Stepping Out On A Limb


When is the last time you took a risk or raised your hand?

Pretty much every time I raise my hand in a crowd, I feel like I’m in my final leap of a long jump competition at the Olympic Games. I can have a conversation with almost anyone and yet, if I’m not comfortable in the room, I feel like I’m stepping into the complete unknown, my voice shakes a bit, my heart races, and if it weren’t for my chocolatey brown skin, my entire face would turn flush. My worst nightmare is asking a question in a Q & A setting but I have no problem being the moderator. A perfect blend of introvert with extrovert tendencies.

If you’re going to be a self starter, sometimes you have to be the one to step out on the limb and raise your hand. In the best of times, it has proven itself to be deeply rewarding. I caught the attention of the right people and we either moved forward or used my input for a “yes, and..” on a new plan.

But it’s stepping out on a limb is hard. It can be especially intimidating as a woman. So I’m wondering, when is the last time you stepped out on a limb or took a risk to provide input in a professional setting? What was it like? Tell us all of the things.

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  • In a male-dominated profession, I am often the only female at the table. It is sometimes difficult taking that first step, especially when your experience does not hold a candle to others in the room. I often find myself starting on the defense when asking a question or giving an idea. Just last week I started my question with "I have a dumb question…", and everyone in the room looked at me and someone goes, "Did you mean that we were all dumb for not thinking of this, this is a great idea." At that moment I realized that I don’t always have to preface my questions – maybe it is safe to stick my head out every once and a while and just ask the question or state the opinion.

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When is the last time you took a risk or raised your hand?

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