What Keeps Smart Women From Getting What They Want
All fired up over dinner, cold cider and smart women
When will we, as women, start telling the truth? When are we going to share who we are, all it took us to get to where we are and all the bullshit we went through to get here?
We're at dinner with my father and mother-in-law trying to get a reprieve from the 113 degree heat wave in Vancouver, Washington. During dinner, my mother-in-law shares a story about one of her closest friends who I had the pleasure of meeting several years ago.
Her friend is highly intelligent, accomplished and has a powerful presence. She's been the "first" at many things and has overcome numerous obstacles to reach the level of success she has today. She's working on an online course and recently signed up for a program by a well-known motivational speaker to learn how to sell it.
My day job is copywriting and marketing, so I couldn't resist asking questions to learn more about her friend and how she planned on marketing her course. I wanted to know how she'd be using her story (all the things she's accomplished and learned over the past 60 years) to show her authority and expertise.
I was horrified to hear that her friend didn't want to talk about all she's accomplished. "I want people to like me for me, not for what I've accomplished."
What does that even mean?
Why would this highly accomplished, wise woman not share her own experiences and how they shaped the life she lives today? Why would she dismiss the very things that formed her into the amazing woman and role model she is now?
As my mother-in-law relayed more of her friend's story, the more heated I got.
Because her friend's story isn't new. I see this all the time with smart, ambitious and highly accomplished women. And it infuriates me. I feel my body getting hotter and my emotions running high. This is my hot button, my trigger, the thing I get so heated about.
We say we want to be leaders and that we want to serve, but we refuse to share who we are, where we come from, how we got here and what we stand for. We often downplay or dismiss our accomplishments, our trials, and the very essence of our brave hearts. Instead, we hide the parts of ourselves and our lives that make us interesting and worthy of following.
"Well, the truth is she could sell her course like hot cakes if she just shared her story. Because her story, what makes her unique is exciting, compelling and gives people hope that they can do great things too. And it's REAL," I blurt out.
My mother-in-law pauses and then says "I know, but she doesn't want to share any of that."
And that's the REAL problem, isn't it?
When are we, as women, going to share our real, true and raw stories about who we are and what it took us to get to get here?
You can't get what you want when you refuse to OWN who you are, how you got here and what you stand for.
Who TF are you and why should people care? That's the million dollar question and one you need to answer.
It's not really the thing you do that makes you interesting and relatable. It's all you DID to make that thing happen. Sharing the obstacles and challenges you faced and pushed through is what inspires, compels and attracts the people who need you.
Everything you've experienced or gone through in life has shaped you in one way or another. And it's that shaping that's the most interesting part of you. This is what people really want to hear about. Because this is what creates a deep, emotional connection.
So, tell your damn story as it is - not how you think it should be. Or how other women you admire tell theirs. This is about you. So, tell them the truth. And don't gloss over the yucky parts. Let people know what it really took to get to where you are today so they can see their own possibilities.
Being a trustworthy leader means you OWN who you are and you share your story from a place of real and raw experience. No one is interested in a perfectly packaged fairytale or a superficial, generic story.
If you're a smart woman, it's time to fully OWN all the accomplishments and achievements you've earned without minimizing and without apology. STAND up for what you believe in regardless of whether people agree with it or not. And tell the truth. That's how you'll get what you want.