The Art Of Making Excuses: How To Say “NO” To Fear
I’ve been talking to people. Okay, I just realized that’s a weird way of starting a blog post. Let me rephrase: I love talking to people. I’m a very social person. Thus, the idea for this post came from someone I talked to. The conversation really sparked my interest, so I went on to talk to several others about this and ended up with some conclusions and even advice. Here it goes!
I’m going to talk about fear, opportunities, experience, passion… things we embark upon in our everyday lives. Let me start with the 3 top statements I got from people in these conversations:
- “I would love to be able to do that, but I have no experience so no one would ever hire me to work in that area”
- I love doing that, but I have no option to gain experience in it, so that someone can hire me. No one will give me a chance without experience”
- “What’s the point in trying something new when I’m fine with doing what I do now. I don’t love it, but it’s okay, you can’t have everything anyway, right?”*
And, ladies and gentlemen – NO! N-O. Simply no! You can’t think like that! That’s right, now I’m telling you what to think and what not to think – the nerve I have! But maybe you should keep reading just a while longer. To prove to you why you shouldn’t think like that I’ll use part of my personal story as motivation. And if it doesn’t motivate you – let me know and I’ll use someone else’s story 😀
For those who don’t know, I spent 4 years of my life studying economics before realizing I’m not at all interested in that.
I mean, obviously economics is a broad term but what we studied in my university in Bulgaria – definitely not for me. Not that the teachers made the effort to make it interesting for any of us, apart from 2 of them who I really admire.
One actually got me all interested in offshore business, but that’s definitely a topic for another day (or never). My point – 90% of what i studied was boring for me and I started to understand why some people take time off after high school to “find themselves” – the biggest cliche in the world, but it really does mean something if you think about it.
By my 4th year I figured out what I’m interested in is the creative industry – branding, design, communications. I’ve always had an interest in entrepreneurship as well, and even though my bachelor focused a lot on business… it didn’t at all focus on the creative part of it, and since I’m a creative person, that really didn’t do me any good. All the dry theory, terms and books I had to memorize failed to motivate me to study, however it did succeed in motivating me to search for something else.
So, there’s that.
To me, it seems like most of the teachers there have the same attitude towards the students: “I’m bored out of my mind but I’m still gonna make you write down what I say until you graduate and are on the way to unemployment, then we can both be miserable”. Thank God one of my friends is now a PhD student and is going to be one of those who change the ways things are done there.
Anyway… at one point I got to thinking what I can do about all of this, because I was obviously faced with 2 choices after finishing my not-for-me bachelor degree.
- Graduate and find an equally boring job with the usual low salary (what usually happens)
- Find a way to do what I want.
Of course, I did the second thing and long story very short, after a lot of challenges and problems, I ended up in my dream master degree in Denmark, focused on brand management, communications and creativity.
But, as we all know, 2 years of studying rarely leads to a good job, let alone the job you dream about. Small clarification: my dream job is actually to work for myself, but for the sake of this blog post I’m going to discuss something else 🙂 I knew I had to do something else rather than just go to lectures and pass exams… so I joined AIESEC.
Y’all got Google, check it out there, I’m not here to sell AIESEC to you. (Or am I? *evil*)
That’s where everything started for me – I became a team leader immediately after I joined, meaning that someone actually trusted me, me with a team and a project to take care of. It’s safe to say I made a lot of mistakes, but I also learned from them, because I knew this was my first step towards building a future for myself.
1,5 years later I’m a team leader for the 5th time, in another organization AND in AIESEC and I know that’s something I’m good at. I’m known for never missing amazing opportunities and that’s why I always find myself divided in 566,7 parts and never having any free time, but I love it.
I worked extremely hard to get here and I’m just starting – there’s still a long way to go.
What I’m trying to say here goes mostly to the people who claim they cannot gain experience anywhere and, therefore, cannot get their dream job. Bullshit.
You know that’s bullshit, right? If I could, you can.
If you’re still a student – hello, ever heard of ESN? AIESEC? (please say no, after I just talked about it) The countless others you probably have on campus? Go and talk to them! Join and start working and building up those skills you want. Wanna know what I got out of being an AIESEC-er for 1,5 years so far?
I got experience in branding, communications, stakeholder relations, digital marketing, design, event management, project management, leading multiple teams, social media (which I now do professionally), proofreading, PR… I’m getting tired of just writing all of those. Crazy right?
All of this in such a short time. But yes, it’s more than possible and it’s a big part of the reason why I got hired for my current job. It’s also how a lot of other companies and organizations noticed me and hired me for individual projects.
And now for the people who think their lack of experience will prevent anyone from giving them a chance – think again.
There are plenty of organizations out there who will, but not if you don’t go and try. Taking the first step forward is hard, but after you do, it becomes much easier, because you know what you want. Fear is a very strong motivator, but also a strong reason not to try, and I know that. I still feel it but this is how much I care about it:
It doesn’t stop me from going forward and making big steps. Give yourself the chance to try and fail and also to succeed. Which leads me to the third group of people – those who feel “fine” with doing what they do and who feel like they can never have everything.
Yes, you can, guys!
But first – decide if you want it or not. If you don’t, then that’s okay. But can you honestly say you’re fine with doing something you don’t love? Don’t you want to experience that feeling of waking up in the morning eager to go to work? YES, some people do have that, and it’s truly awesome!
This post sounds like I copied it from some wanna-be motivational speaker, doesn’t it? Don’t answer that! I hope you got my point, which was that if you doubt yourself too much and you never take a leap forward – nothing will happen. You will probably end up filled with regrets, broken dreams, desperation and many other negative things which I’m too tired to think of (just got back from the gym).
If I had to put the “right” mindset into one sentence, it would be: JUST DO IT! Omg, you guys, I’m just kidding. It would be: “Move forward”. Something I never share with people is how hard it was for me when I came to Denmark. For 5 months I was broke, jobless and quite depressed and the only thing that kept me going was the fact that I was doing something for myself. There’s something unique about doing something that’s not motivated by a monthly pay check. I was motivated because I wanted to do good and at the same time gain experience and skills, and I got all of it. I say: go for it and do the same, if you want it! If you don’t, and you think I’m completely off base… then why the fuck did you spend time reading all this? 😀
And with this I wish you good luck! Good luck if you decide to follow my advice and good luck if you don’t. In both cases, you’ll probably need it! Unless you don’t believe in luck. Then imagine I said something else motivating that changed your life and made you see what an awesome person you are.