I read a great interview with Secretary Hillary Clinton in my September 2011 Glamour Magazine while sipping cocktails by the pool. I've never held much of an opinion towards Secretary Clinton one way or another, but this article served to spark my interest in her specific brand of politics. One quote in particular really struck me.
Secretary Clinton says; "I was talking to a friend and very successful businessman the other day, and he said 'The thing that still annoys me more than anything is that I see all these young women who are so much more capable than they allow themselves to believe. And I see so many young men who are so much less capable but who believe they are God's gift to the world.'..."
Now, I want to preface the following sentiments by saying there are, of course, many great men out there who talk the talk AND walk the walk. There are many great men who contribute wonderful things to our society from a place of genuine capability and I am grateful for them. I see this first hand at my office daily. I see creativity, hard work, kindness and authenticity flow from all 12 of my male coworkers. I cherish my time with each of them and I know how fortunate I am to be a part of their team. But throughout the last 5 years of my "grown up" career days I have also encountered several men who have forced me to take a step back and think whoa, how did you make it this far? Do you actually have anything to back up what you're saying/doing or is this act of arrogance just that--an arrogant act?
How capable are you allowing yourself to be? When I think about this question I think about all of the women in my life. I think about the numerous times I've listened to my friends doubt themselves over and over again; in relationships, careers, family matters and even seemingly simple day-to-day decision making. And then I think about how smart they are. How caring and loving, feisty and passionate, loyal and honest or witty and articulate they can be. I think about what powerful, powerful beings they were created to become...and my heart breaks to know so many of them don't see this within themselves. We, as women, have become so good at being one another's cheerleaders (and this is great! I'm a big fan of this), but in the process we've neglected to be the biggest cheerleader for ourselves. This may not be true for all, but it is certainly true for many. We can pour out hours worth of genuine encouragement for the people we love and believe in, but we can barely squeak out a few spare drops to nourish our own growth.
When did we become so hesitant to trust our instincts and have faith in our talents? At what age did a divide between men and women and their "I am capable" confidence begin to form? Frankly, it's boggling.
Ladies (hell, ladies AND my less-than-confident fellas)- You are allowed to be rad.
You are allowed to take risks. Encouraged to take risks.
You are allowed to, as Secretary Clinton says, "dip your feet in the pond and see if you want to swim."
You are allowed to acknowledge your talents, your hard work, your accomplishments--own them! Rock them! I beg you, have the will to share them with others!
Whatever it is that makes your pulse race, go for it. Our passions are so often our callings; it's time we start honoring them. Don't settle. Keep pushing. You are so much more capable then you are allowing yourself to be.
I raise my poolside cocktails to you, Secretary Clinton. Thanks for the reminder to be rad.