Has anyone ever made you feel small?
I had an interesting moment last week when I was going through First Aid training. I wanted to share it as it has led to me reflecting on my experience as a woman who has frequently doubted herself in the workplace, and I'm sure I'm not alone. We were asked to put a plastic bag over a dummies mouth to practice CPR and a female colleague asked our small group which way to put the bag in. I replied "this way, with the closed part at the bottom" and was interrupted by an older man, a project manager who said "no its the other way around". I was sure it wasn't but I didn't question him and assumed since he spoke with such confidence and bravado that he must be right so I sat there quietly. The girl who asked us was playing around and said, "you were right it's the closed part at the bottom" to me. The man said "it's definitely not" just as our teacher walked around and confirmed that yes - it was the closed part at the bottom and the girl and I were right. I have been spoken over and ignored by others who have a louder voice I do, and I've often let things pass and not spoken up. I have also missed opportunities to contribute because I have felt self conscious. My partner and friends are incredibly supportive and constantly lift me up and tell me I am clever and capable but I'm sure that like others, I'm often the last person to back myself. It sounds like a small incident but it shone a light on the fact that I really need to back myself and that I AM more capable than I let myself think sometimes. I've seen incredibly clever and talented friends doubt their abilities too, both male and female but generally its women who tend to feel this way. Even though I receive super positive feedback from my manager and work hard, I still doubt myself and my abilities so frequently and let others trigger that doubt.
I've been considering some of the positive psychology research that could help both myself and others and landed on strengths. I know from my studies that recognising and leaning into your strengths in a mindful way can lead to a boost in self confidence... (more in comments)