Because I spend my entire life, feeling inadequate and going to bed each night wondering what I could have done to make it a better day while being a better person and Mother (I’m totally serious about this, btw), I was drawn to this segment which I caught on a news program…Brilliant Women, and 10 rules they should follow. I’m not brilliant, but am always striving to be (or hoping to be) and I do like to surround myself with brilliant people, so thought I’d take copious notes and decided to make this into a blog so I could share it with others. Especially those, like me, who are also looking for a little more brilliance in their life. And while I may not agree with 100% of the items here (and I’ve made some comments following each in bold), I always thing you can take something out of everything…to make it your own. And speaking of Brilliant…thank you to all my brilliant blog followers, we are now over 50,000 lifetime views…and our little lifetime is just over a year old!
Like many things that I read or share, I feel it you can just take one thing out of an article or blog, you are already ahead of the game!
10 Rules for Brilliant Women
Most of the time, they don’t know their brilliance. They are certain they “aren’t ready” to take on that next bigger role. They are more attuned to the ways they aren’t qualified than to the ways that they are. They are waiting for someone to validate, promote or discover them. Sound familiar?
It’s time to step up, brilliant women!
Here are ten principles for owning your brilliance and bringing it to the world:
1. Make a pact. No one else is going to build the life you want for you. No one else will even be able to completely understand it. The most amazing souls will show up to cheer you on along the way, but this is your game. Make a pact to be in it with yourself for the long haul, as your own supportive friend at every step along the way. (If you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right).
2. Imagine it. What does a knock-the-ball-out-of-the-park life look like for you? What is the career that seems so incredible you think it’s almost criminal to have it? What is the dream you don’t allow yourself to even consider because it seems too unrealistic, frivolous, or insane? Start envisioning it. That’s the beginning of having it. (My mother used to talk about “envision yourself sitting in the middle of the lake, thinking about what you want to do, and how you can achieve it…that was back in the 70′s and 80′s…she was clearly ahead of her time).
3. Gasp. Start doing things that make you gasp and get the adrenalin flowing. Ask yourself, “What’s the gasp-level action here?” Your fears and a tough inner critic will chatter in your head. That’s normal, and just fine. When you hear that repetitive, irrational, mean inner critic, name it for what it is, and remember, it’s just a fearful liar, trying to protect you from any real or seeming risks. Go for the gasps and learn how false your inner critic’s narrative really is, and how conquerable your fears. (I wish I read this before I was terrorized my mice. Just sayin’ )
4. Get a thick skin. If you take risks, sometimes you’ll get a standing ovation, and sometimes, people will throw tomatoes. Can you think of any leader or innovator whom you admire who doesn’t have enthusiastic fans and harsh critics? Get used to wins and losses, praise and pans, getting a call back and being ignored. Work on letting go of needing to be liked and needing to be universally known as “a nice person.” (Unfortunately, I will never develop a thick skin. I lose sleep, and countless hours worrying about what others think of me, or if I’ve done something to upset someone… I shall work on this in the future, but not sure I’m up to this challenge.)
5. Be an arrogant idiot. Of course I know you won’t, because you never could. But please, just be a little more of an arrogant idiot. You know those guys around the office who share their opinions without thinking, who rally everyone around their big, (often unformed) ideas? Be more like them. Even if just a bit. You can afford to move a few inches in that direction.(Hmmm…not so sure about this one either, as not sure I could pull off being “arrogant”, as I prefer to be “self-depricating”…but it would sure be nice if everyone’s opinions could be respected by others).
6. Question the voice that says “I’m not ready yet.” I know, I know. Because you are so brilliant and have such high standards, you see every way that you could be more qualified. You notice every part of your idea that is not perfected yet. While you are waiting to be ready, gathering more experience, sitting on your ideas, our friends referenced in rule five are being anointed industry visionaries, getting raises, and seeing their ideas come to life in the world. They are no more ready than you, and perhaps less. Jump in the sandbox now, and start playing full-out. Find out just how ready you are. (When I got my first CVB job, I was wildly Underqualified for that position…but persistence and determination payed off, and it started a career that I have loved everyday since..well, almost every day!)
7. Don’t wait for your Oscar. Don’t wait to be praised, anointed, or validated. Don’t wait for someone to give you permission to lead. Don’t wait for someone to invite you to share your voice. No one is going to discover you. (Well, actually, they will, but paradoxically, only after you’ve started boldly and consistently stepping into leadership, sharing your voice, and doing things that scare the hell out of you.) (Those who know me well, know I strongly dislike compliments (though am rather fond of fawning), and when someone gives me a compliment and I start disagreeing, they always say to learn to accept compliments. I agree, it’s important to like yourself, and be comfortable in your own skin).
8. Filter advice. Most brilliant women are humble and open to guidance. We want to gather feedback and advice. Fine, but recognize that some people won’t understand what you are up to (often because you are saying something new and ahead of your time). Some people will find you to be not their cup of tea. Some will feel threatened. Some people will want to do with your idea only what is interesting or helpful to them. So interpret feedback carefully. Test advice and evaluate the results, rather than following it wholesale. (I pick and choose advice given. Like this blog, and everything else in life I think you can always take a snippet of something someone is sharing, and find what works for you).
9. Recover and restore. If you start doing the things that make you gasp, doing what you don’t quite feel ready to do, and being more of an arrogant idiot, you are going to be stretching out of our comfort zone–a lot. Regularly do things that feel safe, cozy, and restorative. Vent to friends when you need to. Acknowledge the steps you’ve taken. Watch your tank to see how much risk-taking juice you have available to you. When it’s running low, stop, recover and restore. (I think I’ve taken more than my fair share of risk taking…someone told me that there may be a perception of me that everything has been handed to me, and I just stand around and fabulous things happen for me. I would like the record (or at least this blog) to reflect, this is truly Not the case…and I won’t blog about it in the future, as it would be really boring!).
10. Let other women know they are brilliant. Let them know what kind of brilliance you see, and why it’s so special. Call them into greater leadership and action. Let them know that they are ready. Watch out for that subtle, probably unconscious thought, “because I had to struggle and suffer on my way up…they should have to too.” Watch out for thinking this will “take” too much time – when the truth is it always has huge, often unexpected returns. (Again, while I don’t like receiving compliments, I love giving them…and love the idea of paying it forward).
And since I’ve been asked to do more blogs for men, I would like the record to reflect, I know lots of Brilliant Men…they just didn’t happen to have a news segment dedicated to Brilliant Men…But, they are out there, and you all know who you are, plus I grew up with most of you! I am doing my very best to feather in more male-oriented tidbits!
And I love this Urban Dictionary definition of Brilliant:
Waiter: “Are you ready to order?”
Customer: “err, yes…”
Three of my Facebook friends Taylor, Cathy and Maura, follow this page: Positive Outlooks…It’s a” pump you up, guarantees a smile, and make you feel so much better about yourself” motivational tool. Check it out: https://www.facebook.com/positiveoutlooks
I’m starting my weekend early, so Friday’s blog is being published today. May you all have a Brilliant Weekend!!