Just this past Tuesday, the United States of America elected its 45th president -- Donald J. Trump, and this election promptly plunged into chaos. The shocked Internet voiced millions of reactions, one of which has proven to be the most relatable:

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Although each of us have differing opinions on the extent of Trump’s qualification for Presidency, we have all shared one sentiment from time to time: the nagging feeling that we are “not qualified”. It goes like this: you find a position that you want; it’s just the perfect stepping stone in the direction to your dreams. However, right before you send in the application, a little voice whispers: “You barely have any experience for that!”, “You are going to mess up so hard people will laugh at you for the rest of high school!”, or “So-and-so is applying too, they’ll get this spot for sure -- so don’t even bother trying.” It’s time to put an end to that. You need to go for that position even if you don’t feel that you’re “good enough”.

Do you really want to live a life of “What ifs”?

We constantly evaluate millions of scenarios in our heads: “What if I do that?” “What if I do it wrong?” “What if…” -- basically everything. Feeling under-qualified is the source of all the “what ifs”. When considering applying for a position, the question of “What if I mess  up?” causes you to be afraid to try. But after a while, you see someone else with the job that you passionately wanted, and you ask yourself again: “What if I applied and actually got it?”

Wondering about what could’ve happened only leads to more self-doubt and regret. So I encourage you: follow your passions and grab on firmly to every opportunity. Forget about the “What ifs”.

At the end of the day, you don’t exactly know what the council executives, the hiring manager, or the admissions officer wants. Don’t disqualify yourself before you have a chance to prove yourself! You are the best person to stand up and fight for your aspirations and market your abilities. Challenge yourself, put yourself in uncomfortable situations, and decide on what you want.  

Feeling under-qualified is a good thing.

Imagine: you are perfectly qualified for a position. You apply for it, and get chosen. You come to meetings, do your duties, then leave. There’s nothing to motivate you to improve your competencies and develop new skills. When you realize that those around you have been consistently bettering themselves and rising to new levels, it may be too late for you to catch up. Complacency gets you nowhere.

If you feel a bit inadequate for a position, it’s fine! Feeling as if anyone but you is good for the job gives you room to grow, and prompts you to ask the question “How do I improve?” This could mean stepping out of your comfort zone and leading meetings. Or it could mean taking more time to practice your sport. For me, as a Blog Manager with the FCSS-FESC, it means to consistently read other blogs and popular publications to improve my own analysis and writing style. Use your self-doubt to motivate you into rising to and above the standard a position entails. After all, aren’t we expected to learn from our jobs?

Shoot for the moon, so even if you fail you’ll land among the stars.

We’ve all made mistakes, but in the end, they have shaped us into better and stronger individuals. We remember our worst mistakes most clearly, and we have learned most from them. Not achieving your goal does not equal failure; this is certainly the case when it comes to applications. I once applied for an executive position of a school club; I didn’t get the position that I wanted, but I made a lasting impression on the president -- causing her to reach out to me and become my mentor in secondary school. You never know how and when opportunities will knock!

So you didn’t get the position you wanted, but you’ve gained valuable insight about it! You now know what the interviewers look for, how the admissions process works, etc. If you decide to apply again, you’ve already gained a lot of advantage over the first-time applicants and increased your chances of acceptance. Most importantly, you’ve gained knowledge about yourself, which will help you understand your strengths and complete future tasks more effectively. It is then that you can develop into a more experienced, astute person!

Don’t let your fears trump your potential,

Jessica

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