During AAA 2019, the Academy’s annual conference, the focus of the General Assembly was on confidence, the future, and loyalty. Those themes were chosen for the start of the conference, but they really should be the focus for the year, if not forever for audiology. 

When I left Columbus, Ohio, I had a small flight delay, so I walked around shopping as I typically do. Most likely, many of my fellow female audiologists also read books by Rachel Hollis. I had not yet read Girl, Stop Apologizing, so I picked it up there in the airport. I admit that I skimmed Girl, Wash Your Face (Sorry, Not Sorry, Rachel). It’s an amazing book for newer professionals but, honestly, I skipped through a bit of it because I am not a fresh new JFLAC’er anymore. Girl, Stop Apologizing, however, addressed something that I think most women and most audiologists can relate to professionally and personally. It addresses believing in yourself and how to stop living in fear of being judged.  

Yes, this is a pretty lofty goal for most of us especially in the age of social media where harsh and rude rule. However, I think as we are all part the best profession in the world, this should come easy to us when we work unitedly toward our professional goals. Confidence requires you to believe in yourself and, in our case, believe in our profession as well. If you feel like a bad audiologist, you’ll be a bad audiologist. If you feel like our colleagues are bad audiologists, they will turn into bad audiologists, at least in your perception. Remember that perception often becomes reality to an individual or group of individuals unless they are willing  to be open to change.

AAA 2019 in Columbus exceeded every expectation for me. Even though a few people lacked confidence in the location, it was amazing! By the way, I stopped apologizing for the location a long time ago. The positivity, excitement, and confidence there was truly amazing! It takes a village to put on a conference this size, and if you’ve never experienced planning even a smaller sized conference, I encourage you to volunteer for a state or local conference committee or volunteer for AAA 2020 in New Orleans. It will make you grateful for all the planning previously done on your behalf, plus it will change the way you view all conferences forever.