Open-mindedness and inclusiveness are what I project, even subconsciously. I have always been the non-judgmental type, allowing people the freedom to be who they want to be and express themselves without fear of judgment. I can vibe with it or not, but I’m not the type to judge. Whether their sentiments echoed my own or not, I never want to make others feel they have to suppress themselves around me.
That goes for both personal and professional relationships. Because of my own authenticity, I have inadvertently provided an environment for those around me to be their authentic selves. This, in turn, facilitates the establishment of relationships built on trust and transparency.
Don’t let a fear of failure stop you from stepping on the court and playing the game.
My desire to experience the fullness of the world and get the most out of this life and my willingness to be open to whatever God has for me have allowed me the freedom to enjoy experiences and opportunities I would not have been able to conceive had I been close-minded. I have navigated my career like many others, not always knowing how everything will unfold. Certainly, there are things that I like and things that I don’t, but openness and willingness have manifested so many paths in my life, from my marriage, to my jobs, to how I maneuver day-to-day.
Freedom is the ability to move in that way, the freedom from being constrained by thoughts we all have: "What if I fail?" "What if this doesn’t work?" "What if the outcome is not what I expect?" Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely a planner in some aspects. I’m pretty type-A. I research, think things through, and weigh options. However, some people get so caught up and overwhelmed by the planning, they forget to enjoy the process.
Regardless of the outcome, whether the result turns out to be the crappiest thing ever, even if you see what you’ve just built crumble and fall, if you have done your absolute best, you can’t do any more. Just get up and try again.
Have you ever met someone who gets so stressed by trying to figure out what the final destination is that they’ve lost the excitement of the journey itself? Are you that person? If so, that probably transcends to other areas of your life. Sometimes you have to relinquish control and embrace the reality that you may not be able to determine the outcome, but don’t let that stop you from showing up. Trust, I’m talking to me and to you. No one is perfect.
Even in corporate settings, people are sometimes afraid to take risks, wondering, “Well what if it doesn’t work?” With my teams, I’ve always tried to foster environments that allowed room for mistakes. We tried it and it didn’t work. It’s not the end of the world. We will try again and again if we have to. Be willing to take risks. Challenge yourself, and don’t forget your principals. Remember, no one manages your career but you.
Even if you accept a challenge and it does not quite turn out the way you anticipate, the lessons learned through the process are invaluable. Plus, now you know what you don’t like. As you accept new challenges, your confidence will grow as you reach new heights. There is no such thing as failure, only new lessons learned.
Don’t get it twisted. I am not trying to paint a picture of myself as this totally carefree being without a worry in the world, living worry-free while occasionally fitting in the necessary business meeting. I’m human. I doubt myself all the time. I am my toughest critic. I question whether I’m good enough, if I have what it takes if I’m in the right place. Before any public speaking events or an interview or business call, I pray, “Lord, please guide my words and don’t let me say something whack.”
With experience and time, I’ve learned to lean on faith; particularly during those moments of doubt, faith has sustained me. Faith helps to soothe my fears. I credit my mom with teaching me with her constant reminder that nothing beats a trial but a failure. Regardless of the outcome, whether the result turns out to be the crappiest thing ever, even if you see what you’ve just built crumble and fall, if you have done your absolute best, you can’t do any more. Just get up and try again. Don’t let a fear of failure stop you from stepping on the court and playing the game.
Freedom is the ability to move in that way, the freedom from being constrained by thoughts we all have: "What if I fail?" "What if this doesn’t work?" "What if the outcome is not what I expect?"
Imposter syndrome is real and something a lot of us have to overcome. It’s actually a psychological phenomenon that reflects the belief that you’re inadequate, unworthy, incompetent, despite your achievements and successes.
It’s especially easy to fall victim to imposter syndrome when you’re the minority in the room or don’t share commonalities with those around you. You may tend to minimalize your accomplishments or think you just don’t know enough yet. You can’t appreciate your successes because you’re constantly seeking the next achievement for validation.
Maybe you’re even the type of person where most things come easily to you and when you find yourself confronted with something you don’t know how to do, you’re afraid to ask for help for fear of being exposed, therefore limiting yourself. What triggers symptoms of imposter syndrome for you?
Self-awareness and really believing in yourself is the first step to overcoming and not allowing a little self-doubt balloon into full imposter syndrome. Author Suzy Kassem summed it up pretty well, “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.”
WRITTEN BYMelissa M. Proctor