We all have habits we’re not proud of. Myself, I have a very nasty habit of talking myself out of great life and career opportunities. There have been numerous times where I’ve seen or experienced an excellent opportunity being presented to me. And I have already begun to picture my life after the opportunity but somehow the application emails never get sent or the acceptance emails never get answered.

Take today, for example, I don’t go places alone usually (I think I am afraid of what will happen if this becomes a habit) but today I had to go downtown for a meeting. I was conjuring up every excuse to drag my sister with me like what if I get lost: you have a GPS, what if I can’t find parking: put the address of the parking lot in, I won’t be too long: I have homework. In the back of mind, I have always pictured myself taking on the world alone but I have to get over the fact that clinging to my sister or anyone else only pushes me away from becoming the woman I am working to be. So I ended up going alone (bear in mind, this is a huge deal for me). When I got to the meeting, there was a discussion going on about different roles and when it came to my role I began to get a bit overwhelmed. I kept thinking of the resignation email I was going to write when I got home after the meeting. Success has terrified me of wanting to do hard work because I am scared of what will happen once I do it: I want these opportunities but I am afraid I am going to fail along the way and throw in the towel- so isn’t it easier to just be scared to succeed to begin with?

Another recent time that made me doubt myself was when I was offered an opportunity to step up my role in the business venture I am currently a part of. I was offered two roles: one that I have all the tools and knowledge for and one that I have all the tools and knowledge for plus a little bit of extra knowledge. Which one did I take? Still deciding. You see, I know I’ll be able to do the first role really well and I am confident in saying that. The second one, I know I’ll be excellent at it as well it’s just that it will require some help and patience from others. I am doing everything to convince myself that I am not ready for the second role simply because I do not want to fail. Needless to say, I am my own worst nightmare sometimes.

Every time I go to apply for a career, the only person telling me I can’t do the job before even applying for it is myself. I like to convince myself that there is a better woman out there for the job when the best woman is myself. I have the experience and the degree to prove it. It’s about time the world stops telling me what my degree isn’t going to do for me. Instead, I need to start telling them what I am going to do with my degree. I am trying every day, to no longer be intimidated by the success of other women and I shouldn’t be, this isn’t a natural competition, this is me pinning my insecurities against successes that have nothing to do with me. Going forward, I am going to see other successful women as inspiration instead of competition. I have realized that I am afraid of success because I am more afraid of failing but I am going to have to fail more to become the women I want to be. This means taking risks, saying yes more than no, “how” instead of “why,” and “I can” instead of “I shouldn’t.” If these don’t result in immediate successes then I am doing something right. After all, a roller coaster reaches its destination faster because it goes through all its ups and downs.