Be Bold, Dream Big, Take Risks

Emigrating to Canada as a young adult to pursue a dream of becoming a portfolio manager, finding great assets and making great investment decisions, was a bold move. I had never visited Canada, had no job lined up but only believed, and had a mindset that it was indeed possible to achieve this dream with grit, hard work, and passion. While it would have been much easier to remain in the UK with a strong support system, coming to Canada to further my career and embrace all the country had to offer was far more exciting.

Many talented women have developed a fear of failure, which has prevented them from stepping out of their comfort zone, taking an exciting opportunity in a new city or country, asking for a stretch assignment, being innovative and creative, or even speaking in public. This fear may have developed as a result of previous negative experiences, background, negative feedback given by others (bosses or those held in high esteem) in the past, or even the fact that they don’t know anyone who has achieved that particular goal.

Failure is not as fatal as we think, as long as we can rise up, learn from the experience, move on, and not remain discouraged. As Mike Jones of Discover Leadership Training puts it, “Winners lose more than losers lose.” It’s better to have failed while trying out a new idea or strategy you believe in than not to have tried.

I believe the fear of failure starts in the mind, as your thoughts precede your actions. In order to overcome this fear, visualizing the achievement of your goals or dreams in your mind, writing them down and reading them aloud from time to time, learning from others in similar positions you would like to attain, seeking out other leaders who can be honest about their failures—and how they overcame them—would be beneficial.

As I reflect on my own journey and the blessing of doing what I have always dreamed of doing, I continue to mentor and encourage many young women and men inside and outside my organization to be bold, to dream big, to take risks, and to not let the fear of failure prevent them from achieving career success.