As I move toward the end of the first month of 2019 and my daily “attitude checks,” I find myself not only focusing on current attitudes and adjustments due to a variety of “aha moments,” but also looking back through the years and being mindful of how those attitudes likely affected the messages I portrayed to those around me.
In one instance, for example, I remember when my son, during elementary school, questioned as to whether or not he wanted to play baseball, since he perceived he “wasn’t as good as ____, _____ & _____” (he listed several very talented young ballers in his class). My response to him was that “everyone has their special gifts and there are things that you are stronger in,” and that being on the team was a means to hang out with his friends. He played baseball that year and many years to follow, so I felt I had parented him well in that moment.
In hindsight now, I realize that maybe his concerns were out of a bit of fear…fear of not being accepted? Fear of being judged? Fear of not fitting in with the group? And that is when I realized that my own actions in many scenarios in my own life had been in complete contrast to my advice to my son.
I was a hypocrite.
Three years ago, I had an opportunity to join a group of women in a side business and when I decided to jump right in, it was to confront a longtime fear. The business would put me in the room with very style-minded, entrepreneurial women selling a luxury lifestyle collection of women’s accessories. That doesn’t sound too scary, right?
But in my little world, I had always steered myself towards more male-dominated situations, jobs and groups because I feared, quite simply, being judged by other women. Not sure where this fear began but I know that, particularly in my high school and college years, it became more pronounced. And I simply steered clear and made choices that would never put me in those situations.
When, in 2007, I founded my Women in Business groups, I was dipping my toe in the water, but found some comfort in the fact that these were women working in the business world, hoping I would find comfort in that. The group was founded in skills I, personally, felt confident in: networking, mentoring & business. Don’t get me wrong, these women were also style-minded, fabulous women…but they were focused on building businesses, so THAT was my comfort zone.
But three years ago, I was about to turn 50 and decided to take the challenge. What was the challenge, you ask? It wasn’t being an entrepreneur – I had that. It wasn’t figuring out how to strategically build this business and integrate it into my every day—I had that.
It was about confronting the fear of being in a room where I perceive that I was NOT the most stylish; being in a room where I knew LITTLE TO NOTHING about retail or women’s accessories; being in a room where I feared being judged.
So, as I celebrate the completion of my 3rdyear with the India Hicks Collection, today’s attitude check is one of jumping in, giving it a try and being ok with being uncomfortable. You see, sometimes our most damaging fears are not about “death and taxes” but, rather, about being judged.
And, quite honestly, confronting that fear was only part of the solution. Releasing it into the universe and telling YOU about it….now THAT is freeing.
Note from the SHE files: Recognize the fears within your deepest core, move towards them and then through them to truly be free