HERdacious

Queen of Conviction

November 23, 2020 HERdacity Season 1 Episode 38
HERdacious
Queen of Conviction
Chapters
3:14
Self doubt in all its forms
7:00
Leadership: masculinity or femininity?
8:27
Internal swirl
12:19
Building self-confidence
19:12
The Road to Courage
21:46
Coping with the No
24:38
Owning the Yes
27:20
Femme fact: Oversteegan Sisters
HERdacious
Queen of Conviction
Nov 23, 2020 Season 1 Episode 38
HERdacity

Conquering Self Doubt

In this episode, herdacious host Lorelei chats with Velera Wilson about overcoming those nagging feelings of self-doubt that many of us harbor. Velera explains that the road to confidence requires us to abandon negative attitudes and patterns that we use to gauge our self-worth: from seeking "perfection" to comparing our achievements to those around us. Velera reminds us that the courage we need to be our best selves grows from within, when we fight the temptation to drag ourselves down. Instead of constantly asking ourselves if we’re enough, let’s look our inner critics straight in the eye, and say “I've got this” with conviction!  

Host: Lorelei Gonzalez
Co-host: Velera Wilson

For over fifteen years, Velera Wilson has generated millions in revenue leading teams, launching products, and driving marketing strategy for Fortune 100 & 500 brands including AT&T, First Data (now Fiserv), and Verifone.  She has received industry-wide recognition for her leadership, being named as a Money 20/20 USA Rise Up Woman in 2018. In addition to her current role as the Director of Marketing at Fiserv, Velera is an author inspiring women to own their greatness and to show up with a greater level of confidence in their careers, their relationships, and in everyday life! Her latest book, "You're Absolutely Worth It," is a handbook for all women to navigate their own greatness and overcome self-doubt. 

Things you will learn in this episode (chapter markers available):  

  • Self-Doubt shade 3:14
  • Leadership: masculine or feminine? 7:00 
  • Internal swirl 8:27 
  • Confidence 12:19
  • The Conviction of Courage 19:12
  • Coping with the No 21:46
  • Owning the Yes 24:38
  • Femme fact: Oversteegan Sisters 27:20

Resources mentioned in this episode:  

Link to show transcript here.

Episode sponsors:  

Looking for additional resources on this topic? Check out our blog post “How Women Can Develop Their Confidence”

Loved what you heard on herdacious and want to share with friends? Tag us and connect with HERdacity on social media:
Twitter: @herdacity
Facebook: @HERdacity
Instagram: @herdacity
LinkedIn: HERdacity 
Email: [email protected](dot)org

For up to date information on HERdacity events, webinars, podcasts, and community activities, join our newsletter here

 

Disclaimer: While we appreciate our sponsors' support in making this show possible, herdacious content is curated with integrity and honesty.

Support the show (http://herdacity.org/donate/)

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Conquering Self Doubt

In this episode, herdacious host Lorelei chats with Velera Wilson about overcoming those nagging feelings of self-doubt that many of us harbor. Velera explains that the road to confidence requires us to abandon negative attitudes and patterns that we use to gauge our self-worth: from seeking "perfection" to comparing our achievements to those around us. Velera reminds us that the courage we need to be our best selves grows from within, when we fight the temptation to drag ourselves down. Instead of constantly asking ourselves if we’re enough, let’s look our inner critics straight in the eye, and say “I've got this” with conviction!  

Host: Lorelei Gonzalez
Co-host: Velera Wilson

For over fifteen years, Velera Wilson has generated millions in revenue leading teams, launching products, and driving marketing strategy for Fortune 100 & 500 brands including AT&T, First Data (now Fiserv), and Verifone.  She has received industry-wide recognition for her leadership, being named as a Money 20/20 USA Rise Up Woman in 2018. In addition to her current role as the Director of Marketing at Fiserv, Velera is an author inspiring women to own their greatness and to show up with a greater level of confidence in their careers, their relationships, and in everyday life! Her latest book, "You're Absolutely Worth It," is a handbook for all women to navigate their own greatness and overcome self-doubt. 

Things you will learn in this episode (chapter markers available):  

  • Self-Doubt shade 3:14
  • Leadership: masculine or feminine? 7:00 
  • Internal swirl 8:27 
  • Confidence 12:19
  • The Conviction of Courage 19:12
  • Coping with the No 21:46
  • Owning the Yes 24:38
  • Femme fact: Oversteegan Sisters 27:20

Resources mentioned in this episode:  

Link to show transcript here.

Episode sponsors:  

Looking for additional resources on this topic? Check out our blog post “How Women Can Develop Their Confidence”

Loved what you heard on herdacious and want to share with friends? Tag us and connect with HERdacity on social media:
Twitter: @herdacity
Facebook: @HERdacity
Instagram: @herdacity
LinkedIn: HERdacity 
Email: [email protected](dot)org

For up to date information on HERdacity events, webinars, podcasts, and community activities, join our newsletter here

 

Disclaimer: While we appreciate our sponsors' support in making this show possible, herdacious content is curated with integrity and honesty.

Support the show (http://herdacity.org/donate/)

Sponsor

Today's episode is brought to you by HERdaciy. HERdacity is a non-profit inspiring confidence in women to achieve their professional goals. For resources, networking opportunities, and a strong community of women visit herdacity.org to learn more.

 

Lorelei

Welcome to HERdacious a podcast for audacious women. Welcome, welcome, welcome to HERdacious, the podcast for audacious women looking for little career support on their professional journey. I'm Lorelei the host of HERdacious, and I am really glad you chose to join us today because we're gonna be talking about conquering self-doubt. Now to help us in this epic challenge, I have the author of You’re Absolutely Worth It, speaker, and coach who helps ambitious women own their greatness, pursue their goals and show up with a greater level of confidence in their career and personal lives. Ms. Valera Wilson.

 

Velera

Hello, thank you so much for inviting me. 

 

Lorelei

It is my pleasure. I am really excited about the conversation we're gonna have today. This is what we're all about. So you wrote a book on the topic of conquering self-doubt titled You’re Absolutely Worth It. Why did this become a cornerstone issue for you?

 

Velera

Sure, so the full name of the book is You're Absolutely Worth It: Release Self-Doubt, Embrace Confidence, and Own Your Yes. And so it was important for me because yes, I have done so many great things in my career, I've been a Marketing Strategist for Fortune 100 and 500 brands for almost 20 years, launch products domestically and globally, and generated millions of revenue, but I remember a time when I was not confident and I struggled to understand my worth, and that started as a child, being born to a young, single teenage mom, and I struggled a lot. I was the first person in my family to graduate from a university, and so when I entered the workforce and adulting, I just didn't know where I fit in. I was always worried about whether I was making the right move, asking the right questions, afraid to appear dumb in meetings, those types of things. Even asking what I want in a relationship. So, in short, I was hiding and I held back a lot. And so I started to meet other women who looked like me, didn't look like me, that we're having similar challenges, they were struggling with what I call that internal swirl, and that question that was always ringing up and kept coming up in conversations was, “Am I enough?” That was consistently the question, it was layered under a lot of things, but it was always that question, Am I enough? And so as I started to do the work on myself and I started to really get passionate about helping other women embrace their greatness themselves, it was just so important for me to write a book about overcoming that doubt and religiously pursuing our dreams and goals.

 

Lorelei

What forms can self-doubt take in a person?

 

Velera

Oh gosh, the outcomes are so many. If you look at what it means, really where you doubt yourself, but you don't think you're enough... You don't think you're good enough. You're qualified enough, so a lot of times it'll show up by you saying, Well, I just don't know if I should ask for more money or negotiate my salary, or it'll show up and say, I don't know if I'm ready for that promotion or qualify for the promotion. It almost comes across as more questions than statements like, am I should I, can I, will I, as opposed to saying, I'm going to do this because I believe this about myself, and even in relationships, not having boundaries, saying yes too often when you should say No. I mean, the list is endless. But the underlying current is we don't believe that we're enough, and I've coached a lot of women who at first, I wasn't making the connection between the outcome as, for example, a woman saying, I'm afraid of negotiating or I'm always nervous about speaking up in meetings between that and self-doubt, until I started to coach different women and we would start with that problem, and then I would dig deeper and they would eventually say, Well, actually because growing up, I wasn't told that I could say much. I wasn't given much of a voice. It was always some underlying current of belief about themselves or lack there up, and so that's when I really start to make the connection and said, Wait a minute, we gotta talk about the internal self first before we start talking about the external manifestation of how we show up in our person and careers.

 

Lorelei

Listening to you give some of those examples, self-doubt, it seems like it takes the form of sabotage sometimes, right.

 

Velera

Oh, absolutely, it does because it’s evil. You're questioning every step you make, or if you should take those leaps or those stints, as opposed to just saying, I'm going to do this and failure may happen or it may not happen, but I'm going to try. It's almost that risk aversion because it’s that fear of, I don't know if I'm qualified or capable. If I fail, it's just gonna prove me right. See, I told you. See, I knew I wasn't good enough. See, people did say that I wasn't qualified or smart enough. They were right, I was right. So yes, it is a form of self-sabotage.

 

Lorelei

Man, it could be a really harmful loop to keep playing over in your head the “Am I enough?” Maybe not, maybe not. Maybe not.

 

Velera

Yes, it definitely can. It definitely can.

 

Lorelei

Well, how can this show up negatively in the workplace if we have that self-doubt constantly given us the negative feedback in our brain.

 

Velera

You don't go after what you're qualified for. So for example, you might work and do the role of the person right next to you, and they might be getting paid more, you may be afraid to ask for that. Or you might put your head down and you're deep in your cubicle, or now virtual cubicle that might be, and doing the work, but someone that's at another level of promotional level above you, but you are afraid to ask for that or you still don't think you're enough. It's almost like you think you have to be perfect in order to qualify for that, as opposed to say, No, I'm doing this now, and I'm gonna take that next step in my career in advance, and it shows up even during the job interview when you're afraid to really show how good you are because you don't wanna seem like you're bragging when in reality you're talking about how good you are, because that's what you do with interviews, you sell yourself, sell the strength of who you are.

 

Lorelei

Of course, now in the past, women have been told or expected to follow more masculine styles and qualities in regard to leadership. Where do you land on that?

 

Velera

I think we should just be ourselves, I don't think that you have to adopt another gender trade in order to be successful, I think you just should be you. There are amazing traits and holidays that women innately have that make us phenomenal leaders. We are consensus builders to some degree in many of us, obviously, I'm not saying all of us, but oftentimes, we foster a sense of community, and most great leaders are very good at building consensus or not even consensus, but gaining momentum and support behind a vision that they have. And oftentimes, a good leader will talk to various people, so that group think is avoided. Women are also good at that as well, we'll talk to different people just assuming that our idea’s right. We'll talk to other people that might be subject matter experts and things like that, so we value a diversity of thoughts and opinions more often than not. We also are very good at empathy often time, not that that's just a female trait, but we tend to just be nurturers, so we're concerned about the total person. Great leaders care more about just the productivity of the person, we actually care about the person themselves, so I think just naturally, we are great leaders and in who we are, we lead our homes, and if you could take some of those same skill sets as moms and nurtures oftentimes at home, and you transfer to the work place. We're just as successful, if not more.

 

Lorelei

Velera, just a minute ago, you mentioned the internal swirl. Can you expand on that for me?

 

Velera

Sure, so I call that internal swirl, also the internal chatter of self-doubt, and oftentimes it's very real internal and external forces that can bring self-doubt and hesitation a lot of times in our lives. And I have found that it comes from a variety of places, and one could be our own feelings of inadequacy, so we might think I'm not as good as, you can fill in the blank, them. Because whatever we think about the other people that were around, whether they're smarter, have more access to resources, information, whatever we wanna think they're better than me, I'm not as good as them. Or of course, it can be very real experiences in our career and our personal lives, so for example, many women have experienced gender discrimination, that's not vain, it's very real. Not to mention that there's often unequal treatment because of race, and so those can bring waves of self-doubt and hesitation, or even cultural upbringing often times women are raised to believe that we shouldn't be too aggressive or we shouldn't promote ourselves too much or talk about our work too much, so all of these things together, whether it be cultural, whether it be real experiences, or our own internal esteem, our feelings of inadequacy can cause this internal chatter.

 

Lorelei

To me, self-doubt looks like the other side of the coin in regard to confidence. Do we need to be focusing in on eliminating self-doubt or feeling more confident or going after both at the same time?

 

Velera

That's a really good question. I really think that, first of all, the assumption that we’ll eliminate or arrive at either one of them 100% of the time, it's just a false expectation.

 

Lorelei

Thank you, thank you for giving us permission there, we all appreciate it.

 

Velera

It just is. And so that's where even when I talk about in my book, what confidence is not, and sometimes we attach our confidence to a preconceived or idealistic state of perfection, which is dangerous because it's impossible to reach. The concept of I'll be confident when I get more money, when I get this title, when I get in this relationship, when I get in a relationship, we're filling all of these prerequisites for our confidence, and that's such a fast way to go. The way to go that I always speak to and to talk about in my book is understand that confidence is not believing that your perfect. Waiting to be perfect in order to be confident. It's recognizing that right now, I bring value. I'm not perfect, I am evolving, and I give myself permission to evolve, but where I am now, whatever space I sit in, wherever, whatever space I occupy, professionally or personally, I bring value. And so because I bring value, that requires equity, equity being what you're willing to give me, what I require, what I command. When I engage with you, I require some things. And so that's really, really important. I think, for women, because sometimes we think, Well, for example, let's say if you're just starting out in your career or if you're new in an industry or something like that, sometimes we will diminish our value or almost take a back seat or even get in the trunk, when the reality is that we have value in our experiences up until that point have qualified us to get to that space, and so because of that, we should own our value and command worth where we sit. And then knowing that I'm gonna bring value, I interact with even today.

 

Lorelei

I love how confident you are in sharing these messages with us now, some of us out here might struggle a little bit with self-confidence. What advice would you have for us?

 

Velera

I think the first thing, as I mentioned was release the need to be perfect, and that's a huge one because so much of our confidence is really based on something that we've told ourselves about ourselves or about our environment about what we're capable of. And so we have to release that need to be perfect in order to have confidence, we should give ourselves permission right now to own the space we're in, and I always tell people to take a trip down memory lane. When you start to doubt yourself, if you really wanna look back on everything you've done to get to where you are, the list would be long, when you think about the hours that you spend studying. When you think about the money that you have to go back in student loans, when you think about maybe if you worked full-time while going to school, maybe think about how long it took you to get that certification, but you did it. All of those things have brought you to the space and time that you are in now, so that's the first thing I release the need to be perfect. The second thing is I say stop comparing and owning what's in your hand. Ask yourself, what's your hands to do a great job now then do that. Because sometimes we give people simply too much credit, discrediting ourselves and like, how does that really sound? That sounds crazy. Everyone else gets credit, but when we're the ones that are in our skin and have done all the hard work to just to get to where we are, to be in the room oftentimes. And then the third thing I would say is to recognize that we are the solution to someone's problem. It's true, it's really true. If you think about it, and I do this oftentimes when I'm coaching women on interviews, sometimes when one woman is super nervous about the interview, like, I don't know if I'm good enough for this entry, I'm like, Oh, first of all, let's take a step back and really think about this, did you get invited to the interview. Well, yes. Okay, so let me ask you, do you think they would invite you to the interview if you weren't any good? Do you think they really wanna waste their time? No of course not. So it’s a fact that you are a solution to their problem, and now all you have to do is go into the interview and confirm what they thought. And it is that you are the solution. So often we give away that power, but we have to realize that the little that we think we know is oftentimes what someone else needs majorly in their space, we are hired, we're hiring for a position to fill, I need to fill a gap. When we provide a product or service in your business, our client hires us to fill a gap on that gap that you were hired or that you were given to fill. There's no shame of that, you're the solution so much problem. When you believe that, when you really believe that, you will bring it full on when you go into that space, wherever it is.

 

Lorelei

Yes! Alright, we're gonna take a quick second to travel on sponsorship lane. Velera, we'll be right back. 

 

Sponsor

Hi, Barbie here from Moonray, husband and wife indie-pop duo. If you enjoy the intro music, we invite you to listen to our debut EP Honeymoon. Streaming now on all platforms. Visit www.moonray-music.com for more.

 

Lorelei

And we're back with Velera Wilson talking about eliminating, or maybe not eliminating, but removing much self-doubt and moving towards our more confident selves. So Velera, why is the message of confidence and self-worth so pivotal for women?

 

Velera

It's definitely important right now, because if you think about our current environment, and it's really a timeless conversation, but particularly right now, there are so many factors and forces that are occurring for women today. We're in the covid environment, for example, right now, and so many women are either considering or have left the workforce because of the stress involved trying to maintain their household. Trying to be on 100% at work and make sure that they appear to be fully engaged, even when they're trying to, for example, in many cases, manage home schooling, manage double responsibilities right now, and so then you layer on many of the conversations right now about pay inequities and things like that, it's just a lot that women are dealing with personally and holistically, and so it's so important for every woman to take a stake and say, You know what, I know right now, maybe I'm scared or nervous about what... What wholesome maybe in my career or in my business. But there's some things that I can or cannot do. So for example, for many women some are finding that they can't even go to their bosses and say, You know, I'm really struggling right now, having a hard time juggling everything I need to maybe have a flexible work schedule, so many things that they just don't even feel like they have a liberty or luxury to ask for, or even at home, many women are shouldering many of the responsibilities, and so when you talk about confidence and self-worth, and say, Hey, I am important too, in this entire equation, I'm not a robot, I'm not just the person that can just get it done by any means necessary. There's some things that I need to require too, and being able to ask for those things without feeling guilty, without fearing losing a job, losing a relationship, or saying either way, I'm gonna ask, is so important right now. Or even if it's saying, Hey, I really still do want that promotion, I know we’re in covid right now. I've been working my butt off. Is there an opportunity for me having the confidence to just say. Yes, ourselves as women is doubly important right now, because the forces get often right now, make us feel like we should just take a back seat and close our mouths.

 

Lorelei

Right, just be grateful for what you have and be quiet. Exactly. Well, when it comes to asking for what you want, also what you need, that can take courage, I feel that courage is something that women are not necessarily taught to prioritize as girls. Bravery and courage something that has been taught to specifically boys. We're taught to be perfect, to show up and do everything perfect and look good while doing it, and backwards and heels and all that other garbage, right? How do we lean into that courage and then start asking for what we need and what we want.

 

Velera

It's so funny because you're right, we're taught to be perfect, play with dolls, not to be competitive, and that in and of itself requires an individualistic attitude in some degrees versus more of a communal attitude. Making sure everyone else is okay, it does hit sometimes a bit more for us to have that courage to ask where we want, but here's what I always like to think. For one, close miles, they don't give in. No one knows what you really want unless you ask for it, and I think it's so important to find out much so than later if they can or cannot give you what you need. If you think about how much time we can waste, because we don't ask only to find out a year later, five years later, that we've wasted time in a career, a relationship that was going nowhere, we really want to reclaim our time and say, You know what, I'm going to ask for what I need now and find out if this is where I should continue to invest my time and energy. And so I think that's the first thing we have to ask. Oftentimes, when I talk to them and say they're frustrated in their careers, I say, Well, have you talk to your managers about what you want or your relationship? Well, no. Well, you can't really be frustrated if you haven't opened up and talked about what's important to you about your career plans, so I think that's the one thing too, is the courage really is not just for ourselves. I often tell women that when you ask for something, I talk about this in the book, you're not just asking for you, you're actually fighting for your legacy, your dreams, and the people that you want to be able to take care of at some point, whether it be your children or parents, you can give a gift to your community or yourself, and so the ability to ask or not ask for what we want is directly related to our ability to contribute to our households. How are we gonna live right now? Where are we gonna live? How much house can we afford, where can we vacation, where can our kids go to school, you name it, everything is attached to what we are willing to ask for or not ask for, so I say when a woman is nervous and is not sure she can ask, think about all the things that you wanna do in this lifetime, and even when you retire and about what you wanna do for you, the ones you care about, and then you might find some more.

 

Lorelei

Okay, so we've made the ask, right, and maybe we don't feel like it's been heard. How can we respond?

 

Velera

I will tell you the first thing, the first way you shouldn't respond is to associate the now or the lack of response with your work. So often I find that when we get the No, we start to question our value, our capabilities, our skill sets, our challenge. And that's the first thing I say to women, do not do that. That's not No. Sometimes the No is now, because of political reasons, maybe in an organization, it could be a client doesn't have budget or simply does not want to spend the money on your products or services. It could be in a relationship with that person. Simply does not have the capacity. But it has little to do with you and everything to do about the other person.

 

Lorelei

It's a No right now, not a No to you.

 

Velera

Absolutely, it is a No right now. Do not attach your work to that No. And often times a fear of that No will keep us from asking to begin with. So, yes, do not get so afraid of them, know that you don't ask, but when you get the No, know that's life, you know that it does not change your work. The other part I always say is, a No tells you a couple of things, it tells you what you need to develop an action plan or a development plan, or create what I call a transition plan, really an exit plan, because really when you get the No, you should say, Okay, well, why clarify why the No so that you can really figure out what you need to do from there. So for example, in a case of a woman in our professional careers, social, they say, Well, no, we can't give that promotion, we can't give that salary. Okay, well, tell me why, what are the challenges? So you can find out is a reason or is it an excuse, and they're two totally different scenarios, a reason is a legitimate, hey we legitimately cannot do something, an excuse is really about what we really don't want to do it, but either way, sometimes it might be hard to figure out which one it is. When you get your response back, then you can decide, Well, is it for me to develop. Maybe there's a gap of my skills I have preventing from getting this opportunity side to develop some things, or is it really, this is the place for me any longer and it's time for me to move on, and so I call that part owning your Yes, and that's why I say, you know, when you get to No, at some point, you’ll own your yes, not wait around forever to keep getting to No.

 

Lorelei

Owning your yes, to me, sounds like a trait of a leader, what do you think?

 

Velera

Oh, absolutely. I think that leaders think about problems creatively and they say, Okay, maybe this is a no for now, or a no through this person or through this channel, but it doesn't mean it's a no in totality, and so they'll look for ways to get to a yes. And I think you're right, that's what leaders do.

 

Lorelei

So how can women start owning their strengths as leaders and own that yes.

 

Velera

I think, yeah, really looking at opportunities as crossroads to say, Okay, well, this opportunity is, here are the challenges here. Am I gonna stay stuck here or I'm going to find ways to get to the yes, in other ways. For example, and I've been through this as well as look for leadership or development and opportunities and organizations, gotta know from maybe the immediate person. When I asked that person who got I got a No from, I started to ask a round literally and figuratively, so ask around that person, and I eventually got a yes for promotion in different organizations. So I think that goes back to as a leader, say, Okay, how can I get this done just strategically, and I think the big part of that is not always waiting for someone else to give you permission, sometimes we're waiting... We're waiting. We're waiting, we're waiting. When we are ready, right then, and as opposed to waiting years for someone to say, Okay, we say, Oh, I'm gonna create the opportunity for myself now.

 

Lorelei

Love it. Oh my gosh, I love it. Okay, I hate this, but I have to ask for us to wrap up this episode, and on that note, I need you to share some resources that can help support our audience members to overcome any residual feelings of self-doubt they might be struggling with. What do you got?

 

Velera

So I've got a few, of course, some of them aren't ones that I've created. So my book, You're Absolutely Worth It is a great practical guide filled with really a lot of stories, antidotes for how women can make the shift from self-doubt to confidence. I also have created even more practical guides as it relates to nailing your interviews, negotiating your salary without letting fear override those types of resources, digital guides. The others I would say are, I follow so many different women who are leaders and who create different pieces of content, so everything from, for example, Tiffany Dufu with the crew, it's a community of women who support each other in their goals. Minda Harts is a woman who wrote a book about how to secure your seat at the table. Jen Sincero who wrote the book on You Are a Badass. So just a lot of different pieces. I pull from so many different sources that it's just important for, I think as a woman, you kinda find your flavor and pull from it.

 

Lorelei

Well, this has just been fantastic. 

 

Velera

Oh, thank you. 

 

Lorelei

Unfortunately, we're gonna have to round out our episode with our femme fact. Now, it's not often that we get the opportunity to talk about assassins on HERdacious, but today we'll be discussing some femme fatales that merit a closer look. Now, y'all are probably familiar with Marvel Universe’s, Black Widow, or maybe Selene of the Underworld films, or perhaps Villanelle from Killing Eve. All fictitious female assassins. Now, if you thought that those women were bad ass, and then you might appreciate these two historical sisters. Sisters Truus and Freddie Oversteegan were Dutch communist resistance fighters during the occupation of the Netherlands during World War II. Truus Oversteegan was born in August of 1923, and her younger sister, Freddie was born in September of 1925. They were raised by their mother who taught them the importance of fighting injustice. Their mother, who was also a communist. In their tween years, their mother would often take in Jewish families and shelter them in their home as part of her fight against injustice. According to the Chair of the National Handicraft foundation, Freddie and Truus’ mother instilled in them, the belief that helping people can come with personal sacrifice and that high moral principles are worth the sacrifice.

 

Now, the Nazis invaded the Netherlands in May of 1940, which is also when Freddie and Truus decided to join their mother in passing out anti-Nazi propaganda for the resistance. And that's not the Star Wars resistance y'all, that's the Dutch resistance against the Nazis. Another act they performed on behalf of the resistance included gluing warning signs across German posters placed on the street that called for the recruitment of men in the Netherlands to work in Germany. The girls were around 15 years old at the time, so they were literally riding away from vandalism sites on bicycles. Now the young ages of the sisters really worked in their favor, as police and soldiers were way less likely to suspect innocent-looking girls with little hair braids on bicycles of being active members of a resistance. For this reason specifically, we think a commander with the Harlem resistance group visited the overseen home in 1941 to recruit Freddie and Truus to the resistance as resistance members. They would be tested with missions like bridge and railway line sabotage, smuggling refugees and weapons, and I quote “to shoot Nazis.” To which Freddie is said to have responded... “Well, that's something I've never done before.”

 

Their mother eventually gave her consent with only one request to her daughters “Always stay human.” And then the girls joined the resistance, it gets pretty Tarantino after that. With the sisters becoming known for their assassination styles. Freddie and Truus would ride around in their bicycles with pistols in their baskets, and I quote, liquidating Nazis. In a very Hansel and Gretel type, leer into the woods for candy sort of fashion, Freddie and Truus would even seduce not the officers and taverns and bars, asking them to go for a stroll, luring them into the woods where their resistance allies were hid, taking them out once the targets were within range. The sisters used this tactic repeatedly to great success, eventually setting out on independent missions and pulling their own triggers. They later teamed up with law student drop out Hannie Schaft, AKA the girl with the red hair, becoming a female underground hit squad. Eventually their hitlist grew beyond Nazis to include Dutch-Nazi collaborators, and those who arrested are endangered Jewish refugees or resistance members, apparently Freddie was especially talented at following targets or keeping tabs on their whereabouts during stake-outs. Now, in 1945, about three weeks before the end of the war, their friend and close comrade in assassination Hannie Schaft was captured at a military check point, it was said that the Dutch officers that took her to the Blumenthal dunes were to execute her at close range, it has been said that he initially missed shooting her fatally with Hannie responding, “I'm a better shot,” before then being murdered. After the war, Truus became an artist and a poet. Freddie had three children, one of which she named Hannie in honor of their lost friend. In 2014, both sisters were awarded the mobilization war cross by the Dutch Prime Minister, and if you recall, Truus and Freddie were born two years apart, so at some sort of odd world symmetry that they left us the same way with Truus departing in 2016 and Freddy in 2018, neither woman ever disclosed how many targets met their end at the hands of an Oversteegan. And on that ominous note, I would like to think this Velera Wilson for joining me today. This has been a tremendous episode and I am very grateful to have your participation in our show.

 

Velera

Yes, thank you so much. I've enjoyed the conversation, I appreciate the invitation.

 

Lorelei

It is our pleasure. Now, if you enjoyed this conversation as well, I really ask you to subscribe and share this show with the friend who you think might wanna learn a little bit of career support and maybe something about female assassins... I don't know, it could be fun. Check us out here and all the places that you find the podcast, as you very well know, because you're listening to one right now. I'm Lorelei, this has been HERdacious, enjoy the rest of your day. 

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Femme fact: Oversteegan Sisters