I thought I was being humble and private.
What I was actually doing was making myself smaller so other people could be more comfortable.
I’ve noticed that I have been doing this a little too often lately. I also realized that It’s something I’ve done pretty much my whole life.
- Pretend I didn’t know the answers when teachers asked questions.
- I didn’t want to be the only one that raised my hand.
- Or raise my hand too often
- I was told to give others a chance.
- Hold back ever so slightly so I didn’t stand out.
- Keep my wins private to avoid comparisons.
I went to massage school with the most obnoxious and arrogant dude and I would let him think he “set the curve” in the class when I actually did. I told myself I didn’t want to brag.
I’m not exactly sure the exact root of this behavior, it may have been to feel like I fit in or I wasn’t different. ←-- A little after typing this, I realized I DID know the root of this learned behavior and I think it’s important to share how I processed this while writing about it.
One trauma response I have is being HYPER-aware of people’s emotions. You learn to read people and the room when you are abused, and doing it as accurately as possible can mean the difference between a “good” night or one that ends with mental and/or physical pain. Making sure other people were comfortable was ingrained in my being.
I believed the lie:
If you don’t make people uncomfortable, then they won’t get mad at you and you won’t get hurt.
When we act small so others are comfortable, we are not giving ourselves our own space to be authentic. It’s time I get to be me.
I have decided to accept that sometimes what I say, do, or accomplish makes people uncomfortable, but it’s not MY problem. I have put in the work, developed the strategy, and nurtured the relationships to build my business or myself.