“But nobody is going to take me seriously. They’re just going to look down on me because I’m younger than them and think that I don’t have enough experience,” she said. I looked into her questioning eyes and knew the familiar fear she was facing.
There has been a common theme that has come up in multiple conversations with different people this past week that I would like to address-and that is the fear of not being able to make a real impact because you’re “too young”.
First of all, where did we get the notion that the impact you can have in the world is defined by your age? Is it because most people we see “succeeding” or having the life we want are older than us? If that’s the case, we need to understand our own perceived definition of success. The problem is, success is not quantifiable because it looks and feels different to everyone. What one might consider success to be a big home, fancy car, and high paying job, another might consider success to be raising their family with strong values, or volunteering, or just doing something they're passionate about because it brings them joy.
Given that success cannot be measured in numbers, it is not restricted by age either. Gifts and God-given talents are in each and every single one of us. I think of the show, “The Voice,” for example. You have someone who may be 50 years old and insanely talented with a grit so raw it cuts to your heart. You also have 15 year olds with voices so angelic it sends chills down your spine and you immediately want to jump on iTunes and download their song. I’ve never heard anybody tell the 15 year old “you’re good, but you’re too young to win this competition because you don’t have enough experience.” No, they’ve got raw, natural talent and they are loved for it. They touch the heart of the listener just as deeply as the 50 year old does.
Gifting is gifting. It doesn’t matter how old you are, what degrees you have, how much experience in one particular setting you have—what counts is your gift, your unique ability to know exactly how to soar in your specific role, combined with an undeniable passion.
If it’s on your heart, it’s there because it’s connected to your purpose. When you live your truth and do it from a place of passion, people are drawn to you…you stand out because you’re not afraid to be authentically and unapologetically you while owning your gifts. Know your truth! You are not too young, or too old for that matter, to do anything you desire to do. You just have to take the first step, then let the results speak for themselves.
Let your passion burn brighter than your fears. Remember, decisions are magnified with joy when they’re fueled by passion.