Remember to Dare Greatly

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Posted November 29, 2013 by Sarah Jarvis in On the Ladder
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Last week, I found myself in an awkward position with a coordinator who oversees part of my responsibilities in my current internship. Long story short – this person assigned me too many projects to complete given the constraints of my schedule. When I inevitably failed to meet a particular deadline, my coordinator informed me multi-tasking is a part of public relations, and it is a skill I need to learn how to do.

Given my introverted, over-analytical tendencies, I took my coordinator’s feedback as a personal failing rather than constructive criticism. As I reflect on this problem, the solution seems easy, if not obvious. All I had to do was let my coordinator know what I can finish in the amount of time I have. With regular updates on both ends, we could complete projects and meet deadlines together.

Eventually, this is the path I decided to take with my coordinator. Of course, I called my mom and had a minor breakdown first, then met with my supervisors to discuss a solution, but sometimes a girl’s gotta do what she’s gotta do.

What is the point of this lesson in conflict resolution? I bet more than a few of you can relate to my initial reaction to this problem – feeling embarrassed and shameful because you did not complete a task to the best of your ability and failed to meet someone else’s expectations. As women, we all take pride in our work, which means we put our hearts and souls into what we do because we love it.

Contrary to popular belief, no one is perfect, and no one can do it all, all of the time. Every now and then we make mistakes, and we have to take responsibility for it. However, making a mistake at work is not a personal failing. If we do not recognize when we stumble, how can we ever pick ourselves back up again?

  • Acknowledging when you mess up is not the same as admitting your flaws are true.
  • Acknowledging when you mess up is an opportunity to learn more about a project, about your coworkers and most importantly, about yourself.
  • Acknowledging when you mess up is not weak.
  • Acknowledging when you mess up shows strength and determination to get it right the next time around.

After I resolved the issue with my coordinator, my mom sent me a link to a TED Talk by Brené Brown titled Listening to Shame. In the lecture, Brown highlights a quote by Theodore Roosevelt about “daring greatly.” Remember this quote the next time you take a risk that does not work out as you planned.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

- Theodore Roosevelt


About the Author

Sarah Jarvis

Sarah Jarvis is a recent graduate of University of Wisconsin-Madison with a double major in Journalism focusing on Strategic Communication and Sociology. She currently lives in Los Angeles attending the University of Southern California to earn her masters in Communication Management. She also works at Career Girl Network as a Marketing and Communications Specialist and generates social media content on a weekly basis for Rescue Desk – Virtual Assistant Services, which is based in Madison, Wis. In her free time, Sarah enjoys spending time with family and friends as well as attending concerts and movies.

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