Do You Have a Bravery Deficiency?
This blog post is inspired by a TED talk.
Boys typically learn to talk late, crawl late, walk late... how do they end up running the world? (Sorry, Beyonce!)
From a very young age, we start shielding & over-protecting our girls… we don’t want them to take risks and experience the sting of failure.
Women gravitate towards careers and professions that we know we are going to be great in. Which is fine, but does it really lush us out of our comfort zone?
Most women are taught to avoid risk and failure.. We are taught to smile pretty, play it safe, to get straight As. We are taught to be complacent and not ask questions or inquire too deeply.
Boys are taught to play rough, swing high, climb to the top of the monkey bars head first.
By the time that men are adults (whether negotiating a raise or even asking someone on a date) they are habituated to take risk after risk, and rewarded for it.
People say in Silicon Valley, that no one even takes you seriously unless you have had 2 failed start ups. Fortune 500 companies pay huge bonuses to the teams who FAIL the most - because the more you fail, the higher the chance of succeeding!
In other words: we are raising our girls to be perfect and raising our boys to be BRAVE.
Some people worry about our federal deficit: but what we really have is a BRAVERY deficit.
We are not raising our girls to be brave and take risks.
A study found that with 5th grade, the girls who have a higher IQ were presented with the same challenging math problem as boys with lower IQs… they found that the girls who were smarter would just give up, and not even try (for fear of not getting it perfect) but boys on the other hand, took it as a challenge and doubled their effort. The girls routinely outperformed the boys in math & science, so it’s not a question of their ABILITY… it’s a question of their APPROACH to a challenge.
It doesn't just end in 5th grade: In another study, men will apply for a job if they only meet 60% of the qualifications. Women, however, will only apply if they meet 90-100% of the qualifications.
Women need more CONFIDENCE.
Women have been socialized to aspire to perfection and they are overly cautious. Even when we are ambitious, that socialization of perfection has caused us to take LESS risks in our careers for fear of failure. We need to socialize women to be BRAVE… not perfect.
Playing it safe, keeping your head down, and doing what your job requires is a pretty good way to stay employed... but it’s also a brilliant strategy for getting left behind while someone else becomes your boss.
The fact of the matter is this: playing it safe is actually much more dangerous than taking a chance.
Why are you wanting the perfect resume, the perfect credentials, the perfect exterior? Go after your dreams, and go after them NOW. Stop procrastinating. Stop waiting for the “right time” to do something.
”Some day” and “one day” are NOT real days…. but TODAY is a real day.
Go for it… what do you have to lose?
TAKE THE RISK. GO FOR IT. BE BRAVE.
Here’s some tips to help kick fear in the ass:
•Try to be brave for 30 Seconds
•Try guided meditation.
•Visualize (or literally go to) your "happy place"
•Give yourself some credit & brag on yourself!
•Pretend you're not afraid, even when you are scared shitless
•Accept the support & encouragement from your friends & family
•Get rid of your past baggage & blocks: TALK TO SOMEONE.
•Stop Comparing Your Behind-the-Scenes to everyone else’s Highlight Reels
•Develop mantras and affirmations that build you up and increase your self-confidence.
•Do one thing every day that scares you: MAGIC happens outside of your comfort zone
•Realize you can never be anyone else but YOU, and you are your biggest competition.
•Remember: you only have so many days to make your dreams come true.. the clock is ticking!
•Read uplifting books to help interrupt the negative inner dialogue that goes on in your mind... kick that little devils ass!
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