“Wait your turn”.
“Act like a lady.”
“Don’t speak out of turn”.
As women, we’ve gotten some pretty crappy advice through the course of our lives. Our parents are good people. They meant well. They wanted us to be dainty delicate flowers who would be well liked and would get along in society. Maybe even snag a husband…
The problem: This advice limits us in the workplace. Where our male counterparts are leaping before they look, we are making hundred item pro/con lists and doing 15 hours of internet research. The reality is, sometimes you have to push the button before you know the answer.
I know. I know. It sounds crazy. Why would you jump into something if you don’t know exactly how it works? Why would you volunteer for an assignment you’ve never done or seen done before? Why on Earth would you take on a duty you haven’t completely mastered? Well, my friend, because fortune favors the bold. The fellas are raising their hands to take the assignment. They may have to stay up all night to get churched up or call in every favor to get tutored in the task, but they do indeed have the assignment. The one that you probably would have killed…. The one that would have skyrocketed your career….. The one you secretly wanted in your heart….
Is it because they are smarter or more capable than you? Do they have a better rapport with the boss or a better set of base skills? The answer is probably no (because you’re a beast). They have the project because they pushed the button. They spoke up. They took the chance.
Failure is scary, but a life lived in the shallow pools of mediocrity is scarier. Stop hiding in the herd. Push the button. You’ll figure it out.
Denise is Founder and CEO of WatchHerWork.com. Her upcoming book “When Sleeping Women Wake: Moving Mountains in Life & Work” will be available Summer 2016.