You belong in this room.

Don’t sell yourself short.

You aren’t to be ordered about. You are here as a professional.

Everyone else is as uncertain as you are. They may even be more afraid. Yet they’ve made the decision to not let any of this get in their way. They’ve made the choice to show up and be present, regardless of insecurity and fear.

You have a choice to make.

The first few times might be a show. You may have to talk yourself into it. Once you’re there, you may whisper hurtful names to yourself — pretender, phony, fake. Ignore that voice. Slowly, gradually, that whisper will fade and be replaced with an unmistakeable assertion. A knowing, a conviction, a sense of belonging that will lead you to places you had never before considered.

Tolerate discomfort.

The journey often starts with a moment of anxiety, terror, self doubt, even despair. It’s temporary. In time, you’ll look back and see how far you’ve come. The decision to put yourself in the game will become easier, and the unknown will appear less of a threat.

Accept the invitation.

Claim your space. Believe that you can hold your own. Ask questions that can’t be avoided. Demonstrate why you must be reckoned with.

You must show up.

If you’re not in the room, we can’t listen, we can’t watch your magic, and you won’t get any better. Tell us — show us — why should we stop here, with you, and not continue on.