As humans we often stand in our own way when it comes to going for opportunities…
Because of my job in recruitment I have often heard the following laments:
- I cannot apply because I don’t have a degree.
- They will never employ me because I am white / black / coloured / Indian / purple etc. etc.
- My High School Diploma / Degree / Qualification etc. etc. is not accepted in that country or that company.
- I am too old, I am too young for blablabla…
- I am too female, I am too male, too fat, too pretty, too thin, too plain, too poor or not privileged enough, or my personal favourite – I am too privileged… I mean really!?
Our self chasting, self critical and limited programming seems to be able to come up with the most wonderful and creative ideas of how NOT to achieve something. It does not really matter how enlightened, young, old or what race we are – We all suffer from this at any given time. On the other hand one can just marvel at the creativity we as humans come up with to avoid taking the responsibility for our lives and live it to achieve our best selves!
Of course it is the reality that some situations are not going to be ideal. At the age of 40 with 30 kg overweight one cannot consider being a prima ballerina at that moment… now don’t get me wrong, ANYTHING is possible – but it will entail a bit of hard work and a lot of setbacks before one gets there.
I found it interesting once I moved accross continents how my perception changed about certain things. Boy did my eyes open up once I got here! The first eye peeling moment was when I joined German language classes. It was the most thrown together combination of different cultures and languages you can imagine. And only 40-50% came from EU countries where you have no issues coming to live in another EU country.
The rest were from all over the world, Zimbabwe, China, Korea, Japan, Russia, Turkey, India, Morocco… and all in one class. And you know what? All of them left their country of birth because of job or study opportunities over here. German is way more different than Russian when you compare it to Afrikaans or English for example. Just imagine the challenges they face on a daily basis!
I often think that we as South Africans have a unique heritage, we have surpassed and overcame conflict and many difficulties, we managed to maintain a peaceful transition in 1994 even though the world predicted a civil war. Many of our ancestors were proud warriors or / and explorers for whom there was nothing to fear and what life offered was grabbed by the horns and it was tackled.
Just imagine the very white, skinny european climbing on board a ship travelling into the wide unknown to a place where you have no clue what it looks like, what the weather is, stories from friends who travelled there and back successfully or even what the animals or the insects look like!
In today’s world unthinkable!!!
With technology we have truly become a global world with as many opportunities one can imagine! I met a Zimbabwean girl at one of my language classes, she came here as an Au Pair, ended up studying here and now has a successfull career in Marketing at an international company. One example I kept close to my heart is a gentleman I met while still in South Africa – he started out his career as a petrol attendant and in a period of 15 years he worked himself up selling oil cans at the petrol station and servicing customers to becoming a regional Business Manager for one of the biggest lubricant companies in South Africa.
There are many examples of rags to “riches” stories – I am carefull with the word “riches” as “Rich” is a merely a subjective state but my point stays.
What makes any of us so special that we think we are not good enough to achieve our wildest dreams?
One of my favourite quotes summarizes my thoughts on this perfectly:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?” – Marianne Williamson from A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles