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Finding Gloria

Posted September 18, 2009 by Marcy Twete in Leaders We Adore

Isn’t it funny when you find something you forgot about but absolutely needed at that moment? That happened to me five minutes ago. I dug through my desk for a notebook of post-its so I could write down some movie times. And stuck between the pages was a big post-it with the notes I’d written down at womenwinning’s fundraiser in June – about Gloria Steinem’s speech at the event.

I blogged the day before the event about how excited I was to go, but never blogged about the experience. There’s probably a reason – because I didn’t need the advice I wrote down until recently. Sometimes you find things exactly when you need them.

These are the five things I wrote down about Gloria’s speech:

  1. Women must feel at ease being intelligent, sensual and compassionate all at once.
  2. Be present.
  3. “And this is what I want.”
  4. “If the shoe doesn’t fit, must we change the foot?”
  5. What are you selling?

I don’t know how to explain it, but somehow all these things fit together for me into one big sound piece of advice. As women, we set expectations for situations and we change the way we act to fit the situation. But what if we made it a point to enter every situation completely present, didn’t worry about what people want from us, but instead focused on being exactly as we are – intelligent, sensual and compassionate all at once. We don’t have to choose between sexuality and intellectual conversation. We can have it all. And when we get it all, we can admit, “This is what I want.”

And on top of that, if we don’t get it all – we don’t need to blame it on us. If the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t try to cut off your own leg to solve the problem – toss out the shoe. And ask yourself whether or not it was the right shoe to buy in the first place. If you bought that shoe, why? Does it fit with the image you’re selling? Probably not. Because really, what are you selling?

Thanks, Gloria. I needed you this week!

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."