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I gave this talk at the LeanIN Toronto Launch party on September 24 to a group of 300 amazing women. It is all about finding your voice and being yourself and not letting anyone else tell you otherwise.
– your mother, your eighth
grade teacher, your first manager, your boyfriend… you name it. “She just needs to work on her confidence.”
– 2014 Study on Confidence
as it relates to the orbitofrontal cortex. “Scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have found that confidence is actually a measureable quantity, and not reserved just for humans.” on Confidence: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140918121438.htm
where do you lie on
this continuum? most confident ! decision 100% made ! least confident ! more information needed for decision !
Daily Schedule (for a single
woman): ! 5:30am - get to the gym!!! 6:30am - makeup/hair/perfect outfit 7:15am - make a good breakfast, clean up 7:30am - leave for the office, so I arrive earlier than my male colleagues 8:30am - shoot, I’m not the first one in…boss has already left a message 12:00pm - lunch at my desk… 8:00pm - okay, I’ll take the rest of this work home …it’s not safe to stay later. 9:00pm - shoot, I didn’t take anything out this morning to prepare for tonight 9:45pm - guiltily eating takeout while working, which means I need to workout even harder tomorrow 11:45pm - read email from parents that say they are upset that I don’t call more often. Too late now. 1:00am - tossing and turning with guilt-dreams.
There’s lots expected of us…
• nails perfect • hair perfect • makeup done - but make it look like we aren’t wearing any! • well-dressed • super smart • stay fit • look amazing in a bikini • be pretty • eat healthy • be able to scarf down huge burgers • give 150% at work • MBA or other advanced degree • attentive daughter • good friend • excellent lover • responsible adult • well-read • up to date on all things in my career field • great mom • clean house • lots of interesting hobbies • be cool! • be confident • be humble • play sports • like sports • don’t be too into sports, though • be cultured • be up on the latest trends • keep it together • smile and be positive!
And we also have a
few special rules… • don’t wear too much makeup • don’t walk alone at night • don’t wear provocative clothing • don’t date too many people • don’t not date people • don’t get emotional • don’t be too logical • don’t be aggressive • don’t be passive • don’t cuss and swear • don’t be a prude • don’t be too loud • don’t be too quiet • don’t talk back • don’t brag • don’t talk about your accomplishments • don’t take photos of yourself in sexy situations • be careful online…in fact, just take everything down because if you are using the web, you are just asking for someone to post your naked photos online • hell, if you put yourself out there in any way at all, you are pretty much just asking for trouble • oh…but remember, you are still expected to run the world and be better than your male counterparts.
“Confidence is not, as we
once believed, just feeling good about yourself… ! “Confidence is a belief in one’s ability to succeed, a belief that stimulates action. In turn, taking action bolsters one’s belief in one’s ability to succeed. So confidence accumulates—through hard work, through success, and even through failure.” http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/04/the-confidence-gap/359815/
“Speak up!” “Lean in!” “Stop
apologizing!” “Don’t get emotional!” “Keep your head down!” “Buck up!” “Say no!” “Say yes!” “You are your own worst enemy!”
Every single day there are
hundreds of messages aimed at us, telling us that we are not trying hard enough, not achieving enough, not being enough. ! It’s so easy to lose our focus and certainty to self- doubt when so many around us - including our own families - question our paths. @missrogue
Riya launch: Over 1 million
photos uploaded in under 24 hours from over 20k sign ups. Done without advertising or traditional marketing/PR. Before we called it ‘social media’. ! Riya was acquired by Google in 2009 (became product search). @missrogue
My struggle lives on the
web Buyosphere: Raised over $500,000 from friends/ family and angels over 3 years. Built 3 iterations of a product (with one major pivot). Pitched on the TechCrunch Disrupt stage. Got tons of press (including InStyle Magazine’s clever click award). ! Shut the site down this month.
Justin Trudeau LPC Leadership Campaign:
I’d never run social for a political campaign, but that didn’t stop me from saying yes! Justin won in a landslide with 80% of the popular vote. We attracted over 11,000 volunteers and broke fundraising records.
lime foundry Lime foundry: Started
with two others on the premise that we could create simple social content programs for clients. Had 4 clients, but the partnership broke down. ! Shut down after less than a year.
Our Onlynesses • Experiences •
Histories • Personalities • Geographies • Training • Hobbies • Connections • Who we admire • Who has shaped us • Our families • Our ethics • Our work • Our level of confidence • Our dark sides • Our talents • and much much more…
– Nilofer “The thing about
any of our aspirations or dreams is that they are always—as of yet— unproven. So of course this is impossible. To go towards a new future, action is the thing… ! “If you wait for someone else to first give you permission to pursue a new direction, then you are, in effect, seeking permission to be yourself.” http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Nilofer-Merchant-Steps-to-Living-Your-Purpose#ixzz2TqxIj5Nv
1. They have embraced who
they are + found their onlyness - their unique story. ! 3. They carved out their own definition of success. In fact, they’ve created it. ! 5. And though every single one of them has probably faced enormous self-doubt + push back, they went for it anyway.
Stuff my parents think is
important (not in particular order) 1. Stability 2. Buying a house 3. Being debt free 4. Being a good Mom 5. Being happy
Stuff others think is important
(not in particular order) 1. The size of your bank account 2. The awards/accolades you’ve won 3. Your title + distinctions 4. How many other people think you are important 5. The power/influence you have
Stuff I think is important
(not in particular order) 1. Being challenged + growing constantly 2. Collecting a diversity of experiences + meeting a diversity of new people 3. Leaving the world a better place than I found it 4. Living life to the fullest 5. Being a good person