Let Them Tell You No

Take a chance. Photo by ReadySetSarah

Take a chance. Photo by ReadySetSarah

When it comes to career, life and taking chances, don’t take yourself out of the running. Give “them”- whoever “them” is- a chance to tell you no. You might be surprised how often you get a yes.

Among my close female friends and colleagues we all talk frequently about what we are passionate about, what innovative, creative and meaningful ideas we have for what we would like to do with our lives and our careers. But, rarely do we take steps towards those dreams. When a pathway opens that could get us one step closer we talk ourselves out of it, or fail to recognize the opportunity.

I have been in way too many conversations with friends where they (or I) have talked ourselves out of going for an opportunity, or trying something we think we’ll like (promotion, new position, long coveted hobby or skill etc.). We sit there listing off the reasons we probably aren’t qualified or ready for it, questioning our reasoning for why we actually might be qualified, or lamenting why we cannot change what we are already doing because we are comfortable or someone depends on us, etc. We can easily see the the fault in each others method/logic, yet we can allΒ recall times we have fallen prey to this kind of thinking.

Why do we take ourselves out of the game before we’ve even had a chance to see if we can win? Why are we so afraid to try and fail? Why do we feel obligation to others, making decisions that aren’t in our best interest or what we really want?

I know not every woman falls into these behaviors, and those who do, may not do so all the time. I’m also sure there must be men who can relate too.

We need to practice articulating our skills and experience without qualifiers and passivity.Β We need to stop thinking we aren’t good enough, capable, or ready to do what we want or to try something new. We need to start consistently and strategically taking chances to get what we want and where we want to be.Β Failure is an opportunity to learn. Rejection leads to reflection. We have to take chances to get where we want to be.

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4 thoughts on “Let Them Tell You No

  1. Very very TRU Sarah, I am reminded of our last phone conversation and your disappointment with your current job. I urge you to put yourself out there and find something more inspiring and better paid. You are worth it,

  2. So true. I believe the stat is that Women won’t apply for a job they aren’t mostly qualified for, where as men will apply for anything they are even only 60% qualified for. What’s the worst they can say? “No.” Exactly. But what if they say…yes?

    Looking forward to reading some of your other posts!

    • Thanks Marla! That’s such a crazy stat. I’m really trying to work on trusting my abilities and taking chances when they arise. A professor once told me to stop worrying that someone is going to call the “Phony Police” on me!

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