“Well-behaved women seldom make history.” —Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
This quote is posted on my inspiration board above my desk to remind me that sometimes is you need to be a little bad assed in business. Sometimes you need to stretch the rules just a little, push the boundaries or do something no one else would dare to do.
Don’t think of this as permission to go and do wrong things – that’s not what I mean at all. Think of it as permission to do what makes you feel uncomfortable, what the wallflower in you wouldn’t normally do, what you know you have to do to get that one little break.
Perhaps it’s boldly walking up to that editor who has a say in whether or not you get a book deal, perhaps it’s asking that really big client to trust that you are the best choice and to sign on the dotted line today or perhaps it’s forging a strategic alliance with a company that is way out of your league.
Wallflowers would shrink at doing such a thing. That’s why you need to embrace your inner bad ass. The you who doesn’t shy away from challenge, the you who can bullshit her way into a meeting that perhaps she doesn’t belong in, the you who gets that break because she pushed for it.
How to Embrace Your Inner Bad Ass When You Feel Like a Wallflower
It’s easier to stay comfortably cozied up to the wall where it’s safe and predictable. Stretching the rules, pushing the boundaries or doing something bold and daring is scary. That’s when you need to embrace your inner bad ass.
Let go of the results. The results don’t matter! It’s business – you are going to hear “No!”, you are going to run into roadblocks, you are going to experience failures. Often what holds us back is getting overly concerned about the possibility of a negative result that we are unwilling to take even the smallest step.
Try role-playing the scenario as someone else. Ask yourself how a friend would handle the situation and play that role. Sometimes it’s easier to imagine yourself as someone else because you can role-play doing something you aren’t comfortable doing. You aren’t being you asking for that big sale – you are being your friend who does this kind of stuff all the time.
Dare yourself to do it anyway. Close your eyes and do it – even if it scares you. Chances are it usually isn’t as bad as you thought and even if it was THAT BAD, it’s over before you know it. So what if the fancy-shmancy editor thought you were annoying. Success comes to those who wouldn’t give up (whether or not their persistence was annoying to others).
So what is the bold, daring, bad ass you going to do today?