“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.” – Maya Angelou


There were many things to enjoy at the Women in Law Awards, held in Melbourne on 27 October.

The vibe in a room full of talented women lawyers and their supporters inspired me.

An image of Nancy Bryla at the Women in Law Awards 27 October 2016What’s more, dressing up and spending quality time with my wonderful husband is always fun.

And I have a confession: I felt incredibly anxious and was so worried that I might win the award. While waiting for the announcement of the Thought Leader category, I wondered, “What if I have to get up, deliver a speech, and then be interviewed on my thoughts?”

For someone who was a “Thought Leader” finalist this may sound a little crazy, but I was genuinely relieved that I didn’t win. I felt safe in my comfort zone, away from the vulnerability of being seen or heard.

Fast forward to today, and I’ve had time to reflect on the inner, somewhat illogical, conundrum that played out on 27 October.

A conclusion has been drawn on why I believe I felt that way.

Writing this note to you means that I am also being vulnerable. However I want to share the awareness, because I am sure that it is something that affects many women lawyers (and perhaps men too?).

My anxiousness was based on a fear of inadequacy.

I didn’t have enough experience. Or enough skills. Or enough qualifications to be a Thought Leader. What should a Thought Leader say? What should a Thought Leader look like?

I am certain that there are so many highly intelligent and very skilled lawyers who have allowed feelings of inadequacy, or lack of self-worth to limit their aspirations in their careers or personal life.

With this in mind, a new personal mantra came to light. Its message to those who have suffered from lack of self-worth, or inadequacy, is simple.

You are enough.

It takes strength to realise, practice, and live this mantra. It may be uncomfortable at first, but you need to start believing in, and backing yourself.

Perhaps you could start seeing yourself how others see you, not how your negative inner-critic tells you that you should be seeing yourself.

But that’s a whole other topic!


An image of a person standing on a rock looking at a warm night sky with the words 'You Are Enough' and The Light Lawyer logo

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