The Fear of Failing – Getting Chartered

Published: 17 June 2019

Over the past week or so I’ve been watching some comms professionals share their experiences on getting chartered with CIPR and I’ve been reading about how proud they were. I’ve been debating going for chartership for a couple of years now but I’ve always put it off with various reasons. However, if I’m really honest one of the main reasons I never put myself forward was due to the fear of failing and embarrassing myself in front of people I admire. I even vowed that if I ever did take the leap then there was no way I was telling a soul.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog on my confidence crisis which happened to me earlier this year and I could feel myself falling into that trap again – every time someone asked me about chartership, I had a million and one reasons on why I wasn’t ready: ‘Ooh it’s a bit of an investment, I need to be sure I’ll pass!’ ‘Busy time at work can’t focus on it yet!’ ‘Just need to finish this course and then I’ll be ready!’ “I don’t think it’s meant for Internal Communicators!” – I mean some of these are valid reasons but I was definitely using them as my comfort blanket.

But this weekend I took some time away from everyday life and spent a couple of days in Paris. Whilst admiring the view and eating a LOT of cheese, I started to reflect on this ‘fear’ I had.

The view from our apartment!

Why was I so consumed with the fear of failing and worrying about what people might say or think? In the book “Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway” by Susan Jeffries (thanks for the recommendation Jenni Field) there is a part that really resonated with me: “THE ONLY WAY TO GET RID OF THE FEAR OF DOING SOMETHING IS TO GO OUT AND DO IT.”

For me getting chartered isn’t about belonging to an elite group of people, or being able to add fancy letters after my name (though that does appeal ;-)) I want to be part of a ‘movement’ that’s making a difference and I want to be at the top of my profession. I want Internal Communicators to be taken seriously in businesses and not be seen as the ‘fluffy’ bit of the organisation or just a nice to have. I want us to be seen as Trusted Advisors who can confidently advise and guide CEOs/senior leaders on difficult decisions – and them having confidence in our ability for us to do that. I want it to be the norm for future IC generations to not have to ‘think’ about getting chartership and instead for it to be expectation set by businesses like they do for accountants/lawyers/engineers.

If I want to see this change in practice then I need to play my part and support that change. So last week I put on my grown-up pants, filled in my form and submitted it to the CIPR. I don’t know if I’ll pass the assessment, but what I do know is that I’ve finally faced my fear and I’ve put myself out there – and for that I’m pretty damn proud and in the words of the great Susan Jeffries, whatever happens: “I’ll handle it!”

If you’re feeling the fear and not quite sure if becoming chartered is for you then some of the fab committee (who have helped me lots!) are going to answering questions ‘live’ on Wednesday 26th September at 11.30am over on CIPRinside twitter feed – so come and join in! 

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