We Are! 🙂
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to elevate, alienate or promote one group of people over another. People tend to think if someone is right, then they are wrong…well, not really. There is no judgment at all. I’m simply establishing a target audience. 🙂 Moving on…..
High level women don’t consider whether or not we are better than someone else. There is no measurement at all, we are just being ourselves. “You think you’re all that,” and “She thinks she’s better than us,” are usually statements initiated from others and is done in an effort to minimize, criticize, or disrupt the well doings of the person it’s aimed at.
Depending on who we are, where we are in our careers, the unforgiveness we are holding on to, or the time of the month, our reaction may be a smile, dismissal, defense or we just may drop the hammer.
This was a common statement heard throughout my career and no matter what I did, or stopped doing because of the criticism; how small I shrank, or how hard I worked to appease the way others viewed me, people kept saying it.
It’s exhausting to try to manage the opinions of others and once I stopped doing that, I’m not sure whether people stopped talking about me or if I actually stopped letting it affect me. My goal is to educate women on how to better manage themselves if these statements have become a common part of their lives.
Confidence Makes People Nervous
A woman that exudes Level 10 confidence can shift the energy field when we walk into a room. People can see us from across the room and will react in a positive, negative or neutral manner based on their confidence level.
At a conference years ago, a friend disclosed that several groups of men asked her who I was and why I had so many high level medals (military personnel wear our resumes). As one of 5 women in the room (see my last article), I was oblivious to the side bar conversations because I was having a great time mingling with others. After that, I became self-conscious and noticed the roaming eyes and whispering. From that moment, the fun was over for me and in an effort not to be seen, I shrank back and stopped talking.
“Some of us can remember dramatic times when we were mocked for being different or manipulated into conformity. We can recall situations when we compromised who we were to avoid conflict. We gave away pieces of our integrity in order to get along with others… We did all we could to avoid the silence of ostracism or the sting of their judgment. We hoped, above all, to be secure, to be accepted, to belong.” – Brendon Burchard
People Measure Themselves Against Us
High level women are not comfortable with status quo and are always seeking the next goal. We leave offices better than we found them by creating policies, structure and efficiencies to work smarter and not harder. We develop tunnel vision in the pursuit of our goals and are not aware that some people are comparing themselves to us.
Four years after I replaced someone at an office, and grew the staff from 12 people to 22 people to manage our new roles, this lady was still talking about how I thought I was better than her. I said, “Really? Because I haven’t thought about her EVER, so why is she still thinking about me?”
“When you get too comfortable and someone comes in that’s not comfortable, you become their hater because their excitement convicts your comfortableness.”
People Will Tear You Down
On one of my bosses’ 2nd day of work, he called me incompetent. I laughed in his face (probably not the best reaction) and walked out of the office laughing hysterically, trying to hide the pain behind the laugh. I thought, “What did I do to deserve that? I’ve been here for two years working endlessly for this office and he doesn’t even know me.” The following day, I wore the uniform that displayed my medals and he was stunned that I had achieved 8 personal awards in an 8 year period when he had only achieved 1 in a 12 year period. The stress and anxiety of working for this person was so immense, I started stuttering.
“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” – Albert Einstein
The Wrong Approach
After years of going in circles and constantly trying to manage the expectations of others, I was exhausted and felt like managing the public’s perception had become a part-time job. The biggest denominator in these experiences was the fact that I put more time into trying to manage other people’s opinion of me, and didn’t spend that same amount of time in personal development.
We all have 24 hours in a day and we may be investing an inordinate amount of time seeking counsel from others for our stress, anxiety, depression, sulking, or drinking wine (hee hee) in an effort to understand other people’s judgment of us. That time should be invested in personal growth to understand who we truly are and what we have to offer the world without apology.
If I would have invested more time in personal growth, I would have realized the issues that some people had toward me had nothing to do with me, it had everything to do with how they felt about themselves. Knowing this would have spared me from a lot of heartache, headaches, stress, anxiety, loss of sleep and a whole lot of negativity that I stored in my heart.
When I finally unearthed the greatness of my human spirit that had been buried in the rubble, I realized I AM all of that. WE ALL ARE because we are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God.
Recently I had lunch with someone, and as we were leaving, he said, “You think you are all that don’t you?” I smiled and said very nicely, “This is me. I am that I am. I cannot play small, shrink or do anything to make you more comfortable with being around me…and that’s okay. If you can’t manage ‘this’ then.”……(shrugged shoulders with a look of “you know.”)
It takes time and work to unearth your greatness, but if you are here 2 years from now, the time will pass anyway. Step into your greatness!!
Is this a phrase commonly heard in your life or career? What do you think is the driving force behind the statement?
Christy Rutherford, an Executive Leadership Strategist, trains leaders on long-standing leadership principles to assist them with realizing their full potential and increase productivity. She also coaches Type A leaders who are suffering from burnout, which impacts their performance at work and home.
Download your free workbook: “Success Roadmap – 7 Powerful Ways To Get Clear On The Results You Desire” at www.christyrutherford.com
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