‘No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.’

Eleanor Roosevelt

When I began my business nearly 11 years ago, I was so excited to be able to wear what I want.  I’d been wearing hi viz and steel cap boots for the majority of the previous 15 years.  Not a lot of variety in that.

So, I took to this new found freedom with gusto.  I was wearing dresses, skirts and heels including in environments where that wasn’t the norm.  And colour!  I was wearing bright colours instead of the same colour every day.  I stood out.

I don’t know when it started or how long it took, but eventually, I stopped wearing those bright colours and heels.  I began to fade into the background wearing dull colours and nondescript shoes.  Why did I do this?  I can only say I think it was to fit in.

If I refer back to the quote, was anyone trying to make me feel inferior?  I don’t think so but on some level I must have felt that way.  That is on me.  No-one else.

The reality is, when I was wearing the same clothes day in day out for 15 years, that did not define me as a person.  It didn’t stop me from being genuine.  It didn’t stop me from performing in my role.  Maybe because we were all wearing the same thing.  I fitted in.

Feeling inferior can happen in any environment in many different circumstances.  It is up to us to understand why we feel that way and how we may be contributing to it.

Sure, there are going to be people who will want you to feel inferior.  The way they treat you will let you know they are trying to intimidate you or possibly even ostracise you.

However, no-one can make you feel anything.  You choose how you will respond to each interaction, interesting look, instruction, or single word.  I’m not saying don’t have feelings.  Have your feelings but decide how you will respond.

You are in control of how you feel, think, and respond.  You can only do this for yourself.  Whenever you utter the words, ‘you make me feel…’ you are taking the downward journey of blame.  But you don’t have to.

Don’t let anyone else be in control of how you feel.  Make the choice for yourself.

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