Trust Yourself and Say Yes to the Curves in Your Career

In a business world still dominated by men, it’s no secret that women often have extra hurdles to overcome. Some of these hurdles are real, others are perceived; women tend to second guess or shortchange their qualifications, rather than pursue new professional opportunities with confidence.

The times when I’ve learned the most have always started with a difficult challenge or uncharted territory. Early in my career, I left a position as an auditor to focus on health care. Though I had no direct industry experience, I felt an intense desire to help people navigate a complicated and sometimes daunting industry. Instead of being hindered by my fear of the unknown, I allowed my passion and curiosity to lead me. It’s difficult to take risks when there’s a possibility of falling short, or failing completely, but I knew that I couldn’t grow if I stood still.

The diversity of my roles throughout my career is what has allowed me to grow as a health care leader. I am a strong believer in being proactive and raising one’s hand for new opportunities when they arise. I also believe that being pushed out of your comfort zone is the fastest way to grow. Anything new brings uncertainty, but embracing risk and being open to the unfamiliar are essential for any woman with ambition and an appetite for progress.

To overcome fear of failure, be willing to take chances; say yes to stretch roles that provide productive discomfort and allow you to evolve your skill set. If fear threatens to paralyze you, talk to a mentor or trusted advisor who can help you navigate your way through it.

Like life itself, careers rarely run a linear, logical course. Embrace the curves or detours in your career, and trust yourself and your ability to achieve.