It’s crazy how harsh women can be on themselves. I feel like it’s always a mental game of comparing yourself to others, to your former self, to who you want to be and everything in between. I know I’m a huge offender of this. In school, I was always so confident in myself. I knew I did well in school and excelled at projects and presentations, so I very rarely wavered. Yes, I’d get stressed out, but I knew I was capable — and more importantly (to me at the time), others also knew how capable I was. After college, my confidence disappeared. A few harsh leaders at my first job picked me apart down to the way I dressed, the cadence in which I spoke and the anxiety I battled everyday. My anxiety grew worse and worse until I had no confidence left. It’s really sad looking back on the person I was those first few years. I worked my ass off and went above and beyond to try to change my persona at work to fit in with what they were looking for but ultimately, it was never enough. At that point, it was in my head that I was not enough and that I was the problem.
I became timid — and I am not a timid person. At my next job, I started off a little shy. At first I was walking on eggshells and afraid to speak up in case I said the wrong thing. That first job ruined me in a sense — I was sitting on thoughtful insights and innovative ideas, but too afraid to share them because I thought I might overstep. It wasn’t long before my manager, Anna, started to really empower me. I hadn’t experienced something like that since I was a bright and chipper intern (s/o to Eric, the best mentor ever). She let me run with my ideas and take on more and more until I was able to do everything she did, so we were functioning as a balanced team. The last three months have been really testing. Anna was on maternity leave (with the cutest baby ever, Eden) and I was left in charge of social media. There were some really hard days, but also some major triumphs. The reason I’m telling you this is because I got my confidence back. I’m not sure when exactly it happened, but I have never felt so confident and sure of myself in my area of expertise — ever. And that’s kind of an amazing feeling.
So how did I become a total #girlboss again? Well, I think everyone’s journey to confidence (and being a girlboss) is unique — but here are a few things that got me there.
Know the value of your opinion.
This is honestly the biggest thing for me. I genuinely thought people didn’t care about my opinion at all, which was the reason I never spoke up. Learning that my opinion matters and has major value to many of my team members took awhile to understand, but it’s truly everything to me. Your opinion matters. Your ideas matter. Share them.
Don’t be afraid to say no.
This is a delicate balance. Once I learned that I didn’t need to be a “yes ma’am” to everyone, I probably got too comfortable pushing back or saying no. I’ve had some great mentors who have helped me strike the balance between yes and no and how to properly articulate those nos. Being able to advocate for your expertise and defend why you should or should not do something is absolutely key to owning your role.
Surround yourself with fellow girlbosses.
I didn’t realize how important it was to have a professional circle of amazing women behind you, but it most definitely is. From the coworkers you befriend to the friends you keep outside of the office, surrounding yourself with other positive, hard-working individuals is always a good idea. You will rub off on each other and help keep each other moving forward.
Dress the part.
I know this sounds silly, but whenever I know that I’m presenting to our VP or any exec, I always dress the part. Whether I put a little more effort into my hair or just put on my go-to professional dress (hello, ponté sheath) and heels, it can make a world of difference. They say you’re supposed to dress for the job you want, not the job you have. I’ve always been a firm believer in this. Want to feel like a boss? Dress like one.
When I saw this CY Design Studio #girlboss necklace, I knew I had to have it. It serves as a little reminder to keep my head up and keep killing it — because someday, someone will notice. Until then, I notice and that’s enough right now.
Want a #girlboss necklace for yourself? I’m giving one away on my Instagram! Head over and follow the directions on my latest gram to be entered! A winner will be chosen on Sunday, September 24.
What makes you feel like a total #girlboss? Have you gone through similar ups and downs with your confidence? Comment below because I’d love to chat more about it!
Until next time —
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