It's become quite evident that my blog has been and always will be a giant compilation of nuggets of wisdom my mother has shared with me but I wouldn't listen to until now. She always instilled a sense of confidence in me, and I didn't appreciate it until I had a moment to myself today. My mom never set boundaries or limits for my goals and accomplishments and she never told me anything was impossible. She facilitated and accommodated and allowed me to pursue what I wished until I scraped my knee and admitted failure or succeeded. Side note: my father did all of the same things alongside my mother I just found it fitting to mention her because I'm about to talk about a women's conference (sorry, pops).

Confidence is key.

This past weekend I attended the Advancing the Careers of Technical Women - Seattle conference as a first-weekend-in-Seattle activity. I was blown away by the wealth of information, and from the perspective of an organizer, by the structure and smoothness of the day. The sessions served to sharpen our technical skills and help us advance our careers.

 

ACT-W is an annual conference that supports, empowers, and educates women in technology while creating a sense of belonging and community. 

I learned how to:

  • get out of my own way
  • find mentors
  • continue my own professional development
  • let go of my guilt
  • fake it until I make it
  • stop qualifying my ideas
  • have clear set goals
  • take risks
  • negotiate my salary
  • stand tall
  • pick a supportive partner
  • be persistent
  • admit to not knowing everything
  • tackle things I can't grasp
  • redefine
  • rebrand
  • relaunch
  • learn what works for me
  • lift up other women
  • embrace my own femininity
  • be myself
  • ask for help
  • shine my light on others
  • run data science experiments
  • unclog the STEM pipeline
  • change stereotypes
  • internalize my accomplishments
  • externalize my impostor
  • practice my power pose
  • take credit for my contributions

I can't do any of the above without confidence. And you can't do anything without it, either. But the amazing thing is with just a little bit of trust in yourself and your worth you can do everything on this list and more. Confidence is admitting that you don't know everything and you never will. It means not being ashamed to ask for help and understanding that you can't do it alone.

Last year, The Atlantic published an amazing piece, The Confidence Gap, that addressed our (women's) lack of self-assurance, where it comes from, and how it impacts our careers. It breaks my heart to hear about young women not going for positions because they don't feel fully qualified, or young women who miss out on opportunities because they don't feel like they're deserving. Confidence is the difference between filling out an application and submitting one. It's the difference between watching life happen or making it happen. It's the difference between $50k and $70k. I urge you to instill confidence in the young women around you and build yourselves up, because confidence can take you very, very, far.

Don't fill your head with worries, there won't be room for anything else.

Comment