Permission Granted: You have a right to be here!

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This year I'm doing the Goodreads reading challenge, and I've committed to reading 2 books a month, but I'm already way past that thanks to audiobooks.  One of the newest audiobooks I got was by Rachel Hollis, called Girl, Stop Apologizing!  I pre-ordered it and it's in the queue with umpteen other books, but the title alone made me think about things that we think we need permission or approval for.

It's natural to see approval. I'm not what you would call a "people pleaser," but I spent many years of my young life desperately wanting the approval of my father, which I talked about in my first book, called "What's Wrong with Me?" But even though it's natural to see approval for others, it's not always necessary, nor is it always beneficial.

Some of this approval seeking is because we fear rejection.

I remember when I was in high school, and I used to dim my light.  I was an excellent student, especially when it came to anything requiring reading or writing papers/reports.  I usually did my homework in one of the 4 study halls I had in m junior and senior years, and I since I did my homework, I knew most of the answers. But the other kids often put me into this category of being a nerd or being a good girl.  Then in 11th grade, I also was a black girl with light skin and straight hair (thanks to a relaxer), and some girls I used to be tight with before turned on me and said I was trying to be "white."  I was taking some senior classes and met a few that were cool, so I started hanging out with some seniors who had their own cars.  We would cut class (for me it was just study halls) and blast R&B, reggaeton and dancehall music while riding around town.  They would smoke and curse and singe and I was just there-- the only black girl in the group.  But I saw them as popular, and when one of them accepted me, the rest followed.

Imposter Syndrome

As we become adults and venture into the working world, we have to present ourselves as professional.  

If we're into culture and socializing, we have to resent ourselves as being "in the know". 

Sometimes we downplay our skills and knowledge because we're women, or because we feel like everyone else in judging us, or we think that everyone else is more experienced than us.

Have you ever said:

  • Adding the word "just" before a phrase to soften it

  • "If it's okay with you..."

  • "For what it's worth..."

  • "This might sound crazy, but ..." or "I may be wrong, but ..."

  • "Does that make sense?"

These are belittling phrases that downplay your message or request.  You can ask or state something without these phrases and be perceived with more authority or confidence.

Own It

Stop allowing people to think you need their permission to be there. You have a right in walk in a room where it seems like everyone else is ahead of you, and hold your own. 

Your goal is own your personal power and express that confidence to others. Even if you haven't fully realized your worth, and you have to fake it until you make it.  One of the best ways to improve your confidence is to act it out and speak it even before you fully 100% believe it.  Hello, affirmations.

We all have self-doubt sometimes. I still do, but I don't let negative thoughts hang around and watch cable when they come along. 

To overcome the self-doubt: Present yourself as if you belong by your skill AND conduct as you interact with others. The way you speak to them. Your attitude. Your level of service.  Your integrity-- doing what you say you will do.  This is how you own your greatness, and walk in it.