Monday, April 1, 2013

If I wasn't afraid, I would...

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook's COO and ultimate badass bitch), recently came out with a novel called Lean In that has made her the new role model for feminists everywhere. Described by her as a "feminist manifesto" of sorts, Lean In preaches the mantra that women can be successful in the workplace and at home if they utilize the right tools and mindset. She addresses some prevalent gender issues and controversies in the workplace, as well as disputes negative perceptions of women that the media has created.

All in all, the book is extremely inspiring and enlightening. What stuck out to me when I first began reading Lean In, is when Sandberg asks the reader—"What would you do if you weren't afraid?" and encouraged them to "Then go out and do it." It got me thinking— what am I afraid of? And if I acknowledged these fears and took more risks, how would it change my life?

I immediately started a list of things that I would do if fear wasn't getting in the way. Here are a few things that I came up with:

1. Go out and actively pursue employers in the entertainment industry in person. I think that doing so many online applications has convinced me that a PDF or Word document is the only way to impress an employer. It is actually preventing me from taking the initiative to go out to the actual office the old-fashioned way, and by doing so I could considerably distinguish myself from other candidates. Taking the extra step could very well be the difference in whether I get a job or not.

2. Demand to get paid more. Why settle for the first offer that an employer gives you? With enough research and preparation, I can negotiate a better paying job with more benefits in a professional but pleasant manner— even in an entry-level job. Laziness and compliance is only an excuse for not doing this.

3. Design a creative project and follow through with it. I constantly have so many ideas that come to my mind everyday that I have started many, but finished none. For once I want to dedicate all of my concentration and efforts on a project, like writing a pilot episode, or an op/ed, and do it right.

4. Volunteer somewhere, already. I've been telling myself and others that I want to volunteer at an organization forever now, but haven't actually made a commitment yet. In Wilmington, I was used to volunteering for the Rape Crisis Center, and being involved gave me the only kind of satisfaction that comes from helping others. I miss it, and now that I am in a city where I can make even more of a difference in, I should be more involved.

5. Get rid of my storage unit in North Carolina. Yes, I have kept and paid for a storage unit across the country for almost a year now and I no longer remember what I even have in there. I think the biggest reason why I've kept it is because I don't want to let go of the possibility that I might return to the East Coast. That 10x5 space is the only thing that I have rooted in North Carolina, and it is keeping me from calling L.A. my true home. I need to do something with the contents and finally let it go.

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