Wednesday, June 24, 2020

You're More Qualified Than You Think

An intersection occurred yesterday that I wanted to address. I finished the book "Hiding in the Bathroom: How to Get Out There When You'd Rather Stay Home," by Morra Aarons-Mele. While it's applicable to any introvert, it's mostly addressing women in business who aren't big on rubbing elbows and would rather do anything than try to court customers or other business people.

The other item was a post by a local podcaster, who has discovered that the female experts he contacts for his podcast tend to feel they're not qualified to speak on the subject and often refer him to someone else who they feel can speak more accurately on the issue (4 of the last 6). The majority of males invited accepted his invitation, and as far as I know, none of the ones who turned him down did so because they felt they weren't qualified.

This is reflected in the aforementioned book, and I've seen it myself when inviting women to speak for Pikes Peak Writers.

Women tend to diminish themselves and doubt their abilities, while men will put forward confidence even if they don't feel it. Basically, they embrace where they want to be in order to get there, and women hold themselves back out of fear of looking bad or failing and letting someone down.

I'm not going to summarize the book, but I highly recommend it for those who struggle with getting themselves out there. She has helpful tips to help you not only look at what you need to do from different angles, but also how to be successful while still holding true to yourself, which is something I don't often see in these recommendations. Usually, it's all about how to act like a man, make deals like a man, etc. But as Aarons-Mele points out, being someone other than yourself isn't going to help you progress in life. Instead, it's going to cause you additional stress.

I decided awhile ago that I would say yes to things that scared me (courtesy of Shonda Rhimes "Year of Yes," which I also recommend.) I've since done it many times, including accepting teaching opportunities, a job, and anthology invitations outside my normal realm of experience. So far, I haven't regretted it once (though I've repeatedly feared it would be shown just how underqualified I was, so believe me, the fears exist in me.) What I have regretted are the missed opportunities that spun away from me for various reasons over the years.

If someone invites you to do something, to speak or submit, it's likely because they feel you're qualified for the thing they've invited you to do. Consider saying "yes" and figuring out how to make it happen, no matter how scared you are.

Media I've Enjoyed Lately

Truth and Lies: Jonestown, Paradise Lost

"Enjoy" is a weird word to use when talking about a documentary that examines the Jonestown cult deaths, but I did learn some things I wasn't aware of, and having actual survivors talk about their experiences is powerful. I feel like it could have gone more in-depth on some of the stories, but it was still a fascinating documentary.

What We Do in the Shadows

I liked the movie okay when it came out, but wasn't blown away, so I hadn't bothered watching the TV show version of it. I finally did, because it came up as a recommendation, and now I'm hooked. I'm finding the show more entertaining than the movie. The actors are hysterical, and their foibles are endearing and ridiculous. The cast of the movie make an appearance, along with several other surprising and amusing guests (Wesley Snipes as the Day Walker--familiar to fans of Blade) in one episode. One of the vampires is familiar to me from IT Crowd, and I've found him funny in everything I've seen him in.

Key & Peele

In the history of great comedy skit shows, this is one of the best. They're both genuinely good actors, and hints of Jordan Peele's dark side reveal themselves in some of the comedy skits. Their Halloween shows are the best, with hints of horror. I'm rewatching the series on Hulu right now. My favorite skits tend to involve classrooms with Key as a teacher and ones where Peele takes on a female persona. And don't forget Obama and his anger translator! I laughed myself into tears last night at one episode involving a flight attendant arguing with a passenger that really wants to use the bathroom. Of course, as any good comedy does, modern issues are addressed in some of the skits in a humorous way, and it shows a clear repetition of issues taking the spotlight right now.

What has made you laugh lately? What entertainment have you most enjoyed? Have you said yes to something that frightened you lately? Have you said no to an opportunity because you thought you weren't qualified enough?

May you find your Muse.

**Buddy Frightened Clip Art,, OCAL
**Yes Button Clip Art,, Chris


  1. I've learnt how to get myself out there, but I really could have done with a book like this a few years ago. What made a difference to me was having a publisher who I knew was relying on me to make the effort to sell my own books :-)

    My husband loves What We Do In The Shadows.

  2. I feel like I just saw on Tumblr or Facebook something about "have the confidence of a mediocre white male." Like, as a woman, when faced with what you'd consider a stretch for you, just think, "WWAMWMD? What Would A Mediocre White Male Do?" and go do that thing, LOL. Actually, my kid (well, my 25-year old son) just this week told me about an opportunity that I'm hesitant to throw my hat in the ring for, for exactly the reasons you give above. But reading this post sort of feels like a sign to maybe think about it a little more seriously--so thank you for that!

    I HEART What We Do In the Shadows (movie & series). But I do derive extra enjoyment from the series, I have to admit--what a really terrific ensemble cast! Nadja's colorfully biting expressions, Laszlo's lustiness (I love Matt Berry--ever seen him in Toast of London on the Netflix?), Nandor's kooky pronunciation (I love the way he says Laszlo and Colin Robinson and crepe/creepy-paper ROTFL), Colin Robinson's mundane menace, and Guillermo de la Cruz (what a flipping FAB NAME) is my spirit animal!!!!! -Ahem - Which is all to say, I do quite like it. Indeed, yes. :-D

  3. I think I may have to give that series a try. I loved the movie :)