I recently attended a leadership conference and the feature speaker referenced a quote by Mr. Nelson Mandela “My greatest enemy was not those who put or kept me in prison. It was myself. I was afraid to be who I am.” I found this astounding. Here was a leader of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, who fought against the brutal regime and was incarcerated for 27years, saying ‘he was his greatest enemy’.
The quote caused me to first fact check it, and then when I found it to be true, reflect on it and what he meant. As I pondered his quotation, I soon came to the realization, that I also was my greatest enemy. I also am afraid to fully reach my potential. When I consider my training, my education and my experience, I believe I can attempt greater things. But, I am afraid to stretch and reach further. At nights I doubt initiatives I thought of in the day, I choose the safe path, the path of least resistance, and in so doing fail to attempt bigger things. I also am afraid to be myself. Most of us are – I suppose.
I reflect on my 4 years of working with the business giant Mr. Anthony Sabga, and his courage and boldness in business, to attempt amazing feats, with no more than a primary school education. I believe he was fearless, but now considering Mr. Mandela’s quote, I am sure he had his doubts and fears. So do we all. The issue is not a lack of fear, it is the courage to overcome our fears and become who we are.
This is very relevant for us as Real Estate professionals in this slow economy. Do we make excuses for low performance, while batting within our crease? Or are we willing to attempt great feats or dream great dreams, going down the wicket to hit a six? Or do the fears during the night hold us back from attempting such bold moves?
Like Mr. Mandela, it is not a lack of fear, but the courage to overcome our fears and become who we are as Real Estate Professionals.