Risk and Authenticity
This year is all about authenticity for me and how I can incorporate it into all my interactions, relationships and work. It got me thinking about the trip I recently took that initially seemed risky. The trip was to a Las Vegas, Nevada, where a women’s empowerment conference was held. Applying for and speaking at this conference was not a stretch by any means, however, it was outside my comfort zone because it was a deviation from the processes and work engagements I have been seeking. It was a risk: Do I travel to an unfamiliar place where I know no one and don’t know the lay of the land? What kind of “return” on my investment in this trip will I see?
Risk can be a hard concept to tolerate. As humans, we know that having risk in our lives can mean being unsure and having a bit of instability in our lives. Risk is something that we typically do not seek. In fact, we openly work to understand and avoid it.
Traveling to Las Vegas and engaging with women beyond the Midwest turned out to be a great risk because I connected with so many amazing ladies! I took a risk, made myself vulnerable and worked to educate others on a topic I’m extremely familiar with. I was very nervous going into the event. I was sweating buckets right up until I took the stage. I opened my mouth and all the worry fell away. I saw all the eager, engaged eyes looking at me, hanging on my words, wanting to know more about the story I shared with them. I had a total of 21 minutes to talk so it was a challenge!
It’s easy to forget how we work ourselves up with worry about a variety of things. Too often we allow a negative, doubting voice in our heads overpower the positive, confident one. We need more of those positive voices telling us to take a risk and remain authentic. It’s easy to fall back into bad habits and initiate the loop of self-doubt but we all have to remember to take a deep breath and think about the positives. For me it’s my mission to end workplace harassment. As long as I remain authentic and continue to take risks to share my knowledge, I’ll continue to kick the negativity to the curb.