Saturday, 14 August 2010

Me and my aspirations laid bare

To some of you this might come as a bit of a surprise, or perhaps it's pretty obvious to most already but I have spent most of my adult life battling to overcome a sometimes cripplingly low self confidence. When it's come to taking opportunities to progress I have mostly relied on being in the right place at the right time and/or the encouragement of others to make me go for it. My natural inclination is to wait for someone to tell me that I stand a good chance of succeeding or to let the opportunity pass by ... usually because I feel that I'm not ready, or I don't have time to put together a decent application, or that I wouldn't deliver if I did get through, or whatever other paper-thin excuses that my monkey mind has dreamt up. All too often I've taken myself out of the running rather than risk failure or rejection.

The reason I'm telling you this is that I want something big and I want to ask for your help to make me brave enough to go for it ... This seems like an utterly ludicrous thing to be typing but I'd like to apply for a place on the TED Fellowship scheme ... madness, total lunatic madness right? As soon as the little hopeful voice inside me thought 'ooh, that would be *amazing* ... I wonder if I could apply' it was swamped by a tidal wave of self-doubt rushing in the other direction. That wave of self-doubt boils down to me struggling to see what I've done that is remarkable enough to justify putting in an application ... basically a huge big, resounding, tuneless chorus of 'I'm not worthy'.

So here's how you might be able to help ... if you can think of anything that I've done that seems remarkable to you or has inspired you in any way then please leave a comment below (or send me an email if you'd rather not do it publically). If you are kind enough to share your thoughts with me then I'll happily and gratefully reward you with a doodle in return ... that's not meant as an inducement or a bribe, I just know how much effort it takes to put time aside to do stuff like this.

My gut feeling is that I should wait another year (or two or three) until I have done something bold and outstanding but maybe you see things differently? All views welcome but be gentle if it's a 'don't be so flaming daft' comment :)


Simon said...

Are you serious? Can I think of anything that you've done that seems remarkable to me or has inspired me in any way?

Everything I see in my stream that comes from you meets those criteria. Everything.

You've been trying to convince me of your lack of awesomeness from day 1 and you've not managed it yet. So to be fair, you're rubbish at that, but you're awesome at everything else. Go forth and be amazing...

Tracey Madden said...

Helen, you have been and are quite inspirational and motivating. I wouldn't have started going to the girlgeek events without you because I would have found it too overwhelming. Through them I learnt of an event that was looking for speakers... and I applied. Never mind if I am chosen or not, I wouldn't have even considered it without you.

Many people move through life creating an unhelpful wake, you are creating a slipstream helping others to progress; that is quite special.

I also think of you as fearless so, though you think you are not 'brave enough to go for it', go for it anyway! If nothing else for everyone who will be inspired by your doing so and go on to do amazing things themselves.

Helen Harrop said...

Dear Simon and Tracey,

A thank you does not really come anywhere close to how touched I am that you took the time and effort to do this. I will wear your words wrapped around my shoulders like a cape of invincibility.

Tracey ... wow! well done on applying to be a speaker :) public speaking is terrifying in the best possible way and I hope they choose you to speak. If I can help at all then give me a yell :)

Humbly and gratefully yours,

Helen x