Are you confident enough to ‘bee’ you?
Have you ever noticed how you walk into a room of strangers? Do you try to make yourself as small and unnoticeable as possible? Do you dress in black or a blah color so you don’t stand out?
What about when you are going to a party with friends? Do you dress differently? Do you walk in the place like you own it?
I really let my physical self show how confident I was. Which wasn’t very confident at all. I did everything I could to blend in. Then one day, I was at a leadership training class. I heard someone say, “Fake it until you Make it.” That really resonated with me. I realized at that moment, if I wanted people to see me in a different way, I would have to fake it until it was me.
I wanted people to see me as confident, outgoing, happy and full of life. Not that person I had been: fearful, sad and anonymous. So, I went about convincing myself first. Just like an actress, I dressed the part. I wore the things that made me feel good and look good. Then I got out my smile. I used it all day, everyday. I used every resource I could to increase my confidence, such as reaching out to a support person when in doubt, reading every book I could to improve those things that needed attention and made sure I wasn’t telling myself negative statements.
I have even had people say to me, you look different. It is not the hair, makeup, clothes. It is the confidence!
Over the last two years, my confidence has grown. I am no longer faking it…this is who I am.
Creating a buzz…are you confident enough to ‘bee’ you?
What does it mean to be yourself? Who else could you be? This isn’t a masquerade. It seems to me that I have always tried to please others and fit in. Was I born like that or was I conditioned? I think there was a combination of things.
First, growing up in a small southern town appearances were everything. You never let anyone see a flaw. You leave your home fully dressed, make up on and hair done. You want to be the smartest kid in school, but you are told that you don’t work up to your potential. You are told you don’t practice the right religion, so you are relegated to the back of the room to teach yourself. Because your parents have a drink at night before dinner, there are kids that can’t come to your house. So you learn pretty quick to cover things up. Smile and never let them see the real you.
But then there was the self confidence issue. I could have used a whole lot more than I had. Every time I looked in the mirror, I said things like, “you are too fat, your hair won’t cooperate for the perfect “Farrah Fawcett” style,” and how you did not work up to your potential….focused on the bad and then spent so much time trying to cover that up as well.
After years and years of this, I forgot what made me, me! I had to remove that mask and start being myself, say no when I wanted, be angry when I wanted and do things the way I wanted, not what was expected.
Guess what? My confidence has grown. I feel happy, even exuberant. A couple of different people that I see only occasionally have said, “something is different about you; did you change the color of your hair? You look great.” It is just the happiness that shows on my face.
BE YOURSELF, EVERYONE ELSE IS TAKEN.
Creating a buzz…
Creating a leader requires some deliberate actions. You can create a leader in your workplace, home or any group you work with.
Leaders need confidence in their decision making ability. Allow a team/family member to make small decisions and see the consequences. Even a failure is good for developing a leader. After the process, ask the person about the experience. What process did you go through to make your decision? Were you satisfied with the outcome? What would you do differently, if any thing?
- Allow an opportunity for a larger decision process, if the person took advantage of the previous situation and repeat the questions at the end. This should be a gradual increase in complexity as the person shows there interest in their personal growth.
- Leaders need good communication skills. To develop these skills, we need to encourage conversation. The only way to do that is ask questions then be quiet and listen. This allows the person the opportunity to create thoughts and opinions. I often will ask very large questions to see where the conversation will go. One time I asked my 13 year old son, what qualities do you think a CEO would need? Not only did he get to put together ideas and see what it was like for someone to actively listen to him, I gained some valuable insight into what he was thinking.
- Allow time for coaching. There are times when you need to schedule time for coaching and then there are times when coaching should be done on the spot. Remember, coaching is an uplifting, learning experience. The person being coached should walk away with a better understanding and positive feeling about the experience.
- More praise than criticism. I always refer back to the One Minute Manager. Praise, one thing to improve, praise.
Please tell me about your favorite coach and what they did for you!
Creating a buzz…
What do I want? How many times have you asked yourself that very question?
“I am almost never sure about what I want, but I am always sure about what I don’t want.”
This quote reminds me to know my values and always stick to them. This way I won’t compromise who I am. I really did sit down and write down my values. I know my top five and always ask myself does this match with my values.
That would relate to dating, work, and family. It also helps when asked to donate to charity. Once you begin to act consistently with your values, you become an authentic person. Your words and actions are consistent.
When you start to live this way you will be surprised how much easier decision making will be and how confident you will feel.
Do you know your top 5 values?
Creating a buzz…..
Remember when you were little and you could laugh with abandon? Play all day and then eat like you were starving? The quote from Courtney E. Martin says so much about what we have given up as women:
Over the last two years I have started dating. Believe me, this is not what I thought I would be doing at 52 years old. But I love the companion of men. I love how they are able to have fun and be a boy once in a while. Look for adventure in life. They want to find a woman that is willing to take their sense of humor, laugh at their jokes and give them a smart come back.
Not all men are looking for that model type. A common thread in the men I have met is a women that is confident and happy. Unable to see what she doesn’t have but loves what she does. A very special man, who is significantly younger than I am, said to me regarding our age difference, “if it doesn’t bother me, why should it bother you?”
I realized I needed to stop talking about my insecurities. If it was a problem for him, he would not be there. That would include my insecurity about my weight, my hair, the lines around my eyes, etc., etc., etc…….
Creating a buzz….
*picture found on Pinterest
I want to tell you about my friend. She is a wonderful and giving person. She has raised 3 children to adulthood; all college graduates. She has run her own business for greater than 20 years; owns her own home and a second home on the beach with her fiancee. She is the “go to” person when other business people have an important function to attend and want to look their best. She has been successful – when many in her field have never really achieved financial success.
She has built a reputation in our community has an honest, reliable and professional business woman. However, there is one thing that I would like to tell her….. Stop selling yourself short. Being smart has nothing to do with a piece of paper.
My friend has been a business woman and hair stylist for many years. She recently sold her business and now works part time. She gave many young women a start in the business and helped them build their clientele. However, she makes comments about not being smart or not having a college degree.
I want her to know and all the women out there that selling your success short is wrong!!! Admiration for your acumen and ability to figure it out is amazing. This is something many of our young ladies can aspire to. I think about all the young women my friend has touched by either making them feel beautiful or showing them how to run their business successfully.
With or without a piece of paper, success doesn’t come easy. Those that achieve it should never down play themselves. Stand tall and…
create a buzz…..
Why do we find fault with other women? Does it really make us feel better? Does our self esteem need to tear down someone to feel better about ourselves? Can you imagine the power women would have if we were able to acknowledge each other’s gifts and talents? Give a compliment? Find something positive in each other? Instead of trying to stand alone, why not band together and encourage, coach and mentor women around us to achieve more?
Women still have a hard time breaking the glass ceiling. Since 2010 the number or women executives in the Fortune 500 has remained just above 14%. We need to start talking about and believing that we are good enough to run these corporations. Lifting those future women leaders up should be the motivation of all women.
Culturally, men have what we call the “good ole boy network” to help young men move forward.
I feel that we need to have the same thing for women. To assist our generation in moving forward and taking charge, but also, to assist our future generations of women break that glass ceiling.
How can you help? How can we all help?
Creating a buzz….
Let’s bee the “Wind Beneath My Wings,” for our gender!
The bee goes from one “bee” utiful thing to the next. Taking what is freely given and sharing to create other “bee” utiful things in their garden. And then, after all the hard work, takes home some of the gift to the family to create something spectacular…that is again used to nourish and create growth.
That is what our individual journey can be. Even through the difficult times and hard decisions, growth comes and we will look back and see how far we have come.
Bee like the Bee: work everyday to create something “BEE” UTIFUL!