Six Things I Learned from Michelle Obama + Shonda Rhimes

I stumbled upon a gem of a conversation last week: Shonda Rhimes interviewing First Lady Michelle Obama!

The two powerhouses were at the Pennsylvania Conference for Women (which seems like a really fantastic day!) chatting about everything from education policy to combating imposter syndrome.

It was the kind of conversation everyone should hear.

But as a black-millenial-professional-trying to be my own powerhouse one day-woman, it was 100% NECESSARY that I watch these two women, who have not only accomplished so much in their lives, but who have such confidence and a strong sense of self.

Here are my favorite takeaways from their conversation:

1. If we're trying to get anything done and we look around and we look alike...and we feel really comfortable with ourselves, we should question that, at any table that we're at." 

FLOTUS described attending the annual State of the Union addresses and seeing the disparities in race and gender that were scattered across the floor of the House chamber.   She highlighted that we can make real societal change when a diverse range of voices are not only included, but also have decision making power.

2. "It's okay to be angry.  We are afraid when our daughters show anger, or discontent, or frustration...there are all these rules that slowly suffocate young girls." 

Mrs. Obama didn't hold back on the unhealthy emotional patterns that can stifle girls as early as seven or eight years-old.  It was a wonderful reminder to allow myself - and the other women around me - a full range of emotions, because ALL of my feelings are valid, not just the shiny ones.

3. "It's never going to happen if you don't say it out loud." - Shonda Rhimes

The TGIT boss recalled speaking about career dreams with a younger writer on one of her shows, and encouraging her to vocalize what she REALLY wanted.   Because often times the first step to conquering our goals is to admit to ourselves that we want them.

4. ”I wish more women would find ways to put themselves higher on their priority list.” - Michelle Obama

This one pretty much speaks for itself, doesn’t it?  

5. ”I have been at so many tables with so many fools who were imposters, but shame on us if we sit by and let an imposter talk us down." 

MESSAGE!  Don’t underestimate your own expertise just because someone else feels overly qualified to share.  Speak up!  And if you can’t…

6. "If you are scared to use your voice, then you’ve got to get up and give it to someone who isn’t afraid to use that spot.” 

Did you watch the interview?  What were some of your favorite takeways? Let me know in the comments below!

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