The TV game show Jeopardy is advertising the latest on-line test to become a contestant. It’s coming up on March 28. My husband has been urging me to register and I’ve been “forgetting”. Last night I figured out why.
It’s not that I was concerned about failing the test. It’s that I was scared I might pass and get selected as a contestant. The mental chatter was all about how much I don’t know, how many categories I am weak in, how my high school avoidance of all things geography has come back to haunt me, an almost endless list of my data bank deficiencies. What I wasn’t paying any attention to was the 60%+ of the answers questions I do know.
What prompted me to register today was remembering something I read several weeks ago, and that changed my whole perspective. An article published on the Harvard Business Review blog pointed out a tendency for women to “round down” our accomplishments.
(W)e’ve long been taught that a 0.5 gets rounded up to 1. And even when we feel 70%, 80% or 90% qualified for a job, we’d never be so bold as to round ourselves up to 100%. We look at that margin of error and assume the worst, not the best. But rational math actually tells us that we should be rounding up in that scenario.
So this morning I rounded up and registered. In the immortal words of Jennifer Tilly in the movie Let It Ride, “Nothing ventured, nothing ventured.” (You’ll find it at the 5:30 point in this YouTube video).