaning of and reframe your meeting reference point.
Zig Ziglar said, "The playing field of life is not level, and to compete in the game of life, you need an equalizer."
Here are some equalizers that level the intersection:
- Meet each other at Awe.
- Meet each other at Admiration
- Meet each other at Expertise
- Meet each other at Respect
- Meet each other at Talent
That’s powerful. A true intersection of equals. A meeting that magnetizes and grows and nourishes. And, keeps people coming back for more.
So, who intimidates you? Be honest with yourself. There’s no shame in it.
Recognize the positive qualities that you admire, that you’re in awe of. Turn the mirror on what you bring to the table. What you’re offering.
Meet them there.
If they don’t return to the level playing field, turn and walk the other way. As Empowerment Coach Andrea Quinn calls it when someone doesn't meet you at your standards and qualities: “Not your people.”
Removing intimidation from the equation was the game changer for moving my client’s creative business forward.
Sometimes it’s hard to figure what it is that’s stopping us, keeping us from starting something or from following through or taking it to the next level.
We can’t see the clear path through the fog, or more accurately through the forest of obstacles we’ve placed in front of us. Intimidation is one of those obstacles.
Getting clear on your own talent, expertise, awe, will provide the beacon to remove the obstacle and that will lead you to the right people. Your people.