Need a diploma?

I drafted my first official diploma a few weeks ago.  

I took a piece of white paper out of the closet, got out my favorite fountain pen and chose a canary yellow marker for the “official stamp” that I drew above my signature. 

I spent some time on that stamp. I really wanted it to look like foil. The kind glued to passports and birth certificates that screams THIS IS OFFICIAL BUSINESS!

No, I haven’t started a side hustle as a notary public or an administrative assistant. 

I just decided right there in my office that my client deserved an official something to move ahead despite her fears. 

You see, French culture believes in certificates. In official stamps. In procedure. 

If something comes easily, that means you’ve done it wrong, cheated your way to the top, gotten a free ride, missed an essential piece of knowledge along the way.

It’s got to be painful to be worthwhile.

And that goes for pretty much everything— from getting into a top-notch business school and opening a bank account to returning a T-shirt at Monoprix. 

The effort is the reward. Like conjoined twins. You can’t have one without the other. 

While tenacity and discipline are solid traits, holding effort to such high heights can be debilitating when you’re trying to find your groove in life. When you’re trying to connect with your inner voice. Your intuition. 

Often clients will tell me that an idea for a project or a new professional path seems too simple, too perfect, too obvious. 

How can it be worth pursuing if there isn’t a blood-sweat-and-tears drama involved? 

How can it be worth pursuing if there’s no shiny stamp to prove your qualified?

How can it be worth pursuing if the idea comes from deep within?

How can it be worth pursuing if there’s no “official” way to do it?

We often fear that others won’t think we’re deserving, that they’ll judge us, hold us to impossible standards. 

But guess what? What holds you back is not what other people say or think, but what you say and think about — yourself! 

Do you consider yourself worthy? 

Do you consider yourself qualified?

Do you consider yourself deserving?

This is where "the diploma" comes into play.

What would you do if you felt 100% worthy?

What would you do if you felt100% qualified?

What would you do if you felt 100% deserving? 

What if you've already earned that diploma? That special hall pass? That elusive degree? What happens then?

I may not know you personally, but I suspect you’ve earned the right to move forward without your fears blocking you. 

Without your inner demons holding you back. Without being worried about doing it perfectly. 

My guess is that you’ve done enough of that already and that it’s high time to try something different. 

The good news is that I’ve got plenty more ink in my pens and a full stack of paper on my desk. 

So just reach out for whatever judgement-free diploma you need.