Last week a great young leader mentioned how helpful a concept from my book Making Your Leadership Come Alive was to him. The idea is centered on what a person can or cannot do, whether they are inhibited or prohibited.
Being prohibited is to be told you cannot do something by someone else with authority.
Being inhibited is you telling yourself that you cannot do something.
Have you ever heard someone say, “Well I tried, but they told me that we couldn’t.” Who is “They?” Most people think they are prohibited when they are actually inhibited. A clear example of this happened not to long ago with one of my teammates not doing something I thought we had all discussed. When I asked why they didn’t finish it the answer was, “I thought you wouldn’t want us to do that.” I had never said that, but rather wanted a certain thing to happen. This employee thought they were prohibited when they were actually inhibited.
I find that the majority of people are inhibited rather than prohibited. At times this can create a victim mentality that can limit people dramatically. Here is how you can ensure you are not inhibiting yourself.
- First, ask clarifying questions of others to see if you are truly prohibited from performing a task.
- Second, if you are not sure, ask another question until you get absolute clarity. Take initiative.
- Third, if you find that you are inhibiting yourself then find out why. Are you afraid? Are you nervous of the other person?
- Finally, think about the ramifications of you not doing something that you should because you are inhibiting yourself.
Lead yourself well. Stop thinking in a victim mentality if that is you. Rise above your own fears and begin to take initiative where you normally would inhibit. You will be glad you did.Related posts: