September 29 , 2016

What BlogHer16 Taught Me About Owning My Expertise



I’ve been in many, many circles of women in my life- women healing, women making, women chatting, women performing. To be clear, I consider myself quite lucky to have so many experiences in the company of women. Circles of women are some of the most powerful places.  I believe in this wholeheartedly, so much so that I started Go Girls! Camp with my wife so that girls can tap into this power at an early age.  

Still, I found being in a room of 2000 women at BlogHer16 to be unlike any other. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I was surprised at how unique the vibe was. I couldn’t put my finger on the difference at first. Was it that everyone looked so fabulous? Was it the gorgeous hotel? The star-studded keynote program? Sure- the attention to beauty and to detail was lovely…but it was more than that. 

I expected to take lots of breaks and give my sensitive, introverted soul time to recover. But I just couldn't pull myself away. I went to panel after panel and session after session. I accepted my glass of champagne from Aisha Tyler (who is incredible, btw) and sat in good company at the Voices of the Year Awards. I had no trouble connecting with other women, networking and finding folks to be bloggy friends with. I spent 2 twelve hour days at BlogHer and had the absolute time of my life. But I didn't really get why until I was already headed on my road trip back home to Oakland.

Thinking back about everything I learned and what was lighting me up about the experience, it clicked. Last month, I wasn’t just in the company of 2000 women. I was in the company of 2000 women projecting confidence. That was the difference. It’s so easy for us to be swallowed up by our insecurities, isn't it? We apologize when we don’t need to. We make ourselves small. We disappear. We feel like imposters. But not at BlogHer. For all I know, every single one of us had moments of feeling like imposters on the inside. But not once did I come across a woman wearing her insecurities on her sleeve. We were there to practice owning our expertise. And when a large group of women arrive at the same destination across age, across size, across race and across the gender and sexuality spectrum as their best selves….the impact is palpable. 


I followed this incredible feeling to a session called "Owning Your Expertise" lead by SheKnows Media Executive Editorial Director, Julie Ross Godar. Listening to her discribe an actual phenomenon called "Imposter Sydrome" and define expertise as the commitment to your passion that you work on your whole life blew my mind. She reminded us that perfect is the enemy of good. Let me say that again. Perfect is the ENEMY of good. She encouraged us to claim our expertise by doing what we already do with a little more confidence and authority. 

I liked being in a room of women owning their expertise. I want more of it. I want lots and lots and lots of spaces where girls and women are running business, giving talks, creating content and strutting around like the powerhouses we are. Of course we also deserve rest and get to be imperfect and take the make-up off. But imagine a world where women were proud to take up space and demanded more and more? I got a taste of that world at BlogHer and I can’t wait to go back!