What should girls and young women do if they want to make a difference in the world? Just start.
This is the advice of human rights campaign director at GetUp! Shen Narayanasamy.
“Don’t wait until you have perfected everything,” Narayanasamy said at a panel discussion at Daily Life‘s Women of the Year event last week.
It’s great advice, not just for budding young activists, but for women more generally.
One reason women avoid starting is that we’ve been schooled to be perfect from a young age. From constant pressures to look flawless, to being kind and sweet, and only opening our mouths if we know the answer and won’t cause offence, women are taught that failure is not an option.
I see it in my friends who won’t apply for jobs unless they not only meet, but also exceed every criteria.
I have a friend who’s the most qualified writer never to have written. She’s completed creative writing courses and workshops, professional writing and editing courses, and then humanities courses to broaden her general knowledge.
She comes top or near the top of her class in every course she’s taken. Yet she’s barely produced a finished work or published a word.