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Criticism & Vulnerability Go Hand in Hand

Sep 13, 2021

I've talked about this a couple of times, being vulnerable in the workplace is not a bad thing. In fact, it can signal, for some, that you are authentic and trustworthy. However, in order to allow vulnerability, you have to address criticism.

So, a funny thing happened a couple of days ago around these two very powerful topics. Here's they story....

Olja and I were putting together some last minute details for our webinar when she asked me about some of the awards that I have received.

Now, I don't talk about them. I don't announce them. I have always had this feeling that I was "bragging" if I brought them up in any kind of setting.

Here's the thing that I realized yesterday, someone else nominated me for those awards. I didn't go out and solicit them, I didn't apply for them, I didn't even know about them until I was told that I received them. So, SOMEONE thought I was worthy of each and every one of those awards.

Then I had another realization. How can I say that I am all about empowering women if I can't accept an award that empowers me? How can I tell another woman that it is OK to be ALL of who you are, if I am not willing to be ALL of who I am?


I started to look at why I felt this way. Why did I feel like I had to play small? Two things come to mind. 

  1. The fear of criticism. My inner critic has always been very loud, saying I am not good enough, I am not smart enough, I am not....something enough. And if my inner critic says those things, what will other people say?

  2. The fear of being vulnerable. My revealing these details makes it possible that I can become a target. It puts me in a place that someone can point fingers and say "you're a braggart." or "you don't deserve that" or...

So, it is safer to not reveal these things. It is safer to play small. However, I am done playing small. I am going to share, knowing that, "when we share our accomplishments, we shine the light of possibility for another."

So, I am going to tell you, I have won a few awards in my years of business. And while I am not going to list all of them here, I am going to add them to my website, to both acknowledge that someone believed in me and to acknowledge that women are worthy and capable of great things.

Olja Aleksić, thank you for reminding me that it is ok to reveal my best version of myself, and that includes a couple of awards.


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