So… I’ve read the all articles and the books and watched the movies and television show interviews. Women who are confident are seen as cocky, while men who are confident get big raises and even bigger bonuses. Right? I mean, we’ve all probably been exposed to this statement in one form or another. Maybe someone has even suggested that you can be confident… just don’t outwardly project said confidence.
Well, I’m here to tell you that I think I’m great.
And guess what? You’re great too.
But really. We all are!!!! We may not be great at everything (let’s face it, I’m probably one of the worst test takers in the world…), but that doesn’t mean we’re any less GREAT.
I was feeling less than great last week. I was feeling frustrated for having a vision of what I wanted a project to look like and the end result being completely lackluster. I was feeling annoyed that emails I sent out were going unanswered. I was feeling upset that I hadn’t talked to some of my best friends in a while.
It turns out that I may not be the best seamstress in the world, but I’m pretty great at finding someone who is (aka my mom). And I’m pretty great at asking for help before ripping my hair out. It turns out that yes, my emails were unanswered, but I’m pretty great at finding a way to get them answered. (Who knew emailing a CEO could be so beneficial?) It also turns out that I’m great at Skyping, Emailing, and IMing with friends. (I think we’re probably all great at this one!)
… so I knew all along that I was great at all these things. It wasn’t the first time my mom has helped me with a sewing project, or the first time I had emailed a CEO, or the first time (haha) that I’d Skyped with a friend before. But why did I not feel so great?
Someone told me that I wasn’t great.
Okay, so maybe those weren’t his exact words, but that’s more or less what he meant. And I believed him. Why on earth would I let someone else make me feel any less great than I knew I was? It’s really easy, almost too easy, to believe someone when they say something like that. It happens all the time though.
I think we all (girls, boys, men, women, whomever) need to get over the fact that we’re not “supposed to” think that we’re great. You shouldn’t have to apologize for being proud of an accomplishment. You definitely shouldn’t have to hide a talent.
There are enough people out there who will tell you that you’re not great. But there aren’t enough people out there who will tell you that you ARE great.
Tell your best friend how great she is at public speaking. Tell your sister how great she is at baking cookies. Tell your coworker how great (and fun) she is to work with.

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Please read the book "Powering Up!" by Anne Doyle. You will never regret it! It's about the crucial importance of women leadership. The perfect read for all women of all ages.

Julia D.

First of all, I'm so sorry that someone said such a horrible thing to you. Unfortunately moments like that, as awful as they are at the time, provide some much needed clarity. It continues to mesmerize me that women are told to carry themselves differently if they want to be successful. I'll stop myself before digressing into the untruth of gender stereotypes, sexism, etc. because that isn't what this post is about. I have mixed feelings about telling that to oneself because I think it often leads to really unhealthy traits, but I am by no means against doing it when confronted with a situation in which you need to remember your own abilities. I think the last part of this post, about telling someone ELSE what they are great at, is SO important because this is unfortunately what caused you to question yourself. I'm a big believer that we should never pass up an opportunity to tell the people in our life what they are good at because they forget, and this post was such a good reminder of that. Thanks, Carly!

Chelsea Kabelsy

This is just what I needed to read – I'm completely stressing out about my doctoral thesis and am currently plagued by insecurities. I really need to remind myself that I am doing what I am doing for a reason, and that I wouldn't be here if I wasn't capable! Thanks Carly!

Jami Colonna

I have been following your blog for a little over a month now. This is by far one of the most inspiring entries! It makes me want to run around and post "Hello My Name Is : AWESOME " stickers everywhere 🙂


this is such a great post!! sometimes it's hard to see past what someone else thinks, and therefore get in a rut about who you are and what you do! but we have to remember that we are all unique and we are all great in our own way!!
one of my all time favorite quotes is from albert einstein and it's "“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
hope you have a great weekend!