Earlier this year I was nominated for two awards Young Professional of the Year & Community Champion at the Zimbabwe Young Achiever Awards (ZYAA).
And I won! You are now reading the words of an award winner! I won the ‘Young Professional of the Year’ award and I couldn’t believe it.
It’s funny because me even being nominated was a result of meeting one individual, who I was actually inspired and encouraged by. So, to then find out that they nominated me and recognised me in a place where I barely recognised myself was mindblowing.
This award just showed and reminded me that there is no limits on the impression you can leave on the people you come across. However big or small your movements are. You can feel like you’re not doing very well or lacking confidence in your capabilities and someone else might look at you and think the COMPLETE OPPOSITE. Someone out there admires you, is inspired by you and is motivated by you. For whatever reason it is, what you think are failures in your journey may look completely different to another person.
And it just made me reflect so much on how life has a way of giving you a little nudge, push, and sometimes a kick to show you there’s more in you than you think.
The whole award ceremony and process has been incredibly humbling. When I found out I was nominated I initially wanted to brush it off and didn’t want to promote it or do much with it. Then a few more people found out about it and they were so excited for me that I felt like “okay yeah, this is a good thing. Let’s see what happens”.
So I put myself out there, WhatsApp statuses, LinkedIn, Facebook, Insta and even sent a group email at my workplace to get people to vote for me. There’s really something about having to promote yourself and your merits that makes you uncomfortable, anxious and timid. Like how do the confident people do it?
And I’ll be honest, I had no reason to believe I’d win. One. I felt surprised that anyone would recognise my work because I’ve never thought of it that way. Two. I don’t know a lot of people in the Zim community (surprise surprise) so I just didn’t think I was popular enough to win. And lastly, I just didn’t take myself seriously enough.
But being in that moment at the awards ceremony, they called out all the nominees and people cheered and clapped. And then, “the winner is”…. me? Wait. Did he just say my name? I obviously had no speech prepared which meant my thank you speech lacked all of the professionalism unlike the title I had just won. But I won. And it showed me that there were enough people who believed in me enough to vote, believed in me enough to root for me and believed in me enough to say that my merits were worthy of being acknowledged.
Now imagine if I believed in myself as much as that, how many awards could I possess in my name?
My challenge to you if you’re anything like me and facing moments of doubting your abilities is, believe in yourself… just a little bit more. Remember that you bring value into the lives of the people that you meet and do not underestimate the impression you leave on others.
Maybe you will be the next award winner!