TRUMPeting My Voice

I was born in 1963 and was raised by two parents who told me that I could do or be anything that I wanted to. Growing up, I didn’t feel that I was raised much differently than my older brother. I’ve also had positive relationships with men throughout my life. I have always been my own person, I have never cared too much about what other people think, and I have never had issues making things happen for myself.

Having said all of this, I know for certain that society has also shaped me. It’s been a subliminal force, influencing and molding many of my behaviors. While I consider myself to be a strong woman, I have also struggled with being assertive. In fact, it’s been much easier for me to constantly soften the message instead of being direct. I’ve done this message “massaging” my entire life.  Men get positively reinforced when they are direct.  Women do not.

A few years ago, I received a stark wake-up call when I read a New York Times op-ed piece about how women apologize for things that they shouldn’t be apologizing for. I realized that my lack-of-assertiveness was also accompanied by too much apologizing!  This was the genesis of my journey to change my behavior.

Since then, we have a new president, a Me Too Movement, and more women than ever download-1.jpgrunning for leadership positions. Just like in my past, I am now being shaped by what is going on around me.  Women are speaking up and I have felt empowered by each and every one of them. At 55, I am emerging as a stronger woman—someone who is no longer afraid to be direct. I refuse to apologize unless I’m truly sorry about something, and I refuse to soften the message.

My take away: It’s never too late to evolve into the person you want to become. No matter what it is, you can make it happen.

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