At age 8 my father died and I adopted the belief that because I didn’t have a dad or male patriarch in my life, “I was not as good as other people”. Truly, I can remember distinctly feeling and verbalizing that as a child. I had an extreme inferiority complex throughout most of my childhood, so much so that I never even learned how to do a cartwheel out of fear that another kid would laugh at me for not being able to do it good enough. Around adolescence, when I began blossoming I became very determined that the more insecure I felt in any situation, the higher I would hold my head. This started as a coping mechanism to feeling insecure, but I unknowingly was learning how to act as if or fake it until I made it, and eventually I was truly confident.
I was PE major in college and took the first job I got out of college at a fitness center. So, it wasn’t exactly like I was groomed for a successful career in the Fortune 500 hi-tech world. I went thru every door that opened for me and never questioned whether or not I was qualified or had enough experience. I simply looked forward, without doubt and focused on my desired outcome. When it came to pursuing my career, it was natural for me to bite off more than I could chew and focus on what I brought to the table and trust that I could figure the rest out as I went along. This doesn’t mean I was without fear, because I often felt very intimidated going in, but would lean forward and go for it without looking back or questioning my worth. I would apply for a new job or promotion and say to myself, “I want this, I got this, it’s mine!”
During my corporate career I began realizing that this type of confident behavior appeared to be innate for most men, but it it is not for many women. When I consider the lack of parity between men and women in leadership roles, salary, etc. – COURAGE seems to be the only piece missing for most women to claim their seat at the table.
So, saddle up… feel the fear and fake it until you make it. Go after what you want, leave doubt behind and accept that being uncomfortable is required to learn and succeed at whatever it is your heart desires.
Check out this video from Renie Anderson, NFL SVP of Marketing, she is singing my tune!
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