Clockwise from bottom left: Deepa Smith, Piper Kelly, Brooke Stovall, Nellys Siria and Megan Anderson
Recently a few of our Climbers attended the Seattle Business Magazine’s Daring Women event. There were countless amazing stories, inspirational speeches, invaluable new relationships and life-changing pieces of advice presented to all the fearless and daring women in attendance. Here are some of the ways our team was inspired by the remarkable motivational speakers and thought-provoking themes throughout:
What was your biggest take-away on personal level?
Questioning why I am afraid to share my story and my truth. If I start to share boldly, courageously, and relentlessly it will ultimately create a platform for other women to share as well. Being my true authentic self is my super power. Besides I’m too lazy to be anyone else so I gotta be authentically me.
Get over the Impostor Syndrome feeling. I am enough and I can do it! Because what will others miss out on if I don’t?
The Impostor Syndrome is a real thing that impacts about 70% of the workforce where there is self-doubt and fear that there was some kind of hiring error or mistake. That we were accidentally placed in a role that we’re not qualified for. We need to stop feeling like we’re not good enough or that there was a mistake in the hiring process. We need to have more confidence and know that we have a lot of value to bring to the table. So, don’t hesitate to have those ambitious goals or reach for those “crazy” dreams! 😊 Never apologize for being ambitious.
Daring women don’t shut the door as they make their way up the ladder, they hold the door open for other women to come with them. Daring women encourage other women to be daring. I think it’s so important that women support other women and we stop comparing our chapter 10 to someone’s chapter 20. We’ve got to find our true, authentic voice and stop worrying about how we might come across to someone when we speak. Be honest, be respectful, be candid, be you. It’s exhausting to try and be someone else. One of the speakers put my feelings into words too perfectly – “I’m too lazy to be anything but authentic.”
This ties in with my answer below, but realizing that we are not alone and are not the only ones going through something is powerful. It encourages me to open up and share more with my friends, colleagues and those around me. The more we share and support each other, the more we become empowered and are able to empower others as well.
There are so many it is hard to choose. Lots of quotes I wrote down to help motivate and encourage me when I’m feeling overwhelmed or in over my head.
Realizing that I’m not alone, that many people and women in business feel a lot of the same pressures and insecurities that I may feel, and that gives me strength.
What was your biggest take-away as a professional?
I don’t have to try to fit the mold of what a female leader should behave like. If you ask someone to name characteristics of a female leader/manager, you get words like caring and empathetic and compassionate. I don’t use any of these words to describe my managerial style. But none of these words would be used to describe a man. Challenging, goal-oriented, ambitious are words I use to describe myself in leadership and that is perfectly fine!
Also, being your authentic self makes you a better leader. You will be able to clearly define what you stand for, what you believe in, and you’ll trust your instincts more often.
“DARE TO BE BOLD” Don’t be afraid to self-advocate and take credit for what you accomplish. Too many women shy away from speaking up or being known as a braggart if they mention their accomplishments. If you don’t, just know that there will always be people that will be happy to take credit for things they didn’t accomplish. You don’t want to be passed up for a great opportunity or that next promotion. Never apologize for your value or your worth.
Make sure you’ve got a good crew of people around you! Have that friend who will call you out of your BS or when you aren’t holding yourself accountable, find a mentor and DO THE WORK they suggest and find out who your champions are & work as hard as they know you can. It’s all on you to be successful - YOU must put in the work, no one can do it for you and no one can want it more than you can.
I really connected with the discussion about “impostor syndrome”. I feel like I am constantly second guessing myself and I’m pretty much convinced that I have lucked my way into my position and like I am going to be discovered as a farce and fired pretty soon. I am also quite certain I am the only one who feels this way, so to hear that many other people do too, and to hear the speaker talk about giving yourself credit and celebrating your successes really hit home.
In a simple sense-to really trust in myself and ask for help when I need it.
What's your advice to men who want to be allies and advocates for women?
Don’t make an assumption about a woman’s capabilities. Thinking that we might not be able to handle something is limiting to us. Say our name in the rooms where we aren’t at yet so that we can get in the room. Don’t be afraid to mentor women. Use your male privilege to advance women. I dare you to reach out!!
Also speak up and educate other men when you see poor behavior toward women being displayed.
Stand up for women by helping mentor us, relinquishing some of that power, and showing us how to better climb that corporate ladder! We need both Men and Women to support each other and communicate to help us move forward towards a better future.
Support; speak up and stand up. We need men in our corner, speaking up with something doesn’t feel right, when someone makes a derogatory comment. We need men to support women through mentorship. We need men to stand up and make sure our ideas and perspective are included in the conversation.
My advice is to use their position of power for the betterment of everyone around them. They will not lose anything by lending a hand or being an ally, and in fact it will be rewarding in the end when their own name is associated with the successes of others they supported.
Start with an awareness that we need more women in business and women in leadership or even executive positions. Help us get there! Be supportive, help us have a voice. Give us credit for our ideas, encourage us and get us into promotions even if we might not feel ready.
Can’t let it go: something just that stuck with you?
How important it is to self-advocate when you feel under-valued. Keep track of my own contributions, accomplishments, and metrics that I am hitting. Be aware of how my work is influencing others and projects and then don’t be afraid to speak about myself. My husband and I often encourage one another by saying “sometimes you gotta clap for yourself”!
We are our biggest critic; that annoying, pesky, undermining voice in our heads that tell us we’re no good. This great advice was, in my opinion, eye-opening as I don’t believe people look at it from this perspective. When you’re having difficulties advocating for yourself or saying good things about yourself, take out a picture of yourself when you were a little girl. Think about the nice things you would like to say to that little girl. Give yourself (the adult you) the same respect and kindness by saying those nice things that you would say to that little girl.
¹ BAWSE - A Bawse is a human being who exudes confidence, turns heads, reaches goals, finds inner strength, gets hurt efficiently and smiles genuinely- because they've fought through it all and made it out the other side. The double-handed praise was created for them.
Quit the negative self-talk and don’t fall into the impostor syndrome. YOU ARE ENOUGH. One of the speakers shared a story about herself as a young girl, standing up to her teacher. The part of the story that has stuck with me was when she shared that when she gets in that negative self-talk space, she pictures that little girl. How would you speak to her? What would you say? How would you encourage & support her through a tough situation? SAY THOSE THINGS to yourself!
The impostor syndrome thing just really stood out for me. I am deserving of my successes, and I have not gotten here just by chance or as a fluke. I don’t often feel like I deserve recognition for the things I have achieved and this almost felt like permission for me to start doing so and to stop undercutting myself so much. This is what has stuck with me and what I have shared with people when they asked me about this event. We are our own biggest critics and especially as women, I think we can be really mean to ourselves. I am actively working to be nicer to myself, to celebrate myself the way I would others and to accept and honor that I am a daring woman 😊
Again, there were so many wonderful quotes that were inspiring. One of the speakers said “The quickest way to strength is to amplify others. No one is told they are awesome too much. When you lift them up, your name becomes associated with those powerful people.”
There we have it, folks! Some amazing takeaways that we can all apply to our lives, both personal and professional: you are enough, advocate for yourself and your accomplishments, and bring others along on the ride to success. Together, we can empower each other to believe in ourselves, leave the Impostor Syndrome in the dust, dream big and achieve our highest goals.