What-if scenarios: Ctrl-Alt-Delete
How many times have the ‘what-if’ scenarios in your head stopped you from taking a leap of faith? If you are a woman, my guess is too many times to count. Sometimes we are presented with opportunities of a lifetime but because we are socialised to internalise prejudices against us, we tend to undermine ourselves. We tell ourselves that we do not have the expertise to do a job well enough. We convince ourselves that we are undeserving or incapable and consequently we hinder our own success. Our male counterparts do not do that − they jump at every opportunity presented to them whether they have the experience or not. They do not second-guess their talents − in fact, they have the confidence to aim for positions that are arguably out of reach. Why don’t we? It is time for us to realise our strengths, constructively work on our weaknesses and revel in our power. We waste precious time going through all the reasons why we are not good enough. Today, I challenge you to put that energy into showing yourself how qualified you are.
As women, we need to stop sabotaging our growth by over-criticising ourselves and being intimidated by our own potential. Whenever that doubt kicks in and the ‘what-if’ scenarios set off, we need to Ctrl-Alt-Delete them quickly and ask ourselves ‘why not?’. Is it because we fear failure? Failure is not guaranteed. It is a possibility, but take the chance anyway. Where there is an option to fail, the opposite exists − you may achieve the unimaginable by just going for whatever it is that you want! Success!
Is it because we like roles that we are comfortable in? Comfort leads to complacency and complacency does not allow for growth. Growth is sometimes uncomfortable because we face unfamiliar challenges and unique circumstances. That means we attain new skills as we face these trials and ultimately, we become improved versions of ourselves. We need to stop limiting ourselves and start believing in our capabilities. And that begins with getting comfortable with discomfort.
Yes, some decisions may not be the right ones for us but so what? We live, we learn, and we adapt as we gain insightful knowledge from our experiences. The world is much more forgiving than we think, so we should trust ourselves a little (read ‘a lot’) more.
Send your CV even if you think you are not qualified enough, talk yourself up in the cover letter, that’s what it’s for! Take that job abroad! Accept that promotion! You are worthy of all the opportunities that are presented to you and you have to start acting like it.
If we want to see more female CEOs for JSE-listed companies or more Kamala Harrises, we need to believe in ourselves more. So, Ctrl-Alt-Delete those unjustifiable ‘what-if’ scenarios and replace them with ‘why the hell not!’
‘We weren’t born to create excuses; we were born to create excellence’ − Janna Cachola