By Samantha McKenzie
Behind the scenes is where we tend to hide out. It’s where talented, productive, inspiring women have tucked themselves away for generations. It’s where our insecurities set up shop and successfully eek ourselves out of the limelight.
How many times have you heard a woman say, “I prefer to work behind the scenes. I don’t need any credit. I just want to do the work?” How many times have you agreed with her?
I know. I’ve been that girl. The girl who has spent a good portion of her career making others look great. I, like many of you, have been busy making “the magic” happen, managing all of the details of someone else’s grand idea. I am guilty of making the backstage my secret comfort zone, when I should have been more willing to stake a claim in my own contribution.
I’ve heard some women say that it sounds like they are bragging or being too boastful and they’d rather say it was a team effort. It’s just easier. I’ve sat quietly in meetings and allowed my male counterparts to take credit for my ideas. And I did nothing.
I was afraid of the spotlight.
But I’m reversing that type of behavior moving forward. My advice today is fairly simple: Get out of your own way and allow yourself to be great. It’s how it was always meant to be. It’s time we get comfortable being out front, speaking up, lending our expertise and leading the way. The entire world – literally – is awaiting our arrival.
The truth is, you weren’t born to be behind anyone. You were born to shine. We are all here to find our purpose, act on it and deliver. Stop worrying about everyone else. Learn to let the applause sink in. Try accepting the praise for what you do.
This means, when someone asks you to conduct a presentation, please accept. When you’re chosen to emcee the next awards program, gladly volunteer. The next time you are called upon to take center stage, at whatever level, say yes. And the next time you hear a friend say that she doesn’t want to be recognized for her work, challenge her to be different.
The stage of life is big enough for all of us. Let’s show up.