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Monday, December 7, 2009

Entitled to Boldness

I have been in my new job for less than 3 months and I already want a promotion. I know how that sounds. Crazy, right? A position opened last week and here I am, still on probation. I don’t have benefits and can’t accrue vacation time BUT I know I can do this job and excel. The problem is that I still love my current position and am just getting comfortable. So, in order to apply, I am going to have to sell myself and my idea for the position, which would change the way the job is currently done and how they planned to fill the position. In short, I want both jobs. In short, I want a new position created just for me. As I thought about how to present this to my supervisor and the executive director of the agency, I started to doubt myself and ask if I wanted to be that person who tried to upset the balance. What made me so special? Why would they create something for me? I am the new kid on the block. Should I even ask for such a thing? By the end of it, I had doubted myself into not even asking but then I decided not to run away from being bold. What’s the worst that could happen?

Being bold is not part of our DNA. It is something that is either encouraged or stifled by our parents, mentors, teachers, friends, and eventually by ourselves. Usually, at some point in our journey, we get to a point where we remain stagnant because we don’t want to ruffle feathers or we think that acting on our idea will paint us as a person who upsets the balance, asks for too much or thinks he or she is special. What we never ask is why those things have come to be categorized as unappealing? Why not be someone who upsets the balance. Civil rights, women’s suffrage, gay rights…none of that is part of the balance. It is when the balance is upset that we find progress as a society. Most people acknowledge that and admire those who fight for change.

Why don’t we do this in our own lives? We only have so much life to live. Why spend it going along with the status quo when it doesn’t make us happy. I say do your part to knock down the walls in your life. Want a promotion? Ask for it. Want more out of your relationships? Ask for it. Want more education? Go back to school. You may not know how things will work out or if the answer waiting for you on the other side of your question is “no.” At the end of the day, all you will know is that you tried. Live your life as free of regret as you possibly can. Upset the balance. You are entitled.

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