“don’t give anyone permission to cut you down”
5 lessons from faye d’souza for women at the workplace.
“if you’re calm, you get the power. and when you’re powerful, you get to remain calm.”
that’s one of the several wisdom-packed nuggets faye d’souza dropped in conversation with our members.
after months of anticipation, we finally hosted this much-loved millennial voice in a fireside chat last saturday, april 15. with an intimate offline audience of around 50 women, and our engaged online community of over 400, the session was warm, candid and heartfelt – with thought-provoking questions that spoke right to our hearts. tears were shed, hugs exchanged, and a sense of relatability permeated the air. the session was moderated by lulu raghavan, leap.club founding member and md at landor & fitch, and was hosted at the cult favourite restaurant, o pedro.
for those who missed it, here’s some of what faye had to say in all her honesty and candour to questions from our members!
how do you overcome imposter syndrome?
as women, the first thing we need to let go of when it comes to imposter syndrome is the consequence – “if i say this, what will they think of me?” and so on. just say what you need to, and ask yourself: “what’s the worst that could happen?”
how do you respond to critical feedback that you don’t agree with?
firstly, forget about anything anyone says behind your back. if they haven’t bothered to address you, it shouldn’t matter to you. it’s not real!
if direct, step back and break down where it’s coming from. try to separate what’s truth and what isn’t, and don’t do yourself the disservice of immediately believing what they say. don’t let other people’s words break you down to make you smaller; instead, break it down to make you taller. then take the essence of the truth to heart. don’t give anyone permission to cut you down.
how do you build character & resilience?
resilience comes from showing up every day, and doing what you need to. the more consistent you are, the greater your reputation of being reliable, of having quality, and of resilience. that’s when your work speaks for itself.
how do you form a good mentor—mentee relationship?
use the mentor relationship to gain real-life advice. don’t look for people who will be able to do you favours — most people can tell when you have ulterior motives. place great value on time — it’s the most scarce thing your mentor and you have.
don’t build up mentorship such that you need to take great lengths to slot it into your life. you can have a conversation over coffee, in a canteen, or even while washing your hands. build a relationship that makes it easy, and where the chats are often. find someone with whom frequent meetings are easy and practical. it makes it less heavy for both you and the mentor!
how do you hack work-life balance?
i’ll be honest when i say that i have no idea what i’m doing — i’m winging it on a daily basis.
far too often i begin a task, get into the thick of it and before i know it, it’s 10 pm. i constantly feel like i could do more, be more and achieve more if i had the time – a better journalist, author, or mum. it’s all too normal to feel like i’m chasing my tail.
‘if i could do these 6 things, then my company would be through the roof’ – that’s the feeling. but as women, we can be spread so thin. we need to cut ourselves some slack and realise we’re humans. when we think of all the things lined up for the day in the morning, we need to dump some of them!
let some things go, because if you don’t you might just end up hating what you truly enjoy, be it work, or even spending time with a partner, parents or kids.
all of society is constantly telling us that we’re not enough. we’ve been hearing it ever since we were little girls. we’re often hardwired to think that we need to be neat and perfect and that if we’re not, it’s somehow our fault. but you can’t take responsibility for every single variable in your life. remember: done is better than perfect. even if your work is inadequate, you are never inadequate.
needless to say, our members absolutely enjoyed the company of faye and lulu — it felt less like advice, and more like your friend sharing her experiences and you saying “yes, exactly!”.
here’s to more such solidarity, and to rising & growing together.
catch up on the complete session below.