By Michele Curry, Commerce Bank, Women’s Network Chair
~A note to the members: The video is great but this article is LOADED with additional content!!~
Wow, what a year it’s been as your Chair! I’ll tell ya, it is not what I had in mind. I turn the reigns over to Teresa Snow in July, so I wanted to take the June Chair’s Corner to revisit our theme for the year one more time, which is “BOLD.”
I came across a quote in a book I’m currently reading called The 4 Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss (which I highly recommend!). The quote is Machiavelli who said, “Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer.” From a professional standpoint, what that meant to me is: if you are currently in a job or situation where you’re just ‘toughing it out’, you’re developing a strength in suffering instead of developing the strength for the bold things that need to be done, including leaving that job. I’m not encouraging everyone to go out and quit their jobs, but I challenge you to evaluate the underlying fears that are holding you back in life.
- How am I doing?
- Do I like what I’m doing?
- What could I be doing that could make me happy?
Then assess what’s stopping you from doing the things that make you happy.
What BOLD all comes back to is the fact that we’re are all scared, no matter who you are. That being said, are you developing the strength to be bold and go forward despite fear? Or are you developing the strength to suffer in your current circumstances because that’s the easier thing to do?
I encourage you to be BOLD! Take chances! Figure out what you want to do and what’s holding you back!
If you are experiencing fear or doubt in yourself, take the time to understand what you fear the most. This can be done by journaling or quiet introflection. Ask yourself:
- What’s stopping you from doing what you want to do?
- What’s the worst that could happen if you did it?
- What fear is lurking behind the worst-case scenario?
- What can be done to avoid the worst-case scenario?
- Realize that you just created your own safety net.
Example: You’re in a job that makes you unhappy.
- What’s stopping you from leaving?
- I won’t be able to pay my bills.
- My family is counting on me.
- My next job could be worse than this job. Stick with the devil you know.
- I’ll let my whole team down.
- My clients are counting on me.
- Ask yourself: what’s the worst that could happen if you went through with it? (Seriously, take this to the extreme if you can).
- I’ll be destitute and homeless.
- My kids will go hungry.
- I’ll be unemployed and no one will want to hire me.
- My team will be overworked and burnt out by carrying the load I left.
- Because of my decision, other people’s lives will be ruined.
- Reflect on the precise and honest fear that lies behind the scenario:
- I will be needy or reliant on others.
- I will be a bad parent.
- I will be a failure.
- I’m making a selfish decision.
- My clients will hate me and never want to talk to me again.
- Now that you have the worst-case scenario in mind, put yourself back in control. Ask yourself, what can be done to stop the worst case from happening?
- I’ll be destitute and homeless. I will find any job I can, fast food even, if it will make ends meet.
- My kids will go hungry. I have family and friends who would be there for me in my time of need.
- I’ll be unemployed and no one will want to hire me. I could make it my full-time job to find another job.
Or take the time to humble yourself. Sorry friend, you aren’t the center of the universe. To me, that is a very calming thought.
- I’ll let down my whole team. My team can operate without me. Better yet, I can leave behind thorough notes so they know what projects I was working on and where I left off so the next person they hire can jump right in.
- My clients are counting on me. My clients won’t hate me for my choice, and I can recommend them to a coworker of mine who will make sure there isn’t a lapse in service. I’ve built good relationships with them and maybe we’ll do business together again someday.
5. Relax in knowing you’ve just created your own safety net. 95% of the things you fear aren’t fatal and you will live through even the worst case scenario.
In my journey to being Chair, I held myself back for years. Here was my fear identification exercise:
- What’s stopping me from going for Chair of the Women’s Network? I don’t know enough about the Women’s Network to have the right experience. The Chair needs to know the answers.
- What’s the worst that could happen if I did? I would do a bad job.
- What’s the fear? Fear of failure.
- What can be done about it? I know myself well enough that I would never just lay down and die. Plus, I’m surrounded by a wonderful support system in the Women’s Network…they wouldn’t let me fail either! We would work together even in the hardest of times, and I am not alone.
After this introspective exercise, I decided to develop the strength do be BOLD, and here I am in front of you today saying, “Goodbye.” I hope you will join me in the daily journey to be BOLD.