I often find myself in the company of women who don’t speak up for themselves and men that are uncomfortable with women that speak up for themselves. And yes, I tend to be "that" woman that asks questions, speaks up and makes men and sometimes women uncomfortable. I’m Black and a woman so when I enter a room and before I speak, a first impression has already been established. Just the tone and volume of my voice is considered by some to be combative, angry and louder than average. My having a reasonable opinion seems to offend some unnamed rule to not speak out about obvious injustices. I'm told this indirectly by looks I get from men and women alike that I should just smile, keep my opinion to myself and go along with the status quo - stay calm as the waters covers your head - drown quietly.
Recently I remembered people in my life who tried to push my head under the waters like my elementary school teacher, she told me I had an attitude, bosses that thought I would never make it, the bosses that played with my mind and emotions, the coworkers and clients that questioned my education and skills, and constant requests "improve my communication style", to lean in, be quiet, don't fight, just take it and don't forget to smile. Everything I have ever gotten in my personal and professional life required me to ask or fight for it. I learned early that no one can read my mind, If I wanted something, I had to open my mouth and ask for it. The job, the career, the position, the promotion, the title, the project, the raise, the office, that business - I had to ask for it!. People tell me, no countless times, that is to be expected, but I quickly reframe my question or request and keep pressing, keep believing in me, speaking up for myself, being that team of one promoting me, my skills and talents. If I don't believe in me, no one else will. I will admit, there were many times I was fooled and thought the water covering me was my fault. Eventually, I learned that yes, there are things I can improve including my perspectives, but I also discovered that many of my bosses and coworkers were unaccustomed and uncomfortable to sitting across the table from someone that looks and speaks like me. Rather than seeing me as a person, a human, it was easier to try to convince me to look, think and talk like them. Say, drown quietly. Women, beautiful, talented courageous, women, we come in all shapes, sizes, colors and we all have our own stories to share. Please speak up for yourself. You are valuable, you should be respected, treated well and paid at market wages. You may not get everything you want when you want it. But you can start simply by deciding to step out of status quo and asking for what you want. You don’t have to be emotional, loud or angry, but depending on the circumstances you may have to just to keep your head above waters.
And that is ok, our bosses, coworkers and clients will eventually get use to our presence and voices, but we have got to speak up and save ourselves from drowning.
If you are new to the idea of purpose, I encourage you purchase my first book, Discover Your Value, Discover Your Purpose (available on this website and Amazon) and visit the website posts and Channel: Purpose videos on this website.https://www.amazon.com/Discover-Your-Value-Purpose/dp/099740440X/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=brinda+devine&qid=1577897770&sr=8-2
If you know your purpose, I encourage you to purchase my second book, Authentication Process (available on this website and Amazon) and visit the website posts and Channel: Authentication Process on this website.https://www.amazon.com/Authentication-Process-Connecting-Believer-Purpose/dp/0997404418/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=brinda+devine&qid=1577897739&sr=8-1
Brinda Devine, is the author of her signature book, Discover Your Value, Discover Your Purpose and her second book, Authentication Process. Brinda is also the founder of Purpose Institute, an organization with a mission to share the importance of making PURPOSE FIRST in our everyday lives.
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