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When Debby Carreau was a rising star at a Canadian food company, the CEO took her under his wing. They’d go out to dinner together when he came to visit her office. She asked him for advice, until, one day, he asked: “Why do you need my advice for that?”

She looked at him, surprised, as she realized, “I don’t.”

The situation she was dealing with was causing her stress, but no matter what happened, she was confident that she could deal with the consequences; the worst thing that happened could not derail the career she had built.

“I’d reached a place in my career where the worst thing that could happen didn’t matter that much,” she said. “That’s where you have to get to.”

Carreau went on to found a company, Vancouver-based Inspired HR, in 2007, and to write a book, The Mentor Myth. She looks back on that conversation as a turning point in her thinking. It was the moment she started to do herself what she advises other women to do: Own the confidence piece.

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