A week or so ago, I published: Want to know what it takes? Here is a great example.  It was about my daughter Jill and her determination to become the best  jiu jitsu player that she is capable of becoming.

Earlier this year, I received an email from Brittaney Schmidt, a wonderful lawyer/marketing professional I got to know when we worked together on client development coaching with lawyers at her old firm. Because it also dealt with the power of believing you can accomplish something challenging, I asked her to share her story with you.

I was lucky enough to cross paths with Cordell at my prior firm when we launched our attorney client development coaching program. Not only did Cordell impact the business development culture at the firm, but he had a profound impact on my career in legal marketing. He was singularly responsible for helping me to see myself as a more than a marketing/client development task-master and as the professional advisor I truly am.

I remember early on, at a coaching group dinner, Cordell and I talked at length about why I chose this profession and I remember him saying, “If not you, Britt, then who?” I have a marketing background and a J.D., I love giving advice and I have a deep respect for the legal profession – I love what I do professionally and thankfully, I’m pretty good at it. So why not me?

It was an empowering conversation, one that has propelled me forward in my career since our paths crossed. But despite feeling empowered with my work, I have not always felt the same outside of the office. Sometimes I know exactly what I want to do, but I still don’t do anything about it (yikes, the secret is out – I too am human!). I have sat on the sidelines at times watching others go for it – because of course, they were “naturals” and I was just not cut out for that sort of thing – whatever “that” may be.

Then one morning, while reading through one of Cordell’s blog posts, it finally clicked. His post, “You’ve Gotta Believe: One More Time,” ended with a question –“Have you convinced yourself that you can do it?” Had I? Of course not. And it’s exactly what was stopping me from taking the plunge in certain areas of my life.

While I’m certain Cordell did not write the article to motivate me to get off my behind once and for all, he did that and then some. A few months later, I sent him the following note:

Cordell, I have been enjoying your poetry series of late. It’s not often we take the time for ourselves – to pause, to think, and to reflect. Your posts allow us to do that, if only for a few minutes in the morning…and I have found them personally motivating. Just that minor shift in thinking is all it takes sometimes to make things happen! A post you shared recently said something along the lines of believing you can do it is an important first step.

I’ve never thought myself to be much of an athlete, but tomorrow I am participating in my very first mud run – running, obstacle courses and all. I’m sure it will be a unique challenge, but most of all, I hope it’s fun! I know I will be proud of myself when it’s over. Since reading your post and training for the event, I have repeatedly said to myself “I am an athlete.” Having never thought of myself that way, just a simple change in my thinking has allowed me to stay motivated and keep at it. This is really just a long way of saying thank you.

The mud run was a blast! It was harder than I expected. I slipped all over the place and fell down…ate a little mud too (but mostly because I was laughing so hard I couldn’t keep my mouth shut). It was a great experience, for a good cause no less. Since that race, I have kept up with my running, even placing in the top 10 for my age division in the latest trail run, and I am training for two more races this fall. I am less stressed, more engaged in my community, my family is proud of me, and I’m healthier and happier all around.

My biggest hurdle wasn’t the running itself, it was believing I could be an athlete in the first instance. Sometimes there are legitimate hold-ups, but often, it’s simply a need to take that bet on yourself and just go for it. If you’re experiencing inertia in pursuing one of your goals, take the time to figure out what’s really stopping you and tackle THAT instead. When you do, there will be no more excuses, no hidden barriers. No amount of self-doubt, embarrassment or fear of failure getting in your way.

By convincing myself I could do it, I was able to step outside my comfort zone and as a result, experienced a great sense of accomplishment that continues to fuel me in all areas of my life, at work and at home. I encourage you to take the time to do the same. Jump in – the water’s fine.

I love it when people I know and care about “jump in” and feel emboldened by it. What is something really challenging that if you “jump in” and succeed, it will launch you to greater success?

Awesome story: Thank you Britt.