What is the primary reason most women don’t pursue their dreams? You guessed it: fear.
We fear failure, rejection, mistakes, and social stigma and that stops us from pursuing our career or business aspirations.
What is the antidote to fear? Courage.
In my new book UNDETERRED: The Six Success Habits of Women in Emerging Economies, I devote a chapter to how regular women around the world exhibit courage to succeed.
While on my speaking tour in Georgia a couple of months ago, I met hundreds of courageous Georgian women. Four women in particular stood out to me. I think they will inspire you too.
Tamar Qachashvili, an entrepreneur and Director of Caucasus Genetics demonstrates her courage by running a business in a male dominated industry.
“If women come out of their comfort zone and try new things, if they have enough determination and bravery to follow their dreams, nothing can stop them. Building a career is hard work and every step of development requires determination, patience, bravery and readiness for development. Perseverance is the main feature of a successful person – you have to get back on your feet as many times as life knocks you down. I’ve learned from mistakes. Every problem and difficulty has been the platform for my future success. I believe that failures make us stronger and move us forward if they are analyzed correctly.”
Nutsa Dzamashvili, International Relations Student and an intern at U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi who accompanied me on my trip has the high aspiration to be a Fulbright Scholar.
“I am not afraid of failure, and disappointment can’t defeat me because I believe in tomorrow and in new possibilities. I am ready for the challenge. My dream and desire to be a professional in my field gives me the strength and motivation to be much more organized and dedicated to work.”
Mariam Perishvili, Management Student, Social Media & Events Organizer, Ilia State University Business School, courageously shared her views about being “good enough” with her peers in an auditorium at Ilia State University.
“I realized that [people] saw me as a fragile little creature that needed help, that could never in million years commit to something and make it happen. But that is not true. I’ve spent hours and hours studying math, just to prove that I am good enough; working out every day and running not just as fast, but faster than men, to prove that I am good enough; and now, pursuing a career in business fearlessly, because I am the only person that can define what I am and am not cut out for; and YES, I am just good enough.”
At the same Ilia event, Larisa Pataraia, Doctorate Student at Ilia State University, Blogger at Forbes Georgia shared the courage it will take to achieve gender equality in Georgia.
“It will take years to achieve gender equality in our society, but it also depends on what we do to change existing realities. Society at large is in a position to change gender inequality in Georgia, but we need champions – persons who will take leadership to identify this problem and advocate for change. In November 2014, the Georgian Women’s Movement declared itself an agent of social change. It unites over 500 women activists who raise their voice against violence and discrimination. The Movement advocates equal rights and opportunities for all. Women in Georgia will continue to struggle for equality but one day there won’t exist a glass ceiling for us. We believe that we can strengthen each other with full support, based on our shared values.”
In my research for UNDETERRED, I uncovered that courage comes from taking the actions you are afraid to take and from the supportive networks we build around ourselves. Women grow in their courage when they spend time with people who believe in them and encourage their professional success. What about you? Are you taking steps toward realizing your goals? Do you have a network, supportive family, or a like-minded group that helps you be courageous?
No matter where you are, take another step forward. You will find courage on the other side of your fears.