While some of us would just sit and complain about things that happen to them or to everyone else, I prefer to stand, walk or even run around and do something about it. I am just not the type. Although, I am not the type who would openly rally for change, too. Even if I talk a lot, I say what I think and believe (with gusto and passion), but I don’t force my thoughts and beliefs on anyone. I hate conflict and I believe in respecting each other’s opinions. I am the type who would likely manoeuvre through things in the background to make change happen.
Let me tell you a secret though. I always seem so ready and able to conquer the world, but sometimes, I’m scared.
I’m scared that I may not be as brilliant enough or as influential enough. I fear that I might be too optimistic. I know what I’m doing then suddenly I don’t, and I’m scared that it has always been the latter rather than the former. I look at my team and I think I know what they’re thinking, then suddenly, I doubt myself and my leadership skills. Yes, I doubt myself, and thinking about these things make me crazy.
What happens next is that I recognize my “craziness” and drop all of these thoughts and just say YES. Yes, to opportunities (that make sense) that come my way. A particular moment when I said YES recently was when I was invited to represent the country for the DLD Tel Aviv Innovation Festival. I represented our start-up TAXUMO, our online, end-to-end tax assistance SaaS that helps small business owners and professionals process their taxes. I went there together with another founder, May Montero of Tambio. We are both part of the growing number of Ideaspace startups.*
For Start Tel Aviv, I was part of a delegation that was composed of 33 women from 31 countries. Hearing the stories of these strong, determined women made me feel so blessed. Why blessed? I was thinking that there is a high chance that most of these women will be the reason for a lot of improvements and positive change in the world. We’re talking about women who create prosthetics, solar panels that charge mobile phone, hardware that measures water level in crops, job platforms that changes peoples lives, application for speech therapy of gifted children and a whole lot more! I tell you, if you were amidst these ladies, you will definitely stand up and think of ways on how you can make this world a better place.
Some of the thoughts that I had during that trip are that 1) there are a lot of talented people that we fail to see, and 2) let us not waste our talents.
We fail to see talented people around us, and we fail to allow ourselves to be “touched or moved” by them and their stories, because we are too involved with ourselves or we are too frightened to see what’s beyond the enclosure that we built for ourselves. Stepping out and listening to the stories and experiences of others are ways of developing ourselves and widening our view of things. Talking to others may even point you to the right and clearer direction.
I come across people with great skill and talent, and oftentimes, I become excited for them. I see that they have bright futures ahead of them. But somewhere along the way, I see them missing out on great opportunities. I see them turn blind to the things that could have changed their lives for the better, and I can’t do anything about it. I am just sad that most of us don’t see that they have what it takes to make a huge impact.
In Tel Aviv, I learned saw something clearly. I saw that it was mostly the fear of failing that was stopping us — stopping us from trying, from seeing the world, from talking to people, from pursuing our dreams, from using our talents, from living. It was fear acting like a magnet, which leads us to sit forever more in that chair of complacency.
Aren’t you tired of sitting? Break loose and stand up. Stand up for your family. Stand up for your passions and for dreams. Shake away the fear. We all need to stick together and encourage one another. Let’s be more tolerant of failure — we’re all imperfect.
*Thank you to the Israeli Government, the Embassy of Israel and to Ideaspace for the opportunity.