In my primary 40-hour a week job, I consult on a $10B bond-funded construction program with about three dozen active construction projects in the Los Angeles region. Today, I was in a meeting where the top 4 people in the Program were in attendance (all virtually, of course). The objective was for them to get feedback from the department I work in about the Program. I was eager to speak up and point out where I feel the Program is weakest and necessary steps to correct course. As I reflect upon this meeting, I feel quite proud of myself because I used to be mortified about speaking up in any setting. I was hesitant to share my opinion for fear of having someone disagree with it. Defending my opinion was always out of the question. Therefore, I feel quite proud of myself for confidently voicing my opinion knowing full well that I was the expert in the room on this particular topic.
However, I can’t be too hard on my younger self. My present confidence comes from years of experience: years filled with as much failure as success.