A while back, my Cisco colleague and I were in Boston. I shared with him that I wanted to visit the Paul Rivera statue. He looked at me so confused and asked, “Who?!”
With confidence, I repeated, “I want to see the Paul Rivera’s statue!” He then looked at me awkwardly. He looked like he was doubting himself and said, “Do you mean Paul Revere?” Then, I died of laughter. I had turned Paul Revere into a LatinX/Spanish individual.
In Boston, I spoke with confidence, but that hasn’t always been the case. Due to English being my second language, I have often second-guessed myself before I speak in a meeting, give a presentation, send a chat, or email. Second-guessing myself causes a domino effect I’ve experienced over and over again. I lose my presence in the current situation because I am distracted by the conversation going on in my head. I begin to strategize and think about how I am going to say what I mean and ensure I am using the correct words, phrases, or pronunciations. The distraction in my head causes me to lose focus on what is being discussed. Then, someone else ends up saying what I wanted to say because I was too busy focusing on how to say it. And when this happens, I am disappointed in myself for the rest of the day.
It is mind-boggling, time-consuming, and an energy-sucker to go through all these emotions because I fear making a mistake. Finally, I decided “ya no más,” which is Spanish for “no more!” I was no longer going to second guess myself. I was going to start shooting my shot. And if I do make a mistake, I will take it as a learning opportunity.
And now, my “ya no más” and shoot your shot attitude has allowed me to reach new possibilities.
One of the most recent opportunities was giving my first public presentation on behalf of Cisco at the Grace Hopper Celebration in Orlando, Florida! I presented to an audience of women in tech on building products with responsible AI and creatively tied it back to Beyoncé and 8-Mile. Was it a success? The audience laughed at my jokes, so I consider it a win! I even made sure to include a piece of my own advice, “Be empowered to use your voice and speak up at those meetings.”
Remember, nobody is perfect, except Beyoncé. 😉 If you mispronounce or use the incorrect word or phrase, it’s OK! Take it as a learning opportunity, and let it help you reach new possibilities. Don’t apologize, be yourself and own it!
Be you, with us. Explore careers now!
I resonate with everything you said Veronica, I experienced this same type of blockage working in France. Sometimes my sentences don’t flow and they sound choppy then I go back trying to correct what I said, of course naturally the conversation has moved on. I find my self having to yell just to be heard which becomes very exhausting by the end of the day. “ya no más” “ya no más” “ya no más”. I decided to let go and join toastmasters. Now my approach is WYSIWYG (What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get) with a touch of Kobe Bryant (never afraid to take the shot) and I’m less tired at the end of the day.
At DevShift – I 100% resonate with “I am less tired at the end of the day!” I would spend so much time thinking about “what if!?”
My 2022 Vision Board was all about shooting your shot, and I am glad to see that is your mantra!!
I love this! Even as a native English speaker and technical communicator, I’ve struggled with a lot of that same mental soundtrack. It’s a great reminder to let go of that stronghold of perfectionism and relax into the moment. And part of being empowered to be our authentic selves. Also — yay for presenting at the Grace Hopper Celebration!! You are a true leader with reach and impact.
@Tana you phrased it perfectly “let go of that stronghold of perfectionism and relax in the moment!” It reminds of the book Be Brave, Not Perfect!
So True, well said!! Great Going
Love it, thanks for sharing your story!
Violeta thanks for your support!
That touch my heart ❤️ you was really honest with your comments and it happens me each day in Montreal. Ya no más!!!
@Erick we have all been there and continue to sometimes be there. We just have to tell ourselves “ya no mas!!”
Ya No Mas! No more!
I will use this to empower myself in those moments of self-doubt; to overcome my fear and use my voice. Thank you for sharing the story of Paul Rivera 😉 Boston is amazing to walk around and witness all the history.
@Aisha I laughed out loud! Paul Rivera <3!!
I hope you stop doubting yourself and speak up. Your ideas deserve to be heard! You can end up solving the problem for the team.