Last night I went to a late dinner with a group of college students as part of my volunteer work weekend. As we were sitting down at the sports restaurant, one of the female students leaned over and whispered, “Well that’s uncomfortable.”
I asked her to tell me more about her statement and it turns out that a guy (not part of our group) said some rude and inappropriate comments to his buddy about the student.
At that moment, I had a decision to make. I asked our group to stand up, got our severs attention and told her we needed to switch tables and move into another area of the restaurant – far away from our current table.
Your voice matters. We need to hear it.
And even if it’s terrifying to present in front of superiors, share information in large groups or speak at all – you are better for it when you are assertive and speak your mind. In fact, you safeguard yourself from tough situations by building the confidence to stand up for yourself. And when you look around at the opportunities you have in your life, and in your day, you’ll realize that you have many opportunities to practice this talent and make it a strength.
I had a great idea for my theme this year. Confidence. And what better way to celebrate this theme than to set challenging goals and crush them. Except, failure alert. I was crushed by many of my goals, and trying to achieve unrealistic goals made me lose much more than I thought.
I sacrificed my health, my personal time and my sanity to try to make everything work this year. And it didn’t work.
What I learned in my year of confidence is that you build more confidence when things don’t go right and you learn how to work through it. You learn to be unshakable. Here’s what I learned:
I’ve worked the last 18 days in a row, I haven’t yet had a day off this month, I’ve missed important family events and I am tired. I was ready to post it to the world on social media with the clever “Stick a fork in me. #ImDone” phrase, but then I stopped. When I pulled up a social media account, I noticed a friend had posted about her travels and being away from her family. For 8 weeks. And in that post, she mentioned how excited she was to be home, how much she missed her family and how thankful she was to have these experiences.
And then I remembered that my problems are small after all. I’ve got a good job, I’ve got people who depend on me and I’m a necessary part of the world I’ve created. Plus, I had to be alive for those 18 days anyway – might as well have been productive and working. It was just what I needed to see at the right moment.