Speak Up & Give Less Fucks

By Kelsey Woodworth

This is a recap of our town hall event held in New York City on October 26, 2016 at Auxiliary.

Imposter Syndrome is defined as high-achieving individuals who have the inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud.” Sadly, women are the ones who predominantly suffer from this. Even leading ladies, like Meryl Streep and Jodi Foster, have made comments that diminish their self confidence, and question their talent because they feel like imposters. 

The worst part about Imposter Syndrome is that we tend to believe we’re the only ones who suffer from it. Our goal with this town hall was to show that a) we’re not alone and b) there is strength in numbers. Over 100 women attended and together we shared not only our struggles but ways we can combat feeling like a fraud so we can give less fucks and GET THAT SEAT AT THE TABLE.


The women who spoke up first included:

  • Allison Behringer: “Documenting my life as a non-techie at a tech startup and making that into The Intern podcast has been a meta meditation on the questions we often ask ourselves: Do I belong here and am I good enough? The answer to both is yes.” 
  • Isabelle Lagarde: “Working in international development, I’ve been almost constantly overwhelmed and overworked. In my last job transition, I finally recognized my value, and honestly my limitations, and I was able to advocate for myself and get what I needed.”  
  • Erika Lewis: “On my journey, I have come to realize that speaking my truth is not enough without an acknowledgment of understanding.”
  • Jen Ortiz: “My inner (self-doubting, second-guessing) voice is a cross between Alvie Singer and Daria. I’m working on shutting her up.”
  • Jasmine Takanikos: “My worth issues are deeply rooted in humility and non-ego, I am working on understanding that ego has it’s place and understanding that balance.”
  • Alex Tryon: “I love helping others, but I’m terrible at defining what I need. Instead I get angry when I have a problem and the universe doesn’t hand me the solution I need. It’s taken some work, but I’m learning to ask for what I need and accept help when its offered.” 


1. Be you. Make sure that your work and image is YOU, not trend. We all have our own unique thumbprints, so stop comparing. One of the speakers said, “be comfortable in your talent. Be rooted in that. You don’t have to have all of the answers.”

2. Visualize your life like a movie. You’re the main character, and everyone is rooting for you – even when you’re going through tough shit.

3. No one is looking at your shoes, they’re all too busy looking at their own shoes. Chill. No one is judging you as hard as you think they are because more often than not they’re too concerned with themselves. 

4. You will always be learning. Your journey does not end once you’ve reached the top of the ladder. Even once you’ve “made it” it’s impossible to know it all. 

5. You’re not faking it, you’re DOING it! The phrase “fake it till you make it” is useless because even when you’re acting like you know what you’re doing, you’re still doing it, and that counts! And guess what, if someone promotes you, it’s because you earned it, and you deserve it. 




Thank you to She is French for providing your delicious, pro-woman granola and to Claire Lorenzo for your beautiful photography. Check out our Facebook page for the complete album.

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