The Stories We Tell Ourselves

I was at a workshop this weekend, attended by high level women in business and the military. Honestly, I get very easily awed at people's titles and there were more than a few "awe-some" titles in that room! It was a powerful group, to say the least.

At lunch one day, I happened to be next to a woman I admire -- the CEO of a well-known company. As we waited our turn at the buffet, she started a conversation. I must admit it was a bit exciting for me. Here was someone I had followed for years, wanting to chat with me! And the conversation went something like this:

HER: "I love your hair! I wish I had the courage to do that. I don't think mine would ever look that nice."

ME: "Well, thank you. Really, you have no idea until you try it what it will look like."

HER: "Yes, well, what do other people think about it? Have you ever had people tell you they didn't like it? I don't know..."

At this point her title and position fade away and she becomes a woman who, underneath it all, is still very concerned about what others think. It was a game-changing moment for me and here is what I realized:

  • Titles are words. They may indicate positions of power within an organization but they are not necessarily reflective of the person ascribed to it
  • When you base your actions on someone else's thoughts, or your belief of what you think they WILL think, you give away your power
  • We all have something that we can give to others, regardless of position or experience
  • And, to repeat a tried and true adage....Don't compare your insides to someone else's outsides

Bottom line....We are as powerful as the stories we tell ourselves.

We had a delightful conversation after that - two women conversing, sharing feelings and ideas and a laugh or two. She is still a woman I admire, and I don't have to imagine her on any pedestal as a result. And perhaps I was able to shift her thinking a little bit as well. In any case, I left the weekend feeling stronger and more secure, knowing that regardless of what anyone else may think, I am truly a Superbwoman!