“So did you see ‘The Final Future of Now’?”
“The latest X-Men movie?”
“Yeah, the plot was… well I’m still looking for a plot but that new actress they got to play Storm, wow”
“Dude, I know totally made me feel better about spending the money to see it in the theatre”
“Her assets are worth paying to see them on the big screen twice.”
All of a sudden Liv felt her face go up at least 5 degrees and a wave of pain in her chest, followed by anger quickly spreading from her toes straight to her heart and through to her throat. In that moment everything she has worked for, going to school and missing out on parties in order to get the grades, living off of Ramen Noodles for months long after college, to fighting and threatening to quit at every stage in order to get the middle management position she currently holds.
“How can they possibly talk this way?” she thinks. “Women aren’t objects. I worked so hard to get here. Fighting every step of the way to prove that I deserve to be in the honors math, that I am just as brilliant a coder as the other guys in my university class. Even the interview to get into the company was an uphill battle. And all they see are boobs. No wonder they won’t let me speak during meetings. This is a place of work, it is supposed to be a safe place. GRRRR.”
“HOW RUDE! HOW DARE YOU DEMEAN WOMEN THAT WAY!”
The shocked blank stares she got back only triggered another wave of anger and insecurity.
“Why should have to prove myself again? Enough, I have earned my place here. Why does this always happen, why am I not taken seriously?” she thinks.
So, what has actually happened here?
It’s the good old game called Power. Liv has placed all of her worth and the value of the struggles she faced to get to where she is in hands of her colleagues. What’s worse is that the conversation had nothing to do with her or any other female co-worker. It was about a fictional character, which mostly likely was going to have little bearing on the rest of Bob and Joe’s day
Placing so much value on what others think of us is not unique to women. We all tend to do it in a desperate attempt to be liked and accepted. Which is fine. Not one wants to be alone and it’s never fun to have your hard work and accomplishments go unnoticed. So, we place great value on other’s opinions of us. The side effect of this is that the tiny voice inside that quietly comforts and cheers us on gets silenced. Instead of being kind to ourselves and gaining confidence from what we did to get to where we are, we look for others to validate our efforts and when they don’t we feel hurt.
So I ask of Liv and you to take this week and try to be kinder to yourself. Get yourself an extra special cup of coffee or your favorite chocolate to thank yourself for being the capable and talented person that you are. Write down one moment from today in which you are proud of yourself for how you handled it whether anyone else knows about it or not.
You are a hero in my eyes. More importantly, start to be a hero in your own.
Share your heroic moment of the day in the comments below.
Check out how we got here in ‘Warning: Hot Coffee Ruining Your Day!’
If you know of anyone you think would enjoy this please pay it forward and share with your friends and colleagues.