I have over 20 years of quantifiable success in three areas of communications under my belt (and lately, a lot of pizza), but I would need 10 in this exact, specific one before I'd dare stand before a group of people and presume to teach them anything about it.
I give away my power every single day because I don't feel entitled to say "this knowledge counts for something."
And I'm pretty sure I'm not alone on this.
What brings this on? I went to an alumni networking event this evening. I've been to enough of them to know not to think of them as card-collecting expeditions, but as learning experiences. I've even been to enough of them to know I'm not necessarily going to learn what it is the "expert" thinks he is there to teach me.
Tonight, he came to teach me about how to become a better communicator; what I learned is that I am already the communicatrix.
A successful director I once knew put it best, between takes of a commercial we had hired him to direct. (He's since gone on to work in episodic TV, and quite successfully.) Five years before that, he'd been a production assistant, gathering experience on the sets of various film productions. Then one day, he declared himself a director. Because, as he put it, there is no director track.
Yes, there are nuances to be learned and skills to be honed, always. And thank god. That is the joy of work, that discovery.
What there is not is some magic key to the kingdom, or tap on the shoulder in the middle of the night that will initiate me into some secret society of You Are Officially Okay. There is only Lesson #3:
The last 10% is all about balls.
Or, you know, lady balls...