I am riding the train down to New York right now to attend the memorial services for a dear friend’s mother. While I certainly wish I did not have to take this trip today, I am appreciative of the quiet time that the three hour train trip offers me. Email has been responded to, ideas for work have been brainstormed, and a little light reading has been enjoyed.
One of the magazines I perused was the new Oprah. Her theme this month was confidence. I love one of the articles taglines- “Life take perseverance and pluck, and though we know you’ve got both, we’ll help you reinforce your resolve and believe in yourself like crazy.” Doesn’t Oprah’s words always make you feel better? I read the heartbreaking excerpt about Pat Summit’s acceptance of her Alzheimer’s diagnosis, but what really struck me was Oprah’s conversation with Sheryl Sandberg.
As everyone in America knows, Sheryl Sandberg has just released her book Lean In, a manifesto encouraging woman. Originally when I heard of Ms. Sandberg, I was anti-Ms. Sandberg before I knew anything about her. At times, I feel like I am treading water in all aspects of my life, feeling that I am just doing enough to get by in my professional and personal lives. And, honestly, I felt quite okay with myself her. I still do in some ways. However, after reading her interviews, I started to see her perspective. She shares the research that men apply for promotions if they meet 60% of the qualifications but women only apply if they meet 100% of the listed qualifications.
Sanberg also states that she and her husband split household responsibilities 50/50. But she speaks, “ There were a lot of discussions to get us there…. One of the things I really want women to know is that almost no men come fully trained. And we don’t, either, for that matter.”
This reflection resonates with me so much. I have days when I simply think that I cannot do it all. That I do not meet 100% of the qualifications needed for all my hats that I wear. I also have days that I wish my husband was a mind reader and that he knew I needed more help with the boys or the house. Is that too much too ask? But, I realized too that he is my biggest supporter- he is the one who encourages me to lean in to opportunities. And, that when things are REALLY important to me, he just knows. He figures out ways to be the mind reader and help me. He is the one who has more confidence in me than I do in myself.
It’s time for me to remind myself that I have earned being confident.
My running will return because I have worked hard at it.
My kids will flourish because I give them my all.
My marriage will thrive because we support and love each other.
My professional live will be fulfilling because I enjoy my work and colleagues.
My relationships with others will grow because I work on the ones that are important to me.