I remember very clearly the hesitation and overwhelming angst I felt over clicking Submit. I read, and re-read the abstract for my session. The email of denial I had received a few months’ prior for my speaking submission to a Salesforce conference earlier in the year flashed before my eyes. Is my topic good enough? Do people in the Salesforce community even care about my perspective? Who do I think I am submitting to speak at Midwest Dreamin’, the largest Salesforce community led, community ran conference?
Sigh of relief. Sort of. I told NO ONE of my submission, just in case I was not accepted as a speaker. Which, given the topic of my submission, was right on par. You see, I submitted to speak about Imposter Syndrome. You know..that feeling that you aren’t qualified enough, or that at any moment you will be found out to be a fraud? It was a topic I had discussed with peers in previous months, and to which I felt very connected.
“Congratulations! You have been chosen to be a speaker at Midwest Dreamin’ 16! We look forward to seeing you at this event being held at Navy Pier in Chicago, July 21st and 22nd.”
As I had with the abstract, I read and re-read the congratulatory email that just hit my inbox. Instantly, tears of joy streamed down my face, as I screamed, jumped around and applauded myself over the news!
Then panic set it.
Oh no…now I have to actually prepare a speech. A deck of slides & content. If I speak, I will surely be found out and laughed off the stage, if anyone even shows up for this session!
I am happy to report that none of my fears were confirmed. My first speaking engagement to my beautiful Salesforce community was embraced. People actually showed up for my session, and were interested hearing my and sharing their perspective. My friend Jennifer Wobser, who I like to call the Salesforce O.G. Admin, compared the end of the session to Admin Therapy. We all shared our stories of feeling like imposters. We laughed, we cried. Some say it was better than Cats. 😊
If I had given into my initial hesitation in submitting my session idea, I would have missed out an amazing bonding experience with my fellow community members, missed out on making real connections, as well as friends for life. After the conference, I was happy to learn my session was included in a recap of the event by Mediafly as one of the five biggest moments from the conference. I am on a list with Salesforce’s Chief Digital Evangelist, Vala Afshar. Vala Afshar, people!
My experience has emboldened me to try things I haven’t before, (like writing a story on Medium, for example) and I feel better as a result.
I challenge you all to <Submit/> without hesitation. You may be delightfully surprised!