The Lies We Tell Ourselves
How to undo the myths that damage our future and open up to new possibilities
You have been lied to -- not by others, but by yourself. We allow myths about ourselves to perpetuate and become so much a part of ourselves that they become truth.
Over the past decade, I have coached and mentored over a thousand people, mostly people I had never met before. I started this informally, as I interviewed candidates for Facebook and asked them to reach out to me when they joined. Then I kicked off a more concerted effort in 2015, when I started teaching a course on PMing at Facebook for the new classes of Product Managers who were arriving. At the end of each class, I offered an open-door policy with the words, “Someday, you may need an ally. Or you may need to ask for help from someone who has no stake in the outcome. Everyone at some point needs to be able to turn to someone, and if you do, reach out.”
Some people reached out immediately, some years later, some who had moved on from the company, and a few even after I left the company. Eventually, I started hearing from a wider variety of people in roles across the industry. Today I speak to a couple of people each week about a variety of topics, usually during quiet evening walks with Wonton, our pandemic poodle.
What I hear in these conversations are the lies that we allow ourselves to believe, and how damaging they can be. They keep us from taking on new paths and opportunities. These lies hold us back and trap us in negative patterns of self-doubt, making us less willing to take risks and aim higher. By debunking the lies we tell ourselves, we can grow more confident in our work and open up to new possibilities.
“I am not good enough.”
I got my first PM job at PayPal when I was 24, a few weeks after I graduated from business school. I walked into work the first day not even knowing what the job entailed, since no one had told me what a PM actually did. I had interviewed on a lark, and since I couldn’t get a job back home in the South, my husband and I decided to stay. I started the role, and on my first day, I had to ask the VP of Product, my skip-level manager, to explain what I was supposed to do.
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