In June, I was persuaded to submit an entry for one of the Association of Scottish Businesswomen National Business Awards because I wanted to raise the profile of the business and give it added credibility. Looking through the different awards, it seemed I could work with the criteria for the ASB Outstanding Contribution Award. I’ve never done anything like this before and I felt very much out of my comfort zone. It somehow felt wrong that I should put myself forward for something like this, despite other people persuading me that I really deserve to be recognised and should go for it! So, I let it sit there, hovering over me as something I SHOULD do, until finally another conversation tipped the balance in persuading me to go for it. Even so, I procrastinated for more than yet another week. Until on Sunday I suddenly realised that the deadline was Friday and if anyone was going to have a chance to write a reference to endorse my application, I’d better get my skates on.
Suddenly it was no longer something I should do, but something I wanted to do. And needed to do for the business. And was SCARED to do! Not only did I feel uncomfortable writing out how I fulfilled the criteria for the award, it felt scary asking my colleagues, friends, and clients from all the different areas of my life if they would mind writing a few words to endorse the application; especially as I was asking for it ideally by Wednesday so I could put everything together around other commitments by Friday. A HUGE thank you to everyone who dived in so promptly and wholeheartedly to meet that preposterous deadline.
I have to say that despite the trauma of starting and writing the application, it has been one of my most rewarding experiences. I felt so touched by the support everyone showed me and I really appreciated that they made the time to write such a valuable gift for me. Reading their words gave me such a boost of confidence and of feeling appreciated, that alone made it all worthwhile. And yes, there is an irony in that, as I spend much of my time supporting my clients to build their confidence. Yet we all feel the fear at times, in various guises and reasons, and we all deserve to have people around us to boost our confidence for the times and situations we need it. Even (or perhaps especially!) professional coaches. It is one of the reasons why we have regular ‘supervision’ sessions.
As I submitted my application, the experience of just putting it together turned out to be so rewarding that I felt happy that I’d made the effort even if nothing more came of it. For me, this is a classic example of success not being about winning, but about getting stuck in and giving it all you have – and asking for help! And now, the icing on the cake – I’m delighted to have been shortlisted as one of the finalists. I feel honoured to be in the company of so many amazing women. We have interviews next week and then wait until the awards dinner in October to hear the results.
So, I’d love to say to you, if you are thinking of maybe applying for an award – Go for it! You gain so much from the experience even before you (or if you don’t) make the shortlist.
Confidence for Business Women Course – 14th September in Edinburgh:
What difference will it make to you, in your life and at work, to be more confident?
Why not join the course in Edinburgh: (if you like Aeona’s facebook page you can get over 50% discount)
Confidence for Business Women is open to women who are managers, leaders, freelancers or business owners, or aspiring to any of these)
Email or call me to arrange a time for a free chat about whether 1:1 coaching will give you the impetus you are looking for.
Sue Mitchell email: firstname.lastname@example.org telephone +44 1875 830708 or use the contact form below – please make sure you spell your email address correctly for me to be able to reply to you.