Sometimes, you just have to go for it. You’ll figure out the rest as you go.
This week I applied for an internship. I was browsing through Instagram when I came across an amazing opportunity to be a part of a company that I really love. Their genuine love of kindness and sense of adventure inspires me to find new ways of bringing kindness and joy into my life. The internship seemed like one of the most amazing opportunities I have seen this year, but it also scared me.
The position would be a part-time job helping brainstorm ideas for new videos for their YouTube channel. For the application, I had to submit a few ideas I thought would be good. I came up with a few possibilities after some brainstorming and google searching. I don’t know if they’re any good, but I submitted them anyway.
The truth is: I have never considered myself to be that creative. Sure, every once in a blue moon I can come up with a cool idea, but I feel like most of my ideas follow a similar format as everyone else. There is part of me that thinks I might have something creative within me, but there is also another part that worries I’m going to fail in front of everyone. They are not close to making final decisions and I can already picture that feeling of entering a brainstorming session with absolutely nothing to add. Luckily, I know these thoughts are a mixture of my doubts and my inexperience. There is a chance that I enter that meeting with nothing to add, but it is also possible that I have some really good ideas. Accepting the possibility of doing something important also means accepting the possibility of falling flat on my face.
If I have learned anything in the past few years, it’s that sometimes you have to just jump in. Once you’re in the middle of it, you’ll figure out a way to make things work. If you wait for the perfect moment to start, it will probably never come.
Jumping into the deep end is how many of my favorite memories began.
During my senior year of high school, we had the yearly Senior Play. Normally, I would have ignored it, saying I was too quiet or too awkward to be on stage. Instead, I went for it and I got a part. I had fun throughout the rehearsals and the final performances. I definitely wasn’t the most comfortable and I had no prior experience to aid my performances, but I worked my way through it. Two and a half years later, I still look back with a sense of accomplishment and a few amazing memories.
Just this year I decided I was going to try to be an RA. I applied at the end of the Spring semester and was accepted. I have been an RA for about 6 weeks and I have learned so much about myself. There are certain parts of being an RA I have greatly enjoyed and there are others that I would like to avoid. This new self-awareness will be very helpful when I’m selecting a career because I have a better understanding of what environments I succeed in and what people I enjoy being around. Just like with the Senior Play, I just jumped into being an RA. Before training, I had no idea what to expect. I still learn something new every day.
I think it’s safe to say we all want to feel skilled and prepared for the opportunities that come our way. We want to walk into a new job or challenge knowing we have everything we need to succeed. It is a natural mix of our fear of failure and our need for security. Unfortunately, this attitude makes it easy to pass by once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. We miss out on job positions that won’t be available again for a few years or we don’t make the most of our high school or college experience. We end up looking back years later with a sense of regret for the things we didn’t do.
Jumping into something when you feel a little underprepared is always going to be scary. That is the nature of the beast. It’s not always going to work out either. If that is the case, you must be willing to move on and find a new opportunity. The truth, however, is most of the time the gap isn’t as big as it seems in our head. Usually, you can figure out the basics of what you need whether it’s through a tutorial online, company training, or helpful coworkers.
Opportunities come and go. If you’ve been looking to do something and the chance arises, go for it! Don’t let fear or a lack of knowledge persuade you into a decision you are going to regret years down the road. It has been said many times that you will regret the things you didn’t do, not the things you did that didn’t work out. I know I would rather be in the game taking shots than sitting on the sidelines.
Sooner or later, a few of them will go in.