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“Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will.” – Suzy Kassem

Question

Have you ever thought about doing something but as quick as the idea appeared, negative thoughts moved in to play a hundred reasons inside your head as to why that wouldn’t work? I think we’ve all been there and it’s a terrible feeling. What would happen if you decided to set aside those fears and take a chance on yourself?

Take The Risk

Towards the end of my college career I had some goals in mind. I was planning on leaving the state and I wanted a couple of IT certifications to add to my degree. I didn’t want to be another graduate who didn’t use their degree so I was determined to only work in my field of study. All three of these things had risks attached to them; security, financial, and a whole lot of unknowns. My brain immediately wanted to step in and tell me to play it safe because that’s what your body is designed to do, protect you. The problem with protection is that it doesn’t leave a lot of room for growth and that’s when you need to be willing to take those chances. A week after graduating, I packed up my car and headed to Nevada where I declined a transfer at my current job because I wasn’t going to be working in my field. So essentially I moved to a new state with no idea how I was going to support myself. I knew I would be staying with some family and the little savings I had would buy me about a month or two. Once settled, I immediately began looking for a job. The first couple of weeks were more like a vacation than anything, but around the time the third week came and I didn’t have any leads, worry started to settle in. It was at this time I started really contemplating what I was going to do. Money was getting tighter but I was doing well enough to stretch it out at least another month. I decided to take a chance and go take that other certification to add to my resume. This certification costs $200 and when you’re unemployed in a new state, that’s a lot of money. What I was doing had not been working though and time was running out. My instincts wanted to keep me far away from Pearson Vue, the name of the testing center, and hold on tightly to the remaining money I had. Here are just some of the thoughts: “you have to pay for your car payment, gas, phone bill, food (probably should eat), insurance, and a plane ticket home for when you inevitably fail and have to abandon your car in the desert and go back to Minnesota.” All of these were very rational fears, my brain had a point. I had been taking risks, following my why, and trusting myself up until this point so this was another risk I was willing to take. Oh, one thing I forgot to mention, this was a pass/fail certification meaning I had one chance to pass otherwise, bye bye $200! I went in and took the exam. I walked out with my Network+ certification! This was exciting even though I didn’t have a job yet. I went home to add this new accomplishment to my resume and continued on my job hunt. A week later, I got a call from the Geek Squad offering me a position, not what I was ideally looking for, but it was a foot in the door so I quickly accepted. I was two weeks in when I received a call about a Help Desk Specialist position asking if I would like an interview. At first I wasn’t sure. I just started getting settled in at Best Buy and it was good to be working again. Quickly, I pulled up the job description on my phone and it was one I highlighted in my search. I was shocked one of my top jobs were calling so I accepted the interview. Heading in to the interview I felt so nervous but I was riding a wave of confidence at the same time. Walking out of the interview I recall feeling overwhelmed with happiness. I didn’t even have a second interview yet, but everything about the job sounded exactly like what I was looking for. I eventually received the call about the second interview and that one went well too. A few hours later, I received a call with a job offer which I accepted. What makes this story so special was after being hired, there were two things my manager said that have always stayed with me. The first one was that there was another candidate with more experience, but when he saw that Geek Squad offered me a position he knew he wasn’t the only one willing to take a risk with someone so new to the field. The second was that I had certifications to back up my education, which made him confident I’d be willing to learn.

Take Action

A few weeks before this I was contemplating saving all my money and not take anymore risks on myself. Those same risks that I ended up taking were the ones that landed me in the position I ultimately wanted to be in. You are worth the risks. If you are in a position where you are betting on yourself go all in, because not only are you worth it, but you deserve it! What risks do you want to take? Go take them.

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The only limits are the ones your own mind creates. Become better each day.

Donovan Armstrong

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