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T2P29 – Back Yourself

Monday Motivation! We are into December 2021, this year has been as quick as the Stealth rollercoaster at Thorpe Park. Last month really flew by, with the focus of it for me building and sharing my understanding of Emotional Intelligence. Today I’ll be writing on backing ourselves, because who better to gamble on than No1! This last week we learnt there’s a new CEO in Silicon Valley, following Jack Dorsey’s resignation, Parag Agrawal is taking over as the company’s CEO. Parag started as an engineer at Twitter in 2011 and 10 years later he is now CEO, a remarkable elevation through the ranks, and something I admire. Parag’s role as CEO sees him join CEOs of Indian descent in Silicon Valley, they account for 6% of the workforce in Silicon Valley. Also, despite heading into 2022, it appears that the Covid restrictions won’t be left in 2021, with Nigeria now joining 10 other African countries on the UK’s travel red list, so be wary of any trips to the African continent for the foreseeable future as the cost and inconvenience of a trip is now higher than the increased travel prices at this time of year.

What does it mean to back yourself? Well as if defining Emotional intelligence wasn’t hard enough. To me, backing yourself is to put yourself in a position by way of volunteering or stepping up, where a result isn’t guaranteed. For example: it’s being in the gym and going on to lift a heavier weight from what had previously been your personal best. It doesn’t need to be the incremental increase of 2kg, you can push it further to another 4/6kg heavier, it’s up to you. Before that though, I’m not trying to encourage recklessness, backing yourself in the unknown doesn’t need to be without thought or consideration. In the gym if you want to increase what you’re lifting especially with certain exercises, get someone to spot you! Whilst spotting is mainly referred to when we’re working out the principle of it is applicable in most aspects of life. Now another scenario which everyone is familiar with is ‘shooting our shot’ whether that be starting the conversation or ‘progressing’ it. A spot in this situation could be one of our friends in acting as hype person or someone who can help review the message before sending. There’s value in having another set of eye’s sense check your message outside of emails.

What prompted today’s topic was last week I got confirmation of a promotion. How that fits with the blog is that prior to going for this promoted role, albeit from a good place it was advised that I don’t go for it, and whilst that was a opinion I did understand it was still at odds with what I thought, which was that I should go for it. Backing yourself implies that No1’s opinion matters most after all, that said I got people to ‘spot’ me. I drafted my application responses and tailored it to the job description accordingly, but before sending it off I had friends who are good at sifting applications review it. This led to really constructive comments and tips which enhanced my application, once my interview was confirmed I followed a similar process. This time rather than have them review my application responses, I set up a mock interview where we were able to go over possible interview responses and trim out what was not effectively showing my suitability to the role. We know the rest, too often can we let ourselves be swayed, but times are changing, fast, so that means what worked for people a few years ago is not a sure-fire method today. So if/when you’ve made a career plan, and it seems stretching, it should be! If you’re concerned about applying for a role because you only tick 7/10 boxes, there are others confidently applying who tick 4/10 and some of them are succeeding and going on to learn and excel at the remaining 6/10, so please back yourself.

Life is not waiting on you, 2022 is breathing down our necks and waiting for the stars to align for the right moment is not going to work out enough to justify not backing yourself like you could be.

  • What are you waiting for?

  • Is there a role you’re eyeing up

  • Is there a passion you’ve been wanting to pursue

  • Is there a shot to shoot?

One thing I love about top athletes is that they back themselves, sometimes I can’t stand Zlatan Ibrahimović, but he is someone who personifies it, so that part of him I respect a lot. Even Parag Agrawal, he did not become Twitter’s CEO without backing himself, a change in mentality can take us beyond. In the short video above Simon Sinek accentuates the power of affirmative language, check it out. One last question - for 2022 are you going all in on yourself?

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