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One of the questions I’ve been asked the most recently since my recent business acquisition at is

“How do you intend to fill your predecessors big shoes”?

or people commenting “You have some big shoes to fill?

These questions would have been intimidating some 5 years ago when I still lived my life trying to be all things to all people – a people pleaser who tried too hard to fit in and to get everybody’s approval and acceptance.

I’m so grateful for the fact that I’m now in a place where I now know that no one can ever fill someone else’s shoes. My predecessor is a class act and no one can fill her shoes. I can’t and neither can anyone else. The thought of trying to fill someone else’s shoes sounds tiring, – a journey that can only lead to disappointment and frustrations. Trying to run your business like someone else or trying to be someone else sounds like too much work.

What I can do, and do know how to be for sure is to be Griselda. I know how to be myself. It’s effortless. I’ve been doing that for some thirty something years and I feel I’m making good progress with that. I’ve not mastered it yet but I feel happy with the progress I’m making being authentic and true to myself.

This is probably my biggest take away from watching hundreds of episodes of the Oprah Winfrey Show. In one particular episode she talks about starting her new talk show in Chicago as a new unknown face where Phil Donoghue was known as the king of talk shows.

Everybody knew there was no way she could beat him so she wasn’t expected to! That turned out to be a gift. What happens in the end? She becomes the world’s most successful talk show host ever. She said it was because she didn’t try to be Phil Donoghue. She set off just being herself. Remaining true to herself no matter what the competition was doing or who she was being compared to. She chose to step up her game and be a better version of herself.

“ The way to step up your game is not to worry about the other guy because you can’t control the other guy. You only have control over yourself. Its like running a race, the energy that it takes to see where the other guys are, takes energy away from you and if they are too close, it scares you. “ – Oprah Winfrey

Use your predecessor as a bar to challenge yourself, to dig deep and find the strength to do better than you’ve ever done before. That is what its all about. That is what I find the hardest – competing against myself.

That is a journey we are all on. A journey of discovery, self-acceptance and actualisation.

My one goal is to always bring my true self to any situation without fear of judgement. It’s not about anybody else. The way I see it, it’s all about what me and what I think and believe about myself – good or bad. It’s all about what I can do and bring to the table?

What about you?

Are you constantly being compared to other people and businesses?

What impact is that having on you?

I hope this article gives some hope to all the people in new jobs, businesses or even relationships where they are constantly being compared and told that they have some big shoes to fill.

Don’t even try to fill them. What’s the fun in doing that 🙂 !




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