My name is Dottie Omino and I’m really hard on myself. Why? Because being a woman of colour today is not hard enough and I like to challenge myself. And since I really love a challenge, I like to create obstacles for myself just to keep things interesting. How, you ask??

  • Like all those job postings I’ve looked at in the past, where I subconsciously find myself focusing on the skills and experience I don’t have and being happy to rule myself out as a candidate because I don’t meet 10% of the requirements for their “perfect” candidate. I really shouldn’t be wasting their time if I don’t meet their criteria, so I’m doing them a favor and they don’t even know it! 🙂
  • Like after, how I keep going back to the job posting to remind myself of the great opportunity I would have gotten had I not been so incompetent.
  • Like the times when I meet 99% of the criteria required, but still need to talk to at least 2 other people to find some reassurance of sorts that I do indeed have the skills needed, and that the role would be perfect for me; and no, it would not mean that I would be stabbing my current employer in the back. Its never enough to believe in yourself – other people’s opinions of you are much more valid and taking chances on yourself without their validation is unthinkable.
  • Like after an interview/presentation/meeting when I kick myself repeatedly for taking too long to answer a question/forgetting my lines or for taking more than three seconds to gather my thoughts. Then, for days or weeks after, finding myself answering the question or going through the lines I messed up over and over again, in my head, each time coming up with a better answer/line which further proves how much of an idiot I was for not using these amazing answers/lines that would have just blown my interviewer/audience away.
  • Like when I don’t get the job and I use that as a way to reinforce how I should never apply to anything if I don’t meet 110% of my potential employer’s expectations off the bat. I just should not.
  • Like when I feel like I should negotiate my salary/ask for something, but I find 100 reasons as to why I should not. And if I somehow find good arguments to counter the said reasons and gather the courage to ask, I back down at the first sign of opposition. Because I don’t deserve it anyways and when I finally do then they’ll recognize it and I won’t have to ask! 🙂

“I really shouldn’t be wasting their time if I don’t meet their criteria, so I’m doing them a favor and they don’t even know it! :)”

I can go on and on, but I think you get it…and maybe you, just like me, love a challenge and do similar things to “keep yourself on your toes”. So you can understand how exhausting and generally unhealthy these “challenges” are. I would love to quit “challenging” myself cold turkey, immediately shift gears and adopt a more positive outlook particularly focused on promoting my well-being and giving myself a chance. However, I acknowledge that I can’t snap my fingers and undo years of such an unhealthy habit.
Fortunately, I have had the honour of meeting a number of amazing women over the past few years who have their shit together, or at least seem to give themselves more of a chance than I do. Their stories not only inspire me, but also remind me to breathe. To inhale and exhale air – something I do every second of every day as it plays an essential role in keeping me alive. Yet, I tend to forget other definitions of this verb and how they apply to me outside of my physical survival.
Breathe: to be alive; live.
Breathe: to pause and rest before continuing
Breathe: to move or blow gently
Breathe: to feel free of restraint

“I hope that we can remind each other to breathe… “

These women’s stories and journeys give me hope that my dreams and goals are achievable, even if I’m sometimes not 100% sure of what they are. They remind me to focus on the present, to keep swimming, and try my best to enjoy the swim, even when tides may roll in and push me back a little. I hope to use this blog to highlight various women and share their journeys, creating a repository of sorts especially for when those tides inevitably roll in. I hope that we can remind each other to breathe as we continue to move forward in our individual journeys and our toward our common advancement as women.

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