If I Weren’t Afraid #BlogHer13

I’ve been absolutely positively addicted to Sheryl Sandberg since the day almost four months ago when the Women’s Business Resource Group talked about Lean In. I’ve shared a few things with you on this here blog, and many of you know I got to listen to Sheryl speak in person at BlogHer 13 last week. And some of you have been dying to know what in the world I thought of it.

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Well, of course I loved every moment of it, even if I had read the book and heard a web version of the speech before. Tears came to my eyes as I thought of my ‘lil girl and Sheryl said that “the next time someone calls your daughter bossy, take a deep breath and say ‘my daughter has executive leadership skills”. And I thought about myself, and how my parents primed me to be a leader and how I have all these dreams and things I’d love to do if only I could just Lean In.

This is what I wrote. Sure, I’d love to do it, but I’m not really afraid of doing it (minus the fact I’d have to quit my job and Greg would have to start one just to keep us afloat):

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I even took a picture of myself with it, then posted it in a few places around BlogHer.

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But, is it really what I would do if I wasn’t afraid? No. It’s not what I really and truly want to be doing. Instead, I should have written any of the following:

* Manage a customer call center.
* Manage social media and blogger outreach for a company or a sports team (large scale, do you hear me, Pittsburgh Steelers?).
* Zipline!
* Join a CrossFit gym.
* Write a book about being a pastor’s kid.
* Write a book about losing Wendy.
* Tell the guy across the way that he shouldn’t talk to his wife and daughter like he does.
* Forgive myself for the past.

If you want details on Sheryl’s interview, you can read the transcript here.

Your turn. What would you do if you weren’t afraid? You can share below, or at the Not Afraid Tumblr.

Lean In, Jump On

Today was an extremely inspiring day for me on many levels. I’ve been reading Lean In both in anticipation of BlogHer and because my women’s group at work discussed it last month. I’ve learned it’s time to jump on the rocket ship and take the ride.

By the way, don’t let me fool you. I have many pages left to read–good thing I got my hands on a discussion guide. 

The day that I attended the Lean In discussion was not such a great day for my family. I was admittedly distracted and didn’t listen as well as I should have. My cousin (one of my mentors) sat beside me, both of us hearing a message that is amazing for women leaders like ourselves. But I truly think if we were to grab a cup of coffee (or peppermint hot chocolate) and really discuss it together, we’d learn that YES, we do have a seat on the rocket ship and are taking the ride.

So back to today. I’ve been waiting to talk to people at my company about our social media strategy and blogger outreach as part of my career path goals (by the way, if you don’t have an 18-month plan, get one). Today was the day I got to do just that, and now I understand the strategy a bit better. I’ve also taken a leap, jumping on that rocketship, and put myself out there as someone who can be of value. I let them know that I have skills and a desire to learn. Hopefully some of you will look to do the same.

At lunchtime, it was another gathering of our women’s group. This time, we discussed ambition and how not to lose it. One of the key things we talked about was having a network of people that support you. I couldn’t help but tear up a little thinking about my amazing network. There’s my cousin who is not only a mentor, a co-worker, a friend, a mother, but an all around loving and amazing person. There are my “wingmen” who help me through. My parents who are incredibly loving and supportive and have built a relationship with my kids. My family in PA and SC who have always been there for me, no matter what. There are the women on Twitter and in real life that I can turn to for advice (or to plan a cup of coffee with). I am lucky to have this network guiding my path and journey.

And then this evening I got to talk with two incredible women who are working on balancing marriage, motherhood, and busy careers. This was all thanks to someone else very important in my network, someone who has helped me in the blogging and breastfeeding worlds. (I can’t wait to share the story with you–you’ll have to watch out for my link to Life With Levi to find out more!) Thank you, Jen, for being a mentor and friend.

So tonight, as Greg and I get to enjoy some time together, I am not going to be able to stop smiling. I’ve leaned in. I’ve been offered a seat on a rocket ship and I got on. You can’t get to the stars without taking that first step–jump on. To all the women in my life who are wondering how we will ever do it all, stop worrying and just jump. It’s our time to shine and show the world what we’ve got.

Are you with me? Let’s lean in, jump on.

Lean In Rocketship Get on
Source: facebook.com/leanincommunity