Recently, a coworker told a group of us about a meeting she attended where the people around her were so well versed in their field that they could spout off statistics and reference research studies without a second thought. She commented that she wanted to get to the point where she felt she could share what she knew as eloquently as they had.

Another coworker told her that she has a wealth of experience and sometimes experience counts more than textbook knowledge. I have heard this coworker share what she knows in her field and been starstruck by her ability to speak intelligibly, eloquently and passionately. I want her to know that she already IS that person she wants to be. She already has all the tools she needs.

One of my biggest professional concerns is managing people appropriately. I truly believe that managing people well is the biggest responsibility of a leader. There is a fine balance of compassion, development, coaching, transparency and being the boss that must be navigated. Do it wrong and nothing else matters. I have, almost always, questioned my ability to do it well. I constantly look for new books and articles to read and people who know more than me to help me navigate. A couple weeks ago, I realize that I had been in varied management positions since I was 20 years old. Although there is always space to learn and grow, I am not a novice. I have 14 years of experience under my belt. I already have all the tools I need.

What is it about us that blocks our ability to see all that we are and all that we have to offer? Why do we find ourselves looking at what others have and wishing that we could offer the same things when what we do have is so damn valuable? The person that you ‘want to be’ is already there. You just have to stop forgetting who you are.

As we move from 2017 into 2018, this is a great opportunity for personal reflection. Not to create New Year’s resolutions or goals, but to increase self-awareness, build confidence and flex your BOSS muscles. Here are a few ways that may help your personal reflection:

  1. Think about the experiences that you have had and areas of expertise that you have developed because of those experience.
  2. Inventory your strengths. If you have trouble, take a strengths finder survey that can help you figure it out. Once you figure them out remember to bring them to the table with you every single day. What you have to offer is unique and should be promoted.
  3. If you need more help to figure out, ask the people around you what they see as your strengths. I am sure you will find commonalities from one discussion to the next.
  4. Stop focusing on your what you think you do not have to offer. Often the things that we want to develop the most, we already have innately.

You already have all the tools you need to accomplish whatever you want. You already ARE the person you want to be, you just have to stop forgetting.


Yolanda Jenkins is a wife, mother of 2, and an introverted leader. She can sometimes be found sharing the good, the bad and the ugly on IG @thislibralife.


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Photo credit:  Eye for Ebony on Unsplash