Speak Up Much?
I have a mentee that will periodically text me about a subject matter she wants to see addressed and the second I saw her note this morning, I knew I would be right here writing about it..
Buckle up and hold on…
In recent weeks, I found myself traveling and commiserating with folks from around the country and in usual form, I am open, kind and share my thoughts as needed. Well the one evening, we had to all get in formal wear for an event and the minute I strolled through the door, my friend saw one of the attendees throwing all kinds of “shade” my way by rolling her eyes and whispering something to the person next to her. I didn’t see her because I have learned how to block that kind of negativity from my line of vision.
I knew what her issue was though.
Name Every -ism women face, and she had me pegged for it. My boldness and bravery made her feel inadequate and she then tried to transfer that feeling to ripping me to shreds with condescension. She didn’t realize that though. She thought she was within her rights to be judgmental.
How do I know this? It is what I am told by women all the time who often try to coach it around offering “advice.”
Aside from this being a total waste of energy and space, it is counterproductive to fall in line with them so they can feel better about themselves.
My response? Maybe if we were not so conditioned as women to “know our places,” not be “overly confident” for fear of being seen as bragging, or being labeled as “bitchy” when we dare to speak up for ourselves, we would see the benefits in speaking up and out.
As a direct result, women often lose sleep about demanding a position they are clearly over qualified for,suffer heartburn at the thought of requesting compensation that befits their value, minimizing the ones who step out on the ledge in an effort to find financial freedom and seeking to destroy the few who dare to do what they won’t.
I can’t even begin to discuss how it messes with personal relationships across the board. We hold on and fester about things we can and should discuss, until it becomes toxic and explodes the wrong way from us.
What do you have to lose but your sanity in trying to fit in to what society deems we should or shouldn’t be? Here are a few things that worked for me in removing the “do as I told” models from my head-
- Speak your truth kindly but firmly and do not waver with eye contact. Prep yourself with calming deep breaths.
- Trust yourself. No one will trust you more than you. Your gut instincts are there for a reason.
- Be okay with not having a ton of fearless people with you as this is often a singular journey of faith.
- Celebrate the wins and extract the lessons from the losses.
- Keep the naysayers out of your ears. Lord knows they will try too. People who worry about all that could go wrong, never see what could indeed go right.
- Find mentors who have already walked the path you are on and heed the advice that feels right to you.
- Authenticity is worth more than silver and gold. You may not be appreciated on the moment, but you will be respected long term.
- Know when to step up and pull back. Everything doesn’t always have to be a battle.
- Collaboration works wonders. No one is an island. Learn to be okay with saying “I was wrong.” Pride goeth before…
All of that and a few more will give you the freedoms and joy to simply BE…
Dueces and mad love.