Oh it’s true and you know it! If you’re not going to go all the way why go at all?
Recently I’ve read several articles about why there are so few women CEOs. It comes down to this: women won’t apply for jobs if they don’t have all of the qualifications requested, women won’t “toot their own horn” to let others know of their successes, and women take far fewer risks than our male counterparts. Thus, we have ourselves a society of highly motivated and educated and talented women who won’t do what it takes to get to the next level. Bleck! What a waste!
My girlfriend Aych and I had a plan to participate in some running events in 2012. A 5k (only our second) in March, a quarter marathon in July, and a ten mile in October. Let me take a second to address something…I get the feeling that I’m unintentionally making myself sound like an actual “RUNNER.” I am not an actual “RUNNER.” I am more like “KIND OF A JOGGER.” But I call it running (sounds better) and I have a desire to run (most of the time…okay, much of the time) and if I weren’t injured I’d be running tonight when I drag my a-s to the gym (but I AM injured…so…). Anyway, I digress, we had this great strategy to work our way up to ten miles in October. And then secretly, although I’ve not discussed this with her yet, I was thinking we could make our way to a half marathon. And then maybe, just maybe, a full marathon.
So I “ran” a full marathon once. It was…how do I put this mildly…the WORST. EXPERIENCE. EVER. If you need proof that I’m not a real runner this should do the trick…that effing marathon took me SEVEN HOURS…that’s like a full work day’s worth of running. After which I almost threw up on the bus taking us back to the start and had to sit in the med-tent. Nothing more satisfying at the end of a full day of running than sitting with your head between your legs in a med-tent.
It was horrible. Truly horrible. And yet…something about that God awful experience makes me want to do it again…and do it BETTER. What is it with us humans…accomplishing something great isn’t good enough? We have to do it in a manner that is not only naturally great but also FEELS great to us? I might be able to say that I ran a marathon once but I surely can’t say that a) I enjoyed it, b) I did it in any sort of admirable time, or c) it was a fulfilling and awesome experience. Well then sh-t. What was the point? Six months of training and seven hours of “running” and I can’t really say I’m proud of my performance?
It’s interesting…we are quick to feel guilt, or less than in so many of our life experiences, but many of us won’t step up to get to the next level. And then we feel guilty about that! How can we “go big or go home” when we’re so busy feeling poorly about what we’re doing?
So many of us deal with guilt constantly. Guilty that we’re not home with our kids, guilty that we’re not able to attend EVERY school function, guilty that we’re falling down on the job with parent/teacher organizations (that might just be me), guilty that the house isn’t in better order…then on the flip side we feel guilty when we have to stay home with sick kids, feel guilty that some mornings we make it into the office late, feel guilty when we have to deal with kid-related stuff at the office, feel guilty when we have to leave early to take the dog to the vet, etc. It’s no wonder so few of us are feeling like the rock stars we truly are enough to apply for that bigger job, or talk to our colleagues and superiors about how much success we’re having, or take professional risks that might someday land us in a corner office.
We don’t necessarily see the great things we do as *GREAT*. But we surely see the less than great things we do as complete failures (i.e. seven hour marathon). Our inability to not only see, but acknowledge and promote our successes, is holding us back and quite frankly we’re selling ourselves short.
This morning I signed-up for the 5k in March. I’m still on hiatus from running and have no idea when I’ll start…but I’m damn sure I’ll be at that 5k in March. Because frankly, I’m tired of selling myself short, because the truth is…and this is a secret…but I’m fairly certain that I. AM. TOTALLY. AWESOME.
Unless I embrace what I do well, continue to do it better, and really GO BIG OR GO HOME, there really is no reason that anyone else will think highly of me. Truly…if I can’t sell myself as a phenomenal fundraiser, a fabulous friend, an amazing Mother, a kick a-s wife, etc…why would anyone else believe that I’m any of those things.
So not only is 2012 The Year of What If…but it’s also going to be The Year of Go Big or Go Home. Earlier today I was fretting with Aych about my lack of know-how when it comes to Twitter. I don’t get it. I don’t know how to use it properly. Aych suggested I tweet Oprah (she said “why not start at the top?”). I didn’t know you could tweet directly to specific people? My first inclination is to think of the millions of reasons that it’s a bad idea (THIS right here…is why women are not CEOs more often). But you know what? Seriously…what do I have to lose by doing any of this? Nothing.
Do I have anything to lose if I don’t “toot my own horn” (I HATE the word toot…there has to be another way to say this without calling it “self promotion” which sounds too SELF involved)? If I don’t take risks? If I don’t decide I am qualified for great things when opportunities present themselves? I guess the only things I really have to lose are chance to thrive, move-up, have others know how good I am, and succeed. Hmmm…well I don’t really want to lose out on all of that fun stuff. I’d much prefer to be wildly successful with others talking about the great things I’m doing.
THAT, my friends, means one thing and one thing only. I have to GO BIG OR GO HOME.
TODAY: What if I GO BIG OR GO HOME? What if I take risks, toot my own horn, and assume that I’m well qualified and even the exact right person for any fabulous opportunities that come my way?
PS – Aych and I are absolutely getting shirts that say GO BIG OR GO HOME for our running dates. If you see us at the 5k in March…say hi…and please don’t make fun of our pace (or lack thereof)!
PS II – I don’t intend to have this blog be specific to women…this one just turned out that way a little…sorry guys!