I have been in countless conversations with women thinking about joining the Threads Family. Sometimes, a woman is on the fence and it is my job to figure out what is in her way and if her decision is based in reality or fear of not being up to the challenge.
This fear of not having what it takes is something I’ve heard no fewer than 200 times when engaging in conversations with women thinking about joining our Threads team. I get it. I really do. I think about how many times I’ve been stopped from trying something new because I was worried I wouldn’t do a good job.
I think back on my freshman year of college. I was accepted into a school that was a reach for me academically. I entered my freshman year with the idea that I wasn’t up to the task. I (somewhat consciously, somewhat unconsciously) started sabotaging myself. I didn’t study the way I needed to, or talk to the professors, or engage in any groups to enhance my learning. I decided that if I didn’t really try, it wouldn’t be as painful to fail. I finished the semester with a 1.8 GPA and returned home for break talking to my parents about transferring to a school where I would belong.
My dad pulled me aside and showed me his college transcripts. They were dismal. MY dad, a well-respected attorney and one of the smartest people I know, had bombed his college classes. How is that even possible? He told me about where his mental space was at the time and it sounded oh so familiar. He had received a basketball scholarship and felt inferior academically. It wasn’t until after college that he gained confidence in his intellect and abilities. He regrets not believing in himself in college and he didn’t want to see me make the same mistake.
I came back to school with a new perspective and finished my 2nd semester with a 3.9 GPA. If my father had not intervened, I would have transferred and eternally known myself as a person who “failed” to measure up. I would have taken this “knowing” forward with me to whatever opportunity was coming next.
I’ve been wondering lately how much impact, enjoyment, and fulfillment have been thwarted because we worry more about ‘not being good enough’ than we do about pursuing our passions and making our dreams come true. What if all of the women who chose not to pursue something because they were not 100% qualified and ready had decided to take the plunge instead? My assumption is that many would have found success (success being defined in a million different ways) and, even the ones that perceived their efforts as failures, would have grown, evolved, and most likely created some change in the world.