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  •   Meagan Hooper commented on this post about 3 months ago
    Hi bSmart ladies and women who are new to this community!

    I wanted to share my own follow-up to "Chapter 1: The Inner Critic" from 'Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead.'

    For years, my inner critic was:

    3. Ostensibly, the voice of reason.
    4. The voice of 'You aren't Ready Yet'

    And to be honest, I'm still not sure if I'm being strategic or with taking additional and thorough preparations with my goals. For example, with bSmart, I didn't go out and tell the world I created an online mentorship and networking community. Instead, I've spent 5-6 years getting feedback on the technology and programs to figure out the best way to offer this to women.

    In some respects, this aligns with Tara's (the author) chapter on leaping, but at times I wondered if I've held myself back. For example, should I be fundraising instead of self-funding? Should I be paying for PR and marketing?

    It's hard to know whether you're being strategic or holding yourself back by requiring more preparation, more education, more crossing of t's and dotting of i's.

    What do the women in this community think is an appropriate balance for leaping versus being prepared and strategic?

    Are women in particular holding themselves back either from nature or nurture by being over-prepared for their goals?

    What "Inner Critic" voice do you identify with the most?

    1. Harsh, rude, mean
    2. Binary
    3. Ostensible, the voice of reason.
    4. The voice of 'You aren't Ready Yet'
    5. The voice of 'You aren't good at math / negotiating / technical stuff."
    6. The voice of body-perfectionism
    7. The tape.
    8. A broken record.
    9. Irrational but persistent
    10 The one-two punch.
    11. The inner critic may take inspiration from critical people in your life.

    To get the conversation started, I'm tagging Michelle Hoppe-Long Amanda McNaught Mary Bemis Anna Silverman Jessica Li Ursula Choi Diane Im Angelina Eimannsberger Amanda Sannella Gwendolyn Crafts Amanda Wowk Anne Whiting Yirou Yu Tracy Kim Jacqui Gabriella Bower Nina Wanda Schell Gonzalez Courtnie Weber Lilly Pianin
    • I think it's important to take risks, but calculated risks in that you understand the possible pros and cons that come with that action. You must leapI think it's important to take risks, but calculated risks in that you understand the possible pros and cons that come with that action. You must leap, but not into complete darkness. An really good example of this that I've recently learned in class was Soichiro Honda's creation of the Super Cub. If you would like to read more about it, I added a link below that shares the history of Honda's journey of introducing the Super Cub to the United States!

      https://global.honda/products/motorcycles/supercub-anniv/story/vol3.html

      I personally believe I identify with the voice of 'You aren't good at _____'. I always put myself down for my failures, but I need to remember that learning comes with failure. Jus because I failed once, doesn't mean I should give up. Instead, it should motivate me to try harder next time!

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    • Thank you, Meagan! This is an excellent point and definitely something I have experienced to different settings. There have been many interesting studThank you, Meagan! This is an excellent point and definitely something I have experienced to different settings. There have been many interesting studies on how men and women think differently about risk taking and about how they see themselves relative to other people.

      For me, in terms of decision making surrounding when I am ready to "take the next step", I think a few things have been quite helpful - 1) consulting a few close friends/family members who know me and my hesitations well (rather than mass feedback on the product), 2) thinking about my past record of achievements to give myself further confidence, especially circumstances where I had originally thought the field/subject/skill to be something that I could not master, 3) acknowledging the fact that I and many other women give ourselves and our own projects an x% discount relative to men in parallel circumstances, and 4) have other people hold be accountable - for example, having other people hold me to publishing something by x date.

      In the list of "Inner Critic" manifestations, a few that resonate with me are "the voice of body-perfectionism" and "you aren't good at math/negotiating/technical stuff." Especially as an applied math, statistics, and computer science concentrator, the latter is frequently an initial inhibitor. I find that what I usually have to do is jump into this, work very hard, and then realize that I am indeed outperforming many of my male classmates (overwhelming majority of classmates), contrary to my own "inner critic" thoughts.
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    • Thank you Ursula and Jessica!

      It sounds like you see the merits of taking risk and leaping even more so than I allow myself professionally. I'm goThank you Ursula and Jessica!

      It sounds like you see the merits of taking risk and leaping even more so than I allow myself professionally. I'm going to remember this next time I'm facing a decision to big or go home!

      Ursula - I think the inner critic can often stem from messages we received during our formative years / childhood. I wonder if there's a way to once and for all re-engineer those thoughts. It might sound silly, but have you tried writing down the top 10 criticisms you make about yourself and then writing down the opposite. Read aloud the 10 inverse affirmations when you wake up and before you go to bed (while looking in the mirror is even better.) I wonder if that would change your unconscious thought patterns? I heard someone on Oprah say that thoughts and beliefs live in our DNA and to change them, we need to deeply change our believes at our core. She even offered examples for how negativity lives in our skin and body "weighing us down."

      On that note - how is your semester going at school?!

      Jessica - That's so crazy your inner critic is "not good at math/negotiating/technical stuff" because YOU, more than any other person I know or have met, communicates with such an extreme understanding of those things! I too have the need to prove myself, ESPECIALLY in male-dominated environments. Growing up, I felt like I was surrounded by male bullies who assumed I was able to understand politics, finance, etc. It made me so mad to hear them belittle me. Even now as an adult living in NYC, every week, in small and subtle ways, I feel like men assume I won't know something or understand something because of how I look. It's maddening! That's why I became super determined to launch my own business that would hopefully dwarf all of theirs in revenue so that I could prove myself and other women as mentally as capable as them.

      On that note - what would you like to accomplish professionally that would create the reputation you want to have?
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    • P.S. I read the Honda story. Thank you for sharing!! I love the idea of starting with what's most challenging.
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    • Meagan Hooper I'll definitely try that! I heard that mantras can help you change your thinking, so I've been meaning to try something like that. ThankMeagan Hooper I'll definitely try that! I heard that mantras can help you change your thinking, so I've been meaning to try something like that. Thank you for the idea!

      I'm super busy this semester with recruitment going on, but it's been good so far. I'm honestly so proud of how productive and efficient I've been the past few weeks. I'm actually flying to New York on September 20th for an interview! I'll update you on how that goes!
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    • Oh please do! Good luck!
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  •   Meagan Hooper commented on this post about 4 months ago
    Ten of our School of Theatre Training students performing Three Chinese Idiom Stories in collaboration with the China National Theatre for Children. Working with myself and a Chinese director this project was an exploration of language and culture, performing the first story in Mandarin, the second as a direct translation, and the third an American adaptation.
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  •   Angelina Eimannsberger reacted to this post about 4 months ago
    Just returned from Beijing where I attended the ASSITEJ Artistic Gathering hosted by the China National Theatre for Children and had the privilege of having 10 of our School of Theatre Training students perform in front of an international community. Great conversations about what the future of Theatre for Young Audiences looks like.
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