I wanted to share with you an experience I had a couple of weeks ago at the Microsoft corporate office here in Minneapolis. Each year, Microsoft hosts an event called DigiGirlz in cities across the country and in many countries around the world. (Find it at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/diversity/programs/digigirlz/digigirlzday.aspx)
It’s intended for school age girls, grades 8-12, and is a first-hand look into the world of technology and what that may look like in terms of career options. It’s a full day of workshops, hands-on learning, speakers and tons of fun.
Why was I there you ask? (Clearly because you know me and I can be a bit technology challenged at times ).
I was honored to be asked to sit on a panel of successful executive business women the girls would have access to. They were given the opportunity to ask questions about our backgrounds, how we chose our career paths, what kind of work we actually do, etc. I was so impressed by their poise and the questions they asked and I felt so proud to be part of the amazing group of women on that panel.
I was also asked if I would teach a workshop for the girls, and right away I knew what the topic would be:
I know that if someone had told me about mine way back then and explained what it was, why it was there and how I could manage it, my life would be so different. I felt it was my responsibility to share this information with them and get them starting to think about the voices they hear in their heads – and that those voices aren’t really theirs.
Here’s the cool thing that happened. We started talking about all the times the voice tried keeping them from doing something that was outside their comfort zone. There were some girls that really opened up about their experiences with their IC – sports try-outs, asking a boy to a dance, giving a presentation to the class – all kinds of things.
They started to get the picture that this voice, while on the surface seems to have good intentions to protect us and keep us from being humiliated, really is all about keeping us small and holding us back from doing really big things. I saw quite a few “a-ha” moments happening in the room – which warmed my heart. The workshop ended with the message that they can manage this voice and lead the kind of life they are truly meant to. And they can handle anything as long as they have faith in themselves. They’ve got this.
The seed was planted.
So here’s what I’m wondering right now – are you still listening to these voices and giving them all your power? Do you know who your Inner Critic is? What it looks like? What its voice sounds like? Most importantly – when it shows up, how to handle it?
I have lots of tools to help you learn more about the voices in your head and I can teach you how to recognize it and manage it, so it doesn’t control the choices you make.
I would love to work with you so one day you can say, “I’ve got this.”
Leave a comment and tell me what your Inner Critic voice sounds like. Let’s get the conversation started and learn the difference between the IC and your true voice!