The phrase, “If I was confident enough…” should never be used to start a sentence. Seeing the tag #SelfLove circulate, I find myself respecting the tagger, no matter who it is, for being confident enough to admit their confidence.
Growing both personally and professionally, having confidence used to be a rarity. Albeit my body image, intelligence level, or over-exaggerated humility, selling myself short was a really bad habit.
“Hey, I think I will wear this shirt,” *wears shirt; looks in mirror* “Oh my god, you beast—you should only own sweats.”
Even now, I wonder whether I am doing the right things, making the right calls or just flopping on the deck like a fish gasping for the comfort of the ocean.
“I’m going to do this thing,” *does thing; everything goes great; less than 24 hours later* “People are only pretending to like the thing I did. I am never doing it again.”
We all wonder what path is truly right for us, what we really want to become within our communities.
Do I really want to a successful #BusinessBitch?
Yeah. I do.
The only thing obstructing my path is my extreme fear of possible failure. If you have ever attended a conference and heard a speech about success, then you have heard this consistent piece of advice:
“You cannot be afraid of failure.” —said Every Successful Person Ever
I hear the words, I understand the words, but somehow I am still petrified. Staring out the side of the career plane, I am left wondering what value—if any—the experience of the plunge will give other than the possibility of instant death.
Oh, and you know what else successful people say?
“You have to hit rock bottom before you start building your foundation.”
So basically, jump out of the plane, and see if the fall kills you. If it doesn’t, you’ll somehow get stronger.
Hitting rock bottom certainly happened this past year with my First Failure and Professional Hell. I was so broken after fighting, doubting, and loathing myself, I hit a point where something had to give. I decided I shouldn’t feel stale after one year of work in the creative field; I shouldn’t feel stale while pursuing my passion.
I was tired of being tired.
I wanted to have #SelfLove, not #SelfConsciousness.
So, I started taking the advice of successful leaders, gathered the confidence, and jumped out of the mundane career plane. I quit my job and began aggressively pursuing my passions: art, design, and innovation and began asking myself a series of questions:
What is my dream job?
I want to help people through art, to publish their ideas, let them see the free air and guide them into the creative oblivion of endless possibilities. I want full creative freedom, to create every day, to be in charge of myself and possibly others.
How can I get there?
Obviously I need to further my education. It is clear to me I am either not ready for the workplace or I need a different level of workplace which furthering my education will (hopefully) provide.
What can I do differently?
Confidently pursue connections, remember rejection is only a 50% chance, and to let my passion—nobody else’s—guide me.
Seeing everything written out, the possibility of having a career and pursuing happiness became clearer than ever, taking my reasoning from, “I just like being creative,” to, “I want to change the creative world for the better, to bring my and others’ ideas to life through design, marketing, and outreach.”
Discovering this was like falling in love, discovering the universe, and conquering my fears all at once. The expanse of possibilities didn’t narrow: it widened.
All of this being said, I have since started applying for graduate schools and begun volunteering for several groups, just to gain a little mutually beneficial experience and connections, and started applying for paid internships.