Jessica Mendoza, espnW blog: Focus on positives and be more confident
As I’m sitting down to write this, I’m all amped up from a women’s event I attended recently in Los Angeles. It was the first annual Women in Sports and Events (WISE) LA Women of the Year dinner and it was, hands down, a hit. I talked with so many other women in business, and we discussed ways we can all network and help each other more. I was able to speak at this event, and I used a story that Billie Jean King told at a retreat for espnW a couple of months ago. She talked about how, when she meets a couple and brings up sports, the guy is always bragging about how good he is at this and that — even if he wasn’t at all. His confidence immediately comes out. For the woman, her demeanor could not be more different. She immediately says things like “I’m horrible at hitting a ball” or “I’m so un-athletic”, etc.
BJK’s speech really stuck with me, and the reason I shared it with the WISE LA audience was because I pride myself in talking to 13-18-year-old girls about being more confident and secure in who they are — and having the ability to look themselves in the mirror and see a beautiful, kick-ass girl looking back. But what I’ve realized over the last few years is that this advice isn’t just for high school girls, but for ALL women, including myself. We can all do a better job of being more confident, and not letting ourselves be pigeon-holed into the stereotypical “humble” woman, who can never say how great and wonderful she is. I wanted to share with these amazingly successful women that letting the world know how much we rock, and focusing on our assets instead of the negatives, is the way to break through any barriers we face.
There were two other amazing women who spoke — Leslie Billinger from Coca-Cola and Julie Solowold from John Paul Mitchell Systems. Leslie really hit home when she said that we, as women, whether we’re strangers or not, need to help one another and push each other. Create a “good old girls network.” Julie talked about balance. She was a single mother and still climbed the ladder from receptionist to VP of Global Sports Marketing over 19 years. She encouraged women to follow their careers because that can make you a stronger mother. Her daughter (who was there) never felt alienated; she was influenced so much by her hard-working mother, that she followed in her footsteps and now has her own successful career in marketing.
This glimpse into one night with incredible women is just one of many reasons why I’m so excited for the launch of espnW. I’m excited to be a part of this because I know how many people — men and women — will be affected by so many confident, balanced, kick-ass women.
Love it, Dream it, Live it!
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