I have always struggled to have confidence in myself, especially because I’m a perfectionist. It took me *years* to settle into a career because I would instantly start comparing myself to the industry leaders from day one, which created even more feelings of inadequacy and dissatisfaction.
In December of 2018, I was offered a social media internship at a startup company based in Salt Lake City, Utah called KLYP. Since the team was small, we got to work with the CEO, Steven Sylvester, pretty often. I was so intimidated! I had never been the type of person to raise my hand to answer questions or pitch new ideas because I was terrified of ever being wrong (like I said, huge perfectionist!). There was no more hiding behind large class sizes and dominating personalities.
Steven didn’t just ask for every intern's opinion in every meeting. He would actually consider what we said and make big decisions based on what we thought. I had never had a manager or leader who would ask what I thought... and then actually do it! Having someone as knowledgeable and successful as Steven value my opinion and trust my instincts even more than I did is what really gave me confidence in myself. I began to trust myself more and more. I started pitching more new ideas, sharing more of my opinions, and spending more time preparing for meetings so I would always have something valuable to say. Within 6 months I went from being a social media intern to the executive marketing director of the entire company. I figured out what my strengths were and found a career that I loved. I don’t think I could have done any of it without the confidence to reach higher and achieve more.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE IN YOU. Nothing can tear you down faster than being surrounded by people who look down on you. Nothing will build you up faster than being surrounded by people who trust you and recognize your strengths. I don’t think I would be anywhere near where I am now if I didn’t have friends, coworkers, and a boss who saw the best in me and consistently reminded me of my strengths.
- Ashlyn B