“I’ve been at my job for seventeen years. I have trained those who became my boss and have consistently been passed over for a promotion. yet I can’t bring myself to leave.”
– True Confidence, Workshop Participant
One of the participants blurted this out, tearfully sobbing during a workshop I recently led at a local funding organization. I asked her if it was ok for me to touch her shoulders. She nodded, whispering “yes” and I stopped the presentation. I had to hold space with her, acknowledging that she was being heard and seen. What she needed was beyond the scope of the workshop, so I encouraged all the women in the room to turn their attention to her for a few minutes.
Perhaps this moment would empower her to take a small courageous step; the day she would make the decision to do something differently. She had already taken the first step – showing up to the workshop, allowing herself to be vulnerable. As the other women sat closer to her, I knew only a journey of self-discovery could re-ignite the flame in her soul to dream again and take action on her life – she needed to find her inner heroine to not let this be the bitter story that would define her life.
She had arrived at the workshop late and I remember feeling the energy in the room shift immediately. I knew her spirit had been crushed so much that I could not recommend taking bold actions so I emphasized taking small courageous steps to begin her journey. All the women in the room gave her the permission to leave that job, releasing her of any guilt she had of leaving her colleagues behind.
We all suggested taking a few small steps, knowing in our wisdom, along the way she would begin to shed all of the fear, guilt and shame she had been carrying in her body for seventeen years. These small steps would elevate her value in her own eyes, which was the most crucial thing that needed to happen to her in the coming weeks.
Consider this Framework, I shared with her and the other women, when taking One Thousand Small Courageous Steps to elevate your value and self-worth.
Step 1: Seek positive feedback from people who care about you
· Solicit it from others
· Use it as an opportunity for growth
· Avoid negative self-talk
Step 2: Invest the time in developing your Emotional Intelligence
· Understand how to balance self-awareness and social awareness.
· Minimize constant self-policing.
· It’s not always about you…
Step 3: How resilient are you? Understand your Adaptability Quotient
· How quickly do you adapt to change? How resilient are you?
· Constantly scan your horizon for new opportunities.
Step 4: Do something that makes you uncomfortable once in a while
· Avoid always trying to be perfect.
· Take small risks.
Step 5: Find professional support
· Find a life and health/ wellness coach to become emotionally and mentally fit.
· Seek out support groups in judgment-free environments that will help you grow.
Consider joining networks that support women to empower themselves like Ellevate Network’s global platform. “Ellevate Network’s Mobilizing the Power of Women Summit brought together an intentionally diverse and committed group of people to take action towards equality. Download the Mobilize Women Action Guide here and subscribe to the Ellevate newsletter.”