What does ‘time waits for no one’ mean to you? Until recently, it was just another wise saying my mother shared. While I felt the need to move forward, I did not realize the importance of keeping my actions purposeful and directed, and I slowly drifted off course. By not taking full ownership and accountability, I allowed relationships to lapse while I concentrated on my career. In the process I lost my sense-of-self and drifted from my passion. Now, I am beginning again…focused on creating a brighter future, sharing my journey and the knowledge I gained along the way.
Become the change you want to make
The road less traveled is filled with unexpected curves and hurdles, but the path forward is always just one step ahead. Don’t give up. If you go off course, readjust and continue forward. Set approach goals. Approach goals motivate you to achieve positive outcomes, rather than to avoid risk. Reframing your view increases your chance of success and reduces stress.
Women and men are different
Women strive for perfection more often than men. They idealize the ‘perfect-normal life’ (which does not exist). But like any insecurity, conquering these views requires re-wiring your view of the world. It’s normal to be nervous (especially if you are the only women in the room) but interpreting the jitters as excitement can propel you forward. Change the narrative to change your perspective.
This internal dialogue is often the thing holding women back. The associated self-doubt is limiting. To avoid rejection, women do not apply for jobs unless they are 100% qualified as compared to men who apply with only 60% of the qualifications. Hillary Clinton offered advice: “Too many young women are harder on themselves than circumstances warrant. They are too often selling themselves short. They too often take criticism personally instead of seriously.” Learn to trust yourself, to laugh at your yourself and to gracefully recover from mistakes.
View mistakes as learning opportunities, some of the greatest discoveries were accidental, for example the maker of Coca-Cola was intending to create a pain killer, and penicillin was found when a petri dish was left out. The key is to keep an open mind, discover their potential and move forward. And never blame yourself, mistakes will happen, learn from them.
Get on your feet
It’s time to make things happen. While this does not mean throwing caution to the wind and acting impetuously, it does require taking risks and following your passion. Women take calculated risks, and operate better under pressure than men. Apply this to charting your road forward. Weigh the options and act. The hesitation to act can hold some women back. To overcome your inhibitions, once you make up your mind, don’t delay, count backwards from three and act.
Are you in the right place? This requires sole searching, reconnecting with yourself and freeing yourself to act. A recent survey found that 59% of working adults and 73% of professionals in their thirties were unhappy with their careers. When my work and my passion were aligned, I was energized. I felt a sense of purpose and value.
Is it time?
There is no right time to act. Every chapter presents a different set of challenges. If you know what you want, (you are ahead of the game) establish a plan of action. Deciding not to make a plan is a choice that lets destiny and circumstance take control. I navigated my early career without a guiding star and it left me unfulfilled. It’s like taking a trip without a destination. You will arrive somewhere, but this may not be the optimal path. Learn from me and have a plan! Making a plan allows you to make informed decisions, weigh options and measure progress. Track your progress, make mid-course adjustments and ask for guidance along the way.
If not now, then when?
I waited too long to make a change. Was it easier to do nothing? Probably. But there was a price to pay too. I sacrificed my happiness due to inaction. Why wonder what could have been when you can begin to live your dreams today? Life is precious, and you have only one opportunity (there is no re-do button) and you never know what the future holds, or what is hiding around the corner until you get there. It’s time to make things happen!