By Kelsey Woods
The Portland Bold Betties are a new branch of the Bold Betties community, so to get a feel for what these Betties wanted to do, we sent out a survey, and one of the questions that was asked was “what does #DiscoverYourBold mean to you?” The responses were amazing. And I want to share what #DiscoverYourBold means to me, and how it was the first step I took in becoming a Chapter Leader.
When I first saw the post for the Bold Betties, I thought this must be one of those moments… those moments you know looking back you’ll wonder “what would life be like if I hadn’t made that leap of faith?”
The Betties found me in my last term of college. That awkward point where you’re overqualified for half the jobs and under-qualified for the other half… I was feeling down on myself and insecure about my abilities for not landing the job. You know THE job. Ya, that one.
My biggest insecurity was my ability to lead… and especially women! Why women? Why women! They are talented, fierce creatures who have all beaten the odds and made something of themselves in a world that is sadly still far behind in terms of equality. So yes, women intimidate me maybe a little because society says other women are competition. Maybe a little because they are all so amazing. Does she like me? Did she notice I’m wearing the same shirt as yesterday? Do I smell bad?
Really the problem wasn’t women all along. It was me—feeling insecure. And that insecurity was affecting my ability to lead. What makes me good a good leader? What IS a good leader? Heck I didn’t know… and then it came to me. Over how many cheap cups of coffee and long hikes later, this is what I came up with.
What makes a leader, like anything else is the ability to use your gut instinct—that one that you develop over time. You know, that skill you started learning when you were a baby. Cry. Get mom’s attention. Climb into cupboard. Get the cookies. The hardest thing about anything is the unknown. And that’s what it means to me to #DiscoverYourBold.
When you keep trying different things, you nurture this ability to problem solve and cultivate the confidence in yourself to take that leap of faith…the unknown direction of an unfamiliar trail, meeting new people, starting a different career—whatever it is, remember when you start to panic, stop. Look around. Assess the situation and problem solve, like you’ve been doing since you were 3.
Remember whether you’re new to the Betties or a veteran- no one is born perfect or all-knowing. So trust yourself. Trust your fellow Betties. Do. Do anything! Right or wrong you will learn from it. You’ll grow and be better at making the right decision for next time. But you’ll never have that experience if you don’t start somewhere. So, take the journey with me—join our tribe. We’ll give you the tools to succeed, and bring a friend (or two!) and together we can #DiscoverYourBold.
Comment below on what #DiscoverYourBold means to you.