Finding Fearless

Growing up between two brothers and all close family friends having sons, I was fearless.  I had the mindset that I could do anything that they could.  I could ride my big wheel down the steep hill and jump the ramp just like the boys.  I could throw, shoot, and hit a ball just like them – or even better.  This mindset carried me through my college years.  I could do anything!

After graduating college and starting my career, I was ready to conquer the world.  With only two years of experience working on accounting teams in Atlanta, I moved Dallas to work in the technology industry.  Little did I know that I would be the first female at my company not in an administrative role.  Through the years I have noticed that doubt had started to creep into my mindset and was chipping away at my confidence as I saw men advancing faster and receiving the high-profile projects.

When I did receive a promotion, I felt undeserving and afraid that one mistake would show that I was not the right person for the job.  I had a mindset that I had to be flawless and make everything look effortless.  I worried what people would think of me if I took a misstep.  I was afraid I was not good enough. Suddenly that fearless girl was nowhere to be found.

I would later learn that I was suffering from imposter syndrome.  Imposter syndrome is a belief that you are inadequate and incompetent, despite evidence that indicates you are skilled and quite successful. Since I saw the men in my company advancing faster, I thought I was failing.  My imposter syndrome had me underestimating my experience and expertise and not realizing that everyone makes mistakes.

Like many people in the technology space, I lost my position after 20 years of service due to an acquisition.  To start over is a humbling experience.  At first, the imposter syndrome came back with vengeance.  I had to squash the negative self-thinking.  I had to replace “I am not qualified” with “they recruited me.”  I have 20 years of experience and expertise in enterprise software, starting as a customer and working my way through support, professional services, and the cloud. I had a lot to offer and deserved the position I had secured!

Worrying about making mistakes and what others would say kept trying to haunt me.  I had to remind myself that everyone makes mistakes, including me and those around me.  It is what I learn from those mistakes and how I move forward from them that is important.

I decided to share my story to help others realize that if you have that same voice in your head telling you that you’re not worthy, don’t listen!  I also want to thank JDA for the opportunity to be relentless in the next phase of my career.  I leave you with one of my favorite quotes from legendary college basketball coach John Wooden: “If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.”

I am enough.

  1 Comment   Comment

  1. Judy Baeza

    Excellent self reflection that you bravely share with others. As a mature female, I can relate personally and I believe my daughters also have similar self doubts that haunt the next generation. Amazing that our inner voice can silence these fears that creep up on us. We all make mistakes and what really matters is how we grow from those mistakes and the opportunity to learn from them.

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