Every good war hero has stories of battles from the past. Former glories, fighting back from the brink of annihilation, overcoming impossible odds to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
You are a war hero in your own story, and you’ve got tales of your own. You’ve got examples of how you overcame hardship, did something vulnerable, or leaned into your fear.
So first, celebrate those stories. Then, set them aside.
Your edge in leadership doesn’t exist in the past, and it doesn’t exist in the future. It doesn’t matter what you did yesterday. It doesn’t matter what you want to do tomorrow.
What matters is your willingness to show up, on your edge, practising (often clumsily) today.
The demons you slayed yesterday become the pipe and comfy slippers keeping you from going out and slaying today’s dragon.
Don’t rest on yesterday’s laurels. Pointing to evidence of past leadership only takes away from the opportunity to be leader in this moment.
What’s the edge? Where are you afraid to lean in?
That’s the game to play.