Traits for Success: Self-belief, Determination, and Resilience

on October 9, 2021 • Grace

A question that has popped into my head over the last few weeks is, are women as fearless as men? For the majority, my honest answer is no. In some cases, women are too honest and hesitant to put themselves forward. According to a frequently cited report from Hewlett-Packard, women tend to apply for jobs only when they meet 100% of the qualifications, whereas men will apply for roles even when they are only 60% qualified. 

The history of women facing difficulties in a male-dominated world is long and deeply woven into the social fabric, but we as women are not doing ourselves any favours if we don’t throw caution to the wind and put ourselves out there. There is a saying that well-behaved women never make history, and maybe that is part of it, too: unless we are willing to take more chances, we won’t fully realise how much we can accomplish.  

Among many this year there is one woman who has definitely proven that, Rachel Blackmore in her horse-racing career. What I love about Rachel Blackmore is how unflappable she is: her victory is about her and her abilities and her love of the sport, nothing more and nothing less. Yes, racing has a history of sexism, but she doesn’t let that history define her or force her into a particular mould. And when it comes down to it, you need to be your own champion before you can be a champion of or for anything else. 

I find this so resonant because it reminds me of how I felt during Hell Week, and of the three qualities I find most worthwhile for success in any pursuit: self-belief, determination, and resilience. Towards the end of Hell Week, when I was the last woman standing, I am sure plenty of people had their doubts that I would make it to the end. But I dug deep into myself and my abilities. I know better than anyone what I am made of, but it’s a matter of not being afraid and I saw all of this in Melanie Nocher on this weeks Hell Week. Sometimes the world won’t care; sometimes the world will be cruel. This is where resilience comes into play. 

According to Psychology Today, resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity and come back even stronger than you had been. While some factors that go into resilience can’t be taught (like the role of genetics, early life experiences, or simple luck), we can build resilience by keeping ourselves healthy through diet, exercise and proper sleep, and training our minds to view the positives in every outcome. And an unwavering sense of ourselves as worthwhile comes into play, too: When we are met with indifference or outright hostility, we have to be strong enough within our belief in ourselves to bounce back and not let that external negativity define us. This is a lesson that could benefit every person, regardless of your gender or identity. 

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