Do you ever look at successful co-workers, friends, and leaders in your company or industry and wonder, “What is their secret?” Do you think that they know something that you don’t know? Well, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. They said yes.
At some point in their career, they took a step out of their comfort zone. They pushed themselves to raise their hand, ask for an introduction, or simply showed up. It didn’t take a giant quantum leap or a massive stroke of luck. They got started, took action, and kept moving. One simple three-letter word changed their lives.
Remember, Physics 101. The law of static friction. The coefficient of static friction – our measure of how hard it is to get something moving from rest – is greater than the coefficient of kinetic friction. In other words: It takes a lot of energy to get something going. In our careers, that static friction might be our doubts, our insecurities, or any of the other beliefs that hold us back. For me, it was low confidence in my tech abilities, coupled with a fear of the unknown.
There is another way to think about it. By not taking action, you are still taking action. Everything has a consequence. You are deciding to stay stuck in your job, not getting recognized, and not moving forward.
The good news is that the law of static friction is on our side. Once you get something started, it is much easier to keep it moving.
Good. You are nodding your head and agree with what I just said. But you are thinking. That makes sense for her. But it is too hard for me. Don’t walk away because you feel like you can’t do it. Remember, you have physics and me on your side. I created the DevelopHer Membership to help women in tech get ahead, build their value, and advocate for themselves.
Now, I’m not asking you to start training for a marathon (although if you want to,
that’s great). I’m suggesting that you set micro-goals. Do something small every day. I promise you it will yield great results.
Let me give you some examples from my life:
- When I started over in tech, I only got one YES. It was a single job opportunity that I have turned into an incredible career.
- When I attended my first hackathon, I got in my car, drove to the hackathon, opened the door, and participated. Fast forward. Within two years, I had won major international hackathons and was 1 of 100 tech innovators worldwide invited to attend the UK G8 Innovation Summit.
- When I committed to losing weight, it started with one walk around the block. That turned into running around the block and tracking what I ate. Now I am a distance runner, and I have lost and kept off 65 pounds.
Saying yes changed my life. Now it’s your turn. Think about your goals. What do you want to achieve? What is one small step you can take? What are you going to say “yes” to?
- Go to a virtual networking event. Agree to attend, go to the event, and say hello to one person you don’t know.
- Build your network. Follow someone on LinkedIn, and reach out to an old peer.
- Grow your skills. Think about what skills are in demand in your industry. Ask the HR folks what skills your company needs. Find a course to help you learn more about it.
Stop wishing and start doing. Say yes today. It will change your life.