Sometimes all I need is a shift in perspective from a dear friend to see things more clearly. I had dinner with an amazing woman who is also a former colleague. I adore this friend because she saw me at the beginning of my career. She took me under her wing which speaks volumes of the generosity of her character. I was a naive and inexperienced recent college graduate who was thrown into the fire two weeks after my start date. I worked on a team of two, and my other partner in crime was on vacation. My friend C made me take a lunch break every day. She made me walk with her if I looked overwhelmed. C is the person you want to train you in anything. She’s thorough, detail oriented and patient. She presents material clearly, and her training sessions aren’t boring.
We talked at length about the challenges we face as working women who are seen as pushovers or soft. We are the product of private schools; we do not interrupt when others are talking. We wait for a lull in the conversation to interject during meetings. We were raised to respect authority. We both work for companies that prize the fine art of arguing which is counter to how we were brought up. She said to me that she stopped asking for permission. That has really struck a chord with me. I cannot demonstrate initiative and leadership if I always ask for permission. This all comes back to my one word: belief. When I believe in myself and my abilities, the need for permission and validation goes away. Thank you Heather for providing me the prompt to explore this.