Reflections on communication, self-confidence, and self-identification

As few of you know I am a technical writer for a mortgage company in downtown Detroit. I recently expressed my interest in the leadership training program that is offered for many team members who see themselves moving forward into their future career path and growing into a team leader. My own team leader provided me with a handout containing eight leadership traits of skilled ideal team leaders. Among the characteristics were Vision, Communication Expert, Living the Culture, Deep Thinker, and more they are just evading me at the moment. After advising me to rate myself on a scale of one being the best and eight being the trait I need most improvement on, I began the processing of judging my skills, reflecting on who I see myself as a person, comparing it to what think others feel about me, mixed in with who confident I was on if those skills really actually reflected myself.

To be completely honest, I found this a very difficult exercise. I have never been very confident in who I am as a person. Truly, ranging from judging myself based on how I hold my pencils and pens, to the way in which I dress, and talk, and communicate and make friends, and what I do and what I read… the list goes on. No wonder I was a confused child… As I was rating myself on these skills, I couldn’t determine reality of who I was as a person. The reality of my strong skills is so intertwined with who I want to be as a person, as well as the negative thoughts I myself inform my being that I am bad at. So really I was judging all the traits in a dreamy haze of emotions. Long story short, almost all of our answers were completely backwards. I judged myself most harshly on the traits my team leader believed I was best. The ones I felt I was stronger at were in fact the ones she felt could use some more loving conscientious care. Number eight on her list? Communication Expert. Honestly I was a bit flabbergasted. Communication is something that I have worked hard on for many years, because it never came naturally to me. I am much more comfortable in a world of books and muteness that actually verbally communicated my thoughts, loves, needs, etc. was much less preferred. The reason? Because I am not confident in my skills as a communicator. Not that I am unable to express myself, but solely because I lack the confidence in myself. This lack of confidence must be something I am emanating at work and in my daily life.

This month moving forward my focus is this confidence. Confidence in how I identify myself. Confidence in my interactions with others, in the words I speak. Strangely, the best way I am going to focus on this is by wearing heels to work. Most women feel empowered by wearing heels, you are taller and dressed up, etc. etc. but I am insecure! Everyone is looking and hearing your clacks as you walk from the kitchen back to your desk. Focus on this goal, will more than likely protrude benefits to all other aspects of my life and improve the happiness I have worked so diligently for.

For all of you who lack confidence like myself, take this time to revel in the amazingness that you are. In addition to that your worth, your ability to be awesome, and to ridding of the doubt telling you that you are lacking. Just go back to your real youngin’ days when you just knew how cool you were. 
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