Be Fearless

by Emily Jasper on November 23, 2010

“Be fearless.”

That’s what our guest speaker Selena Rezvani wrote in her book that she signed for me. It seemed quite appropriate for me, especially since I’ve been trying to push myself into the uncomfortable, taking those risks that others may say are too tough to take.

The Associate Director for Marketing & Recruitment here at Virginia Tech’s MBA program had told me that she had a sneaking suspicion Selena and I were cut from the same cloth. Many of our posts were along similar thought-lines, and it appeared we shared similar perspectives. It wasn’t until I saw we both wrote for the same blog at Forbes that I saw how closely our paths were crossing.

She and I both believe that women must take ownership. If we were taught to wait to be acknowledged, we need to unteach that lesson. We hate to brag or promote ourselves, but if it’s true, it’s a fact, not a boast. The last few years have made it frustrating, especially for young women who thought they followed the “recipe” for success. Nothing has been certain, and the times force us to take more ownership of what we want in life.

Perhaps we should have been taking that ownership responsibility all along.

Selena also shared that the path we want for ourselves has to be more than just ownership, it has to include action on our part. There is no passive role for someone who needs to be fearless. Instead we must make those risky decisions. Even Selena’s decision to get her MBA was considered incredibly risky for her, but “if someone told me pursuing my MBA would change my life, I would have started taking risks earlier,” she said.

Towards the end of the presentation, I took a moment to share my own thoughts with the audience about these paths on which we put ourselves. For me, the greatest lesson on the path to the brass ring was learning from those steps. Those steps can take you in an unexpected direction, perhaps even changing your brass ring. For me, writing here has opened more doors than I ever imagined. If I had always had one end-goal in mind for my writing, the surprise of the Forbes listing might never have altered my path…for the better. Selena knew exactly what I was talking about.

In the end, I was so happy to meet another woman who is incredibly influential to me, but it turns out, I might be a little influential to her, as well. She’s a couple of years ahead of me on the path, but this world isn’t about becoming better than your peers. It’s about bringing them together so you all have the greatest impact. It’s all up to us to do this because no one else is going to do it for us.

Take ownership. Take chances. Be fearless.