During my studies at LM University in Munich my professor gave a lecture on learning motivation and giftedness. As an opening question he asked: "Who in this class room will graduate as one of the top three?" Only very few students raised their hands. I was one of them.
Nominating yourself doesn't come naturally and it's often stigmatised. It takes guts to do it, and even more guts to talk about it honestly and authentically.
Some time ago somebody contacted me about the Digital Female Leadership Award and I decided to apply. Let's call it what it is, I nominated myself for an award. One may think this as narcissistic, conceited or even sad. Not good enough to get nominated? Not popular and loved enough that somebody would step up and nominate you? Reading all the tweets about how humbly honoured they are that xyz nominated her for the award.... Doubts are up and high again.
But here's the thing. This is their story, not mine.
My story is different, every story is unique and you never know their path. And it does not matter.
What matters is that I lived up to my own values and did what is important to me.
And, yeah. I nominated myself, made a ridiculous video of myself, I spent hours asking people for votes. I got so much support, every vote was a pat on the back, a sign of encouragement and solidarity, and proof that there are people out there who support me unconditionally.
The women who made the finals are all amazing, established and simply wonderful women in the digital industry whose work I admire deeply. I am glad they showcase their expertise, as it is apparently still "hard to find female speakers" (quote and much BS, I believe). I am truly happy for them and it looks like they deserve it.
I did not win this award. And I did not make top 3 in my masters degree (no. 4 though!)
Will I continue nominating myself for awards, positions, speeches and everything else? HELL YES!
This is why I nominate myself for awards, and you should too.
I refuse to wait for people to nominate me.
I refuse to wait for professors to ask me for a phd.
I refuse to wait for TEDx to invite me to talk.
I refused to wait until my man asked to marry me.
I refuse to wait till my boss gives me a bonus.
I refuse to not ask for what I want in a respectful, authentic way.
...Imagine what we could get if we asked for it every time? And what we are miss by not asking!
I do it myself. Is it easy?
Of course it's not easy and whoever says that it is, is probably not being honest. Which is okay, because being open and vulnerable is the hardest thing on earth, at least for me.
So, all in all it was a great experience, nominating myself for an award, and I am more than thankful for every single person who took the time to vote for me. Thank you all!
From the heart, Marisa.
Marisa Tschopp is a DrivenWoman member, researcher, a TEDx speaker and Women in AI ambassador for Switzerland
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