There’s a popular Buddhist quote I repeat often that goes something like “Bring the result into the path.” This quote set the foundation for me when I humbly accepted the honor and challenge to be part of the Breaking Through Barriers: The Art of Negotiation and Moving Up panel with the lovely and accomplished Nina Dosanhj and Julissa Gomez at the WomanUP!® event at ICLV.
I asked myself, “What would I like the result to be for me, for my fellow panelists, for the audience who are so graciously giving us their time and ear? What could I possibly give that will lift Nina and Julissa up and at the same time lift our accomplished audience?” I wanted to share some advice that would be valuable to our fellow WomanUP!® attendees. I was nervous and hopeful but still found myself questioning my authority and expertise on the subject.
As women, we struggle with recognizing our worth, taking ownership of our skills and our accomplishments. What does an incredible organization like WomanUP!® see in me?
All of us can and should speak with authority on a variety of subjects, but often we don’t allow ourselves to take that step and act on it.
We hold ourselves back with doubts, fears and lack of self-confidence and don’t allow ourselves to shine.
Self-confidence is the foundation for breaking through barriers and it plays a big role in our negotiating power. I’ve always equated self-confidence to a muscle in our body. If you don’t use it, you lose it. Self-confidence has to be worked on daily; like a muscle it must be exercised and nourished. There will be times when we suffer a tear in our confidence and we will have to nurse it back to health. After all, we would do that for any part of our body, so why not our self-confidence? There was a time in my life I had complete confidence muscle atrophy and did the tough work to bring my certainty and assurance back to health. I did so by intentionally putting into practice all of the selfs; self-care, self-respect, self-worth, self-love, self-talk, self-compassion. I practiced happiness, purposefully. Being grateful everyday lifts your spirits and sets the tone for the day.
One incredible way to build self-confidence is to support, mentor and lift others up. I’ve found this to be one of the most effective ways to build confidence. By supporting and lifting your family, friends, neighbors and teammates, you lift yourself up. That’s an incredible feeling. I truly enjoy giving thoughtful, sincere compliments as well. It’s extremely rewarding for me to see faces light up when you give genuine compliments.
Knowing your stuff will boost your confidence greatly. I try to be prepared, do my research, practice, anticipate and foresee any and all scenarios so I can bring my best to the table.
I remember a friend telling me once “No one in the room wants to see you fail.” That’s powerful and true. When it came to the day of the WomanUP!® event, feeding off Nina’s wisdom and engaging in Julissa’s thoughtful questions created a safe space to discuss sensitive issues that we all experience at some point in our careers. Learning how each of us has handled difficult situations brings us closer together. This is how we can see ourselves in each other and can relate to one another. This only happens when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and share our stories. By doing so, it builds our confidence and nurtures our relationships.
What I truly LOVE about this experience was what happened before the panel even started. Getting to know the fabulous Nina and Julissa over lunch was not only special, it was magical! As we shared parts of our lives and experiences with each other, Nina and I discovered we were both Indian (who knew?). We both come from the same state in India and our mothers are from the same village! This right here is the magic WomanUP!® brings to our lives. They connect us, support us, collaborate with us and help us see ourselves the way THEY DO. And the result? We are lifted. We all shine. I am forever grateful. I am WomanUP!®
Ameeta Jain joined Nina Dosanjh and Julissa Gomez on stage at Inman Connect in Las Vegas this July to discuss Breaking Through Barriers: The Art of Negotiation and Moving Up. If you would like to connect with Ameeta, she welcomes your messages: