BraveBy Margie Warrell | Apr 09, 15 12:03 PM
Insightful and empathetic: Margie Warrell's new book shows us how to thrive against all odds.
Brave: 50 Everyday Acts of Courage to Thrive in Work, Love and Life is a powerful guide on courage, self-belief and resilience from bestselling author, media commentator and Forbes columnist, Margie Warrell.
Never give anyone power to intimidate you.
In my early twenties, when I began my (first) career working for a large oil company, I was completely intimidated by the director of sales and marketing. Bob was a good 20 years my senior and every time he passed by my pint-sized cubicle I’d get nervous and lose
the power of speech (which, given how much I like to talk, is saying something!). One day, about six months into my job, I found myself seated beside Bob at a dinner. As Bob proceeded to engage in warm, friendly conversation it made me realise that my feeling of intimidation had nothing to do with Bob and everything to do with me.
That dinner taught me an important life lesson. People don’t intimidate us ...rather, we allow people to intimidate us. That’s not to say that some people don’t act in ways intended to intimidate or diminish others. But in the end, it’s not who they are being that creates our feelings of intimidation; it’s the fact that we aren’t secure and strong enough in our worth that makes us feel nervous, scared or small around them.
So often we make assumptions about people that are simply untrue. We assume they’re ‘above us’ or better than us in some way. We assume they’re looking down on us or think we’re less than they are. And we carry all those assumptions into our interactions with them.
Other times we put people up on a pedestal and idolise them for the power, wealth, fame or success they have achieved. We relate to them as being better than us, more God-like, less human. But in reality, regardless of how rich or famous or powerful or wise anyone is, they’re no more ‘human’ than you. In fact, if you have the opportunity to get to know them, you’ll discover they’re a lot more like you (that is, fallible and vulnerable) than you think.
Stand tall in your own worth. Cower to no-one
Sure there are many people who have accomplished things you haven’t. They may hold power that you don’t. They may have achieved mastery that you haven’t. They may have built a mega-business that you haven’t. They may have a million Twitter followers you don’t. But they’re no better or more worthy than you. So, if you are going to be around people who give rise to your feelings of intimidation, be sure to walk tall in your own value. Cower to no-one but hold yourself as the talented, capable and big-hearted person everyone would want to get to know.
And if, occasionally, you encounter someone who doesn’t treat you as worthy, who talks down to you, seeks to coerce you or dismisses you outright, don’t take it personally. They’re clearly preoccupied with propping up their own ego. Their behaviour doesn’t say anything about you; it speaks volumes about them. After all, truly secure and successful people have no need to put others down to lift themselves up. Their behaviour doesn’t say anything about you; it speaks volumes about them.
Give no one permission to make you feel small.
You get back from others what you project out. When you expect people to like you and regard you as someone worth knowing, most people will do just that. When you expect people to think you’re inconsequential, dull or worthless, you’ll likely find they don’t respond so positively.
Never let your fear of feeling intimidated or having others not respond to you as you’d like keep you from reaching out to connect with people, to speak assertively and to act confidently. Who knows, maybe you’re just the person they need to meet. Maybe they’ll find you intimidating (it happens!). And perhaps, by owning your power and parking your doubts at the door, you’ll forge a rewarding new relationship that opens doors to opportunities you could never have imagined. You’ll be amazed by the possibilities that open up when you hold yourself in your power.
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