Y’all… I’ve allowed people to make me feel small for the majority of my adult life. What’s worse is I’ve allowed myself to become small in order to cater to others perceptions and judgements. I let the judgement of my energy and my personality, my beauty and my brain drive how I’ve acted in life.
Have you ever been here, done this?
As an adult in the office I was called “the pretty one”, which I assumed was belittling my smarts. Instead of being respected for my ability to foster relationships with clients, manage account details, build a respectable book of business and manage a team of 12 individuals, I felt I was put down for my beauty and allowed that to define how I felt about myself in that role. Jokes were made at my expense in regard to the fact that I was high energy. I was passed over for well deserved promotions because not only did I work hard, but I also played hard and fully devoted energy to the culture of the office too. I wasn’t taken seriously, however, I was human. I made a lot of assumptions that all of my best and favorite qualities were being put down. In a previous post I’ve talked about my imposter syndrome and feeling like I was always the mascot, never the all-star.
Feeling judged for being the best, most authentic and feel good version of ones self never feels good.
J too has faced what could be perceived as backlash for his high energy, unapologetic and authentic ability to be himself in his own skin. What once felt like an endearing nick name “Hurricane J”, really could also be perceived as a sideways belittling and judgement of ones personality. He, however, has had the ability to stay true to himself, maintain his energy and continue to thrive in who he is in life and career.
So, I asked my Mr. How has he faced the perceived judgement of others, the potential belittling from others and the general ridicule of being exactly who he loves being with such an unapologetic response that allows him to stay true to himself. His responses, where not surprising to me, were enlightening none the less.
- He indicated that coming into a nickname such as “Hurricane J” afforded him the opportunity to stand out. In a world where there is a lot of white noise and many personalities, he sees such a nickname (and any nickname or notable personality observation for that matter) as an opportunity to stand out. And frankly, in life and in business, he’d rather stand out than become part of the white noise.
- He also indicated that he looked for the positive in such a nickname. To him “Hurricane J” spoke to the energy he throws at his work, the fact that he takes action, the speed by which he is decisive and action oriented, his will to see tasks through, his ability to move forward and win with energy. He chose to see the positive of such a nickname rather than settle on the potential intended or perceived negative meaning. He also mentioned that where being called “the pretty one” could make someone feel small or talked down to in regard to their smarts, he countered that with how many people just want to wake up and feel beautiful. To be acknowledged for ones beauty should be honored and taken to heart.
- In the vein of evaluating both of those beliefs and discussing other areas in life in which feeling small may occur, his biggest belief is removing people, opinions and self-talk from equations they are not meant to be included in. He has a rare ability to see people and their place in his life for exactly what they are and what their place is, not putting any added value on their opinions or actions.
I love his insight as I love him fully. He is logical where I get lost in worry and dreaming. He is action oriented where I tinker. He is patient to my short fuse, passive to my neurotic, compromising to my highly opinionated, calm to my storm. And he loves me for my personality.
And therein lies the lesson. Let your personality shine bright, see the silver lining of getting noticed. The people who are meant to love and honor it, they will show up, they will stand up and they will honor who you are fully.
I started realizing that I missed my wild and crazy and loving and energetic self and only I had to give myself permission to be her fully again. I didn’t have to ask my boss, or my babe, or my mom, or my kids, or my friends. I get to choose which me shows up in life and which me I honor and love fully.
And now I choose to show up as the big, bright, playful, energetic, spunky, quirky, wild and free version of myself. I like her best. If anyone has a problem with her, move along, there are people you are meant to be showing up for and I am not that person. No apologies.
Here’s to letting my personalities shine. There is nothing more beautiful than being 100% who I’m meant to be. And oh it feels so good to let my personality shine! You should do the same!