I have a few monsters under my bed, and as per my conversations with many professional women, I’m not the only one, in spite of the “I’m a woman, and I fear nothing” almost binding trend.
I have always worked with dedication and passion. For years. In spite of all the hardship; in spite of war, health problems, some rejection, and a lot of criticism, I haven’t given up and have worked my way to..well, the next thing. Even though I have always focused on destination as much as I did journey, I have learnt to recognize and acknowledge that I do have some fears, and that I might not have faced them all.
So, since flashing the light under the bed is usually a good way to get rid of monsters, this is exactly what I’m going to do.
First monster: Mediocrity
It is scary, and it started when I was a young girl in elementary school. Almost nothing was as disappointing as the word “mediocre”, or “average” on a test or a writing assignment. I knew I couldn’t afford to be “just average”. The fear of being just run-of-the-mill haunted me. It translated to: Someone who keeps trying, but that just doesn’t have it in him or her -in this case- to reach the top; you know, that place that only brilliant, talented people can reach. I have since developed a true aversion for mediocrity.
Second monster: Being perceived as too sensitive
A politically correct euphemism for “defensive”. How about not telling me anymore that I’m a bit too sensitive and just say it, outloud: de-fen-sive aka too weak to deal with criticism, too jumpy to respond with torturing objectivity to any comments less than positive about your work, and not “sports” enough to crack a joke after a tough exchange, especially with male colleagues.
This monster is shrinking, though. I’ve come to focus on the big picture and take any criticism as an opportunity to outperform and compete with myself. A mini flashlight might just do for this one.
Third monster: Being ante-Prada
So, I’m not a devil, and I don’t wear Prada. Can I still get to the corner office? Or do I have to tell off every kid on the block to be perceived as tough enough by the crowd. How about I be myself; keep warm, friendly me, get things done, and keep a balance between being overly firm and sheepishly lenient?
Okay, I’ve calmed down now…
But then, my biggest monster is to reach the “top” and realize I have done it at the expense of my time with my family, realize that I’ve missed very important moments with my loved ones because I was too busy working on the latest report or on finalizing the next “critical” document – although I worked from home for as long as I could keep it up-, or worse, that I’ve missed on being a genuinely giving person who would have made more of a difference because of my professional aspirations.
That one needs a huge flash light.
What’s your monster?
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