FROM THE ARCHIVES: Get Out Of Your Own Way
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Have you ever had those moments when your thoughts unexpectedly go from a slow, Sunday-driver pace to an absurd, Fast and Furious velocity? This, of course, often happens to me just as I’m peacefully drifting off to sleep.
The most recent time my mind-engine revved was a couple days ago on International Women’s Day, which, to my chagrin, I just found out was a thing. The Google Doodle for the occasion showed women of various cultures and backgrounds finishing the sentence “One day I will…” with their career and life ambitions, and it made me feel inspired and proud, yet simultaneously panicked. After watching the Doodle, the souped-up hot rod in my brain—a Lamborghini, obvi—skipped the first several gears and squealed out of the driveway.
What is my "one day I will" dream? Why don’t I know all of these languages? What if I’ve missed an opportunity—or several— to really pursue my dreams? Am I living up to my potential as a human and a woman? Am I even adulting/womaning correctly?!
Although I’m constantly speeding farther and farther past that getting-to-know-yourself-in-the-real-world first year after college, I still have to come to terms with my insecurities on the reg and remind myself that I’m the only one in my way. I’d love to blame anything and everyone else, but alas, ‘tis my doing.
For instance, by some stroke of luck, I recently landed a gig as a public relations intern at a local creative agency. Although I’m currently holding down two part-time jobs and I have to dash from one to the other right around lunchtime, scarfing down food and switching the mental dial over to the proper channel mid-drive, I’m extremely grateful for the career opportunity. It’s thrilling to perform a job that points you more directly—however slight the degree— towards where you want to go.
But, before I delve too much, let me downshift and tell you a story that only became funny to me, like, 20 seconds ago.
Sometime late last year, a friend of a friend told me that there was a job opening at this small ad agency, and she thought I should apply for it. It was for a copywriting position, something she knew I was looking for and that I knew I needed with every fiber of my being.
I did all the research I possibly could into the company: stalking all of their social media, combing their blogs, taking notes regarding each of the clients and services they had posted about on their site, and reading each of the employee’s “about me” blurbs. I ecstatically polished my résumé, wrote half of the cover letter… aaand then had a mini freak-out and scrapped the entire thing.
Yeah, WTAF? I(still)DK, y’all.
Despite the fact that I had been nerve-rackingly unsure if my lack of experience would hinder me, in retrospect, I should have trusted my instincts and abilities and allowed myself to try for the job.
I was the only person standing in my way, because (go figure!) the copywriting position at the agency my friend had recommended to me (you guessed it) was the same agency at which I’m now working. And during the interview, they complimented my copywriting skills.
Well, shit. *FACEPALM*
Let this be a lesson to you in retrospect: don’t sell yourself short. Sell yourself tall—like, approximately 8’ tall. If there’s something nagging at you, something you know you need to or should do, don’t waste anymore time. Don’t dance around timidly like a squirrel deciding whether or not to cross the street. Get out of your head. Get out of your own way.
Get to it.
[This post was originally published on March 13, 2016.]