When I work with women who want to transition out of their successful careers into self-employment, there's a common theme that I often hear: I’ve done the most, yet I feel like I’m not enough.
Despite all of the external evidence of their badassery and despite having checked all of the boxes, their voices shake when they think about flying solo and common doubts and fears persist...
Can I make it?
Am I expert enough?
Will I still be able to pay off my student loans?
What if I fail?
Here are two things I want them (and you) to know.
It’s perfectly normal to feel this dichotomy. Indeed, it’s a thing (hey, Imposter Complex). I can’t tell you the resistance or the fears will die down, but I can say that with practice you can get better at doing things while you're scared.
In spite of these valid fears, I want you to rest in this gentle reminder: YOU. DID. THAT.
Lay down the striving for one second and look around to see what you've built.
You’ve walked across several graduation stages. Your magic has spun promotions and job opportunities where they didn’t exist. You’ve paid down (at least some) of your student loans. And you’ve stayed grounded and generous helping other women all along the way.
You did that.
Now, you may not be entirely happy with where you are now, and that’s OK. But don’t discount the strength, wisdom, and expertise that you’ve accrued on your path just because you climbed a ladder that was up against the wrong wall. You have permission to want more. You have permission to want less. You have permission to evolve.
And you are more equipped to thrive on your own because of how you’ve shown up for others. You’ve treated your work with excellence, care and attention as if you were the boss. And that’s because you are a BOSS.
Accept it. Appreciate it. Applaud it. And know that with the right skills, mentorship and community of other sisters on the same path, you can build something for yourself.
But for now, take a pause. Reflect on all that you’ve done, and say, yeah, I did that.
About the Author
Titilayo Tinubu Ali is founder of Own Your Expertise, a training company that helps women turn their 9-to-5 knowledge and experience into consulting opportunities.
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