After viewing an interview with Michelle Obama and actor Tracee Ellis Ross at this weekend's United State of Women Summit in LA, I was struck by the phrase "failing up". This phrase was used in the context of how men do not allow failure to impede their self confidence, their ability to keep moving forward to attaining their goals or, in short, slow them down, much at all.
As young girls (who eventually age into adulthood), we are taught and conditioned to be "perfect", to "watch our mouths", to "not be bossy", not "rock the boat" and other such nonsense. In her remarks, Michelle cautioned parents not to silence their children (using the old adage that children should be seen, not heard). Michelle offered that her parents allowed she and her brother Craig to exercise their voice, even if they had a contradictory perspective or words to offer. The key, Michelle pointed out, is showing respect and tact in the delivery of their viewpoint.
After a childhood of repeatedly and often told to "watch my mouth" and stop being so "bossy", I have learned how to pivot these negative directives to develop and refine my communications skills which has led me to become a strong leader. I use these skills to teach and train professionals, especially women professionals, to learn how to use their voice and professional presence to create the career of their dreams by charting their own course. Why? Because there is no need to spend 30+ years of our lives unfulfilled and feeling stuck when we have everything we need to create the life we dream about but don't think we have the tools to manifest it.
To that end, I offer a free E-book, "Create the Career of your Dreams by Charting Your Own Course".
I also encourage you to watch the interview referenced above, which I found to be amazingly inspirational and empowering. For those with daughters, flip it to them as well.
We all have a voice, let's learn how to use it to the best of our ability!