It's not that I don't think the idea of making resolutions is a good thing, I just believe that our resolutions for ourselves should constantly be in a state of tweaking, you know? The intentions that I set for 2015? Well, I think I will hold on to them for now. They, like me, are a work in progress and actually I am really really trying to follow through so I don't want to jinx myself by sharing them with the Intersphere.
I will share a resolution of the day though. It's one that constantly rears its head in my personal and professional life and I'm sure that I am not unique in wanting to have more of this in my back pocket. And what is it that I want more of out of myself on a daily basis???
But not at all simple.
I watch Ted Talks and listen to girl power blogs (shout out to Call Your Girlfriend; the podcast for long distance besties everywhere). I try to equip myself with the right motivation so that, in a time of crisis or opposition, I will steel myself but mostly I cave in. Unless I have the opportunity to spout my opinion in an email and then I deliberate and deliberate and edit and "save as draft" for weeks before I send the damn thing. By the time I've remembered that I never sent it, the point is beyond moot.
So why do we do this? And in particular why, as women, do we do this? What will it take to lock in the courage that we deserve. For me, I can plot the life circumstances that led/lead to me having ample courage and other occasions where that same courage was destroyed as if it had never existed in the first place. I am deeply affected by people's opinion of me. Sad but true. I am (ahem...overly) sensitive and quick to apologize, fix, worry, ruminate, stew, rehash, sort out, fret, rinse, soap, wash, repeat -- at the sign of a disagreement. It takes years for me to build up the courage that I believe I deserve yet seconds to watch it all come crumbling down at the hands of a short sighted moron.
What a hypocrite I am. I am always trying to enable my female colleagues and friends to put their opinions out there. I want them not to be afraid to have lives and thoughts and passions of their own, regardless of their circumstances. I think that I have inspired a few people along the way. I hope that I have anyway. So why, when faced with someone who disagrees with me do I so badly want to make them feel comfortable that I almost change my original opinion. Hold the phone. Let me clarify something, I don't actually change my fundamental beliefs or opinions (unless they need changin') but I make people believe that I see logic in their argument when there are definitely occasions I see none. In some ways, this isn't a bad way to operate. The best way to get an audience with someone (with the strategic plan to change their mind) is to make them believe that you actually put some credence in their opinion. That is only sometimes the conscious tact I'm taking though.
Why the deliberation? Why the soft peddling in delivering a message? Why do we (particularly the women "we") try to package our opinions so that they are digestible for everyone? This CAN'T be necessary. There has to be a better way and I believe that way has something to do with courage.
People won't like it when you tell them they're wrong. You, by the way, will sometimes BE WRONG. But to really live with the satisfaction that you're being honest with yourself requires the courage to constantly publicize your VERY WORTHY opinions.
I wrote an email today. I haven't sent it yet but I will tomorrow. It needs sending. It craves to be shared with the audience that needs to read it. They will not like it. They might ignore it. They might get mad about it but there's something we forget when we're scared -- we're not the only ones. What if your audience is equally scared of you? What if they need courage to talk to you about issues, complaints, personal dilemmas? In the long run, wouldn't we all be better off by being courageous enough to show some vulnerability. Sticking up for something you believe in strongly is hard because you're showing someone your hand. You have given them power because they now know how you truly feel. On the other hand, you have taken back your voice -- and that, holds all the power in the world.