Many times in my life I’ve felt underestimated and overlooked. Because I was thin, a Southerner, quiet, or “shy” as they told me…
At least these are the stories I made up. I don’t actually know what others were thinking or not thinking about me even when they used these words and especially when they didn’t. But I let these stories shape me, and the more I embraced them the more I began to overlook and underestimate myself.
I told myself I wasn’t capable enough, that I needed to speak differently or live differently or be physically sturdier or more talkative, especially more talkative. And since I wasn’t those things, an unconscious, and occasionally conscious, part of me wanted to hide. To remain unseen and therefore, not judged or thought of as less than.
That’s a safe place to be–hidden. But I learned I could only accomplish so much while standing in the corner or curled up under the buffet table. If I wanted to get in the
pants heart of the hot guy from biology (now my husband) I needed to call him, nervous pounding chest and all. If I wanted to honor my father’s memory and share my love for him then I needed–wanted–to stand before the church 21 weeks pregnant and deliver a eulogy. If I wanted to serve struggling moms then I needed–need–to put myself in front of you, all of you, wherever on the planet or in cyberspace you may be.
So you can know me, know I’m here. Not to stroke my ego, but so you can see that better things are in store for you. . . as soon as you stop underestimating and overlooking yourself.
Some thoughts on my “process” of being seen both personally and professionally.