No More Armor
This week I’m going out into the business world and I feel lost without my battlefield armor.
We all go through phases in our life – both personally and professionally.
In my early career years as the only woman in the room working in both headquarters and manufacturing, I unknowingly built up layers of ‘protection’ from the comments and difficult circumstances I faced every day.
Most of the time it was simply because I was the first woman in the position, and many of the men weren’t sure how to deal with me.
I, too, had to learn to work with them. There were many moments of interaction, that were uncomfortable or difficult to be around.
It seemed that for every year and every new job I added more armor. More layers to protect me from the potential attacks from the people I worked with and was trying to help.
With more women in the workplace, I believe things are changing for the better for everyone who is different in some way. It will take time, but I feel it shifting and so many people are taking part in making the changes needed for everyone’s benefit.
So how does all this relate to who I am today and going back into the business world?
It means I’m walking in without the armor I built up over my years of working in large corporations and working in Silicon Valley.
It means I feel more vulnerable and more exposed.
It also means that I’m more me.
And that is the best part. I’m better and stronger without the armor. But it’s scary.
Today, I get to go back into a business conference as a Founder/CEO without all the heavy armament I used to carry. There is a curiosity and wonderment about how it will all feel, but I know today I will be able to shine as myself and not as who I felt I had to show up as in the past.
This is where I can choose, and I choose to be me.