Several years ago when I was in the corporate world, I had a reputation for being very nurturing to my team and to my clients. I embraced and loved that part of myself. One day, I was informed by a colleague (who had "the best intentions") that our boss referred to me behind my back as the "mother hen." He told me they didn't think I had the guts to be "tough enough" on my team when needed. This really threw me off track because up until that conversation, I considered those parts of myself my greatest assets.
Immediately I flipped back and forth in my head between defending myself... and doubting myself. What I eventually landed on was acceptance. I decided to embrace my "mother hen" image and realize those parts helped create a great culture, low turn over, and happiness within my team. I also realized it was time to address areas I wanted to enhance within myself such as direct communication and diving into the tough conversations I clearly was avoiding with my team.
The biggest learning that came out of this experience, however, was how often I allowed other people's perception of me to dim my own light. Can you relate?
Think about that for a second. When you allow others to affect your attitude, mood, and happiness, you diminish the opportunities for when you can positively impact those in your world. It's as though by shrinking, you rob others of the benefits of your gifts!
To take it a step further, to not express your gifts, to hide within self doubt, shame, regret, guilt, and fear, you are robbing other people of joy. When you embrace your gifts as well as seeing clearly where you can step into courage and stretch yourself, that's when the magic happens. That's when things begin to line up with more ease and when you start to feel this sense of "ahhhh, I've got this."
So I'd love to go over three tips to avoid stepping into that ditch of doubt:
1. Write down 3 favorite parts of yourself and how they make you feel... as well as how they impact others.
2. Notice when you are having a really good day and ask yourself "Is this happening because I'm expressing my gifts?" And on the flip side, when you're having a not so great day, stop and ask yourself, "Have I expressed my gifts today?" or "Am I allowing fear to prevent me from stretching myself in ways that seem scary?"
3. Recognize and acknowledge the gifts in others. I think so often we fall into the trap of looking at what's wrong in our relationships, or what's wrong in our work, or what's wrong in our lives. What would happen if instead we turned the light on the good? Especially in other people. For example, what might happen if each day at work you highlighted one person and how their gifts benefited the team in a specific situation? It would take ten seconds but the impact would be huge. This creates a space for people to get real and feel okay talking about the wonderful parts of themselves as well as the areas they'd like to shift.
The most powerful tool I believe we possess is the ability to share our light with the world.
Sending you good energy,