I recently started reflecting on an old narrative of mine centred around being good enough at holding presence and making an impact. The story started as a young British Pakistani student being asked to project her voice during preparing for a presentation of our class for that week’s assembly. The feedback was to make my voice louder and bolder. I really tried. But I just couldn’t project very far. It wasn’t a conscious decision to marry this with a sense of otherness, not fitting in or succeeding as a leader but nonetheless, the story cemented secured into my mind. It becane a core belief that leaders and speakers had to be extroverted. That was were the power was.
I watched Susan Cain’s Ted talk recently on the quiet POWER of introverted peope and it resonated so deeply with me. Society seems to really value extroversion but in actuality many of the worlds thought leaders are quietly strong. For me whats exciting is seeing recognition of the good in being calmer, softer yet still being so impactful. Its a celebration of a different trait beyond your typical leader.
This brings me back to the images – beautiful feedback from mindfulness traning today. The theme in all of the messages is quiet strength. That used to be a negative for me but this weekend I got tired of my old story. I had outgrown it. I stepped into a new reframe ; strong can be gentle, kind and compassionate. I have a powerful voice despite aggression. I don’t even need to raise my voice 💪🏾🧠
Which stories hold you back?