by: Minda Harts, Founder, The Memo
When was the last time you had to do something that required you to step outside of your comfort zone? Not in a “Should I switch to Doordash instead of Seamless?” type of way.* Instead, I'm talking about a situation that made you get on a group chat and get some feedback, or the type of decision-making that kept you up all night. What excuse did you give yourself that kept you from actually taking that leap?
Once, I stayed in a job a year too long, because I feared that I might not find something else. I leaned into that horrible narrative called “make it work.” While I was trying to “make it work” at a place that clearly wasn’t right for me, I was miserable and scared. But -- what would it have looked like if I pushed past my fears of not being able to find something else, advocated for myself, or quit? I told myself then that I didn’t have any options, but in reality, I had a few. I was not in a position to quit, but I definitely could have looked for something else or advocated for myself--even if I was scared. Sometimes we have to take risks while being scared. In order to see what is on the other side of fear--it will require us to do it scared!
I know it’s not popular to encourage being scared. Especially when our culture tells us, like the 2003 rap song by Bone Crusher, ”I ain’t neva scared,” and not all of us are able to take that leap at the drop of a dime. For some of us it will take a little longer to flex that muscle. The lovely thing about life is that it doesn’t require us to have a one-size-fits-all approach to how and when to do it, but it does require us to take a few risks along the way.
Even though I stayed in that situation longer than I should have--I finally took the risk. I eventually went to our senior manager and had a conversation about the inequalities that were greeting me every morning at 9 am. Walking into her office was uncomfortable. If there was a Harlem shaking contest in her office, I might have won the prize because I was that scared. About 15 minutes later though, I was walking out of her office knowing that I did the right thing for me. I ended up giving my two week notice. If I hadn’t gone into her office to advocate and bet on my sanity and worth, I wouldn’t be writing this Monday Memo to you. I would still be sitting in that cube, trying to “make it work.”
What will you do this week that will turn your fears into your greatest strength yet? #yougotthis
*Albeit I am more of a Grubhub kind of girl.