In 2009, Did you Seek Out the Scary Challenges?

 Woman-at-chalkboard-s One thing I have noticed about the successful women I interviewed for my book "Beyond the Boys' Club" was how many of them have not only accepted tough assignments, but actually sought them out. It's the extreme version of "feel the fear and do it anyway" but if you are intimidated by a certain task – public speaking, accounting, presenting to clients, running a marathon that is a great indication what you would gain by surmounting the challenge. I grew up thinking I was not good at maths. I needed special tutorials and my mum would frequently say ( as a means of reassuring me, I know) that "we Doyle's are just not cut out for maths". I believed it… and I avoided maths for years. When I got to design my thesis project at the University of Cambridge, I was given the option of collecting my data qualitatively or quantitatively. The martyr in me chose the quantitative route and used statistical analysis. Whilst I had moments of thinking "what did I get myself in to?" when trying to get my head around ANOVA'ss and regression analysis, the feeling of achievement and confidence that came with having my thesis accepted – statistics and all, was one of the highlights of my career. What challenge are you avoiding? What would you get if you took it on? If you are thinking about what you would like to take on in the new year, being part of the "Beyond the Boys' Club Boot Camp" that I am running starting January 8 may be just the incentive you need to seek out the challenges that will mean the most to you in 2010.    

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