Written by Katy Goshtasbi
Posted on: October 1, 2018
I operate in a lot of different circles in my life, personally and professionally. In my professional career as a securities lawyer most of the time it’s been me and men, who are almost twice my age. We always got along and had respect for one another. Fast forward 15 years into my second career as a change and branding expert and I realized the same isn’t always true. Why? Let’s chat about how to earn respect and why people don’t take you seriously, using my story as our lesson.
In my second career, I serve on numerous boards and chair two of them. On one board, I was having a hard time earning the respect of the almost exclusively male board. I was frustrated and disappointed in the board members’ behavior- why were they refusing to work together and worse, why did it seem like they wouldn’t take me seriously?
Then it dawned on me. I was playing small and showing up angry with them often. That meant I wasn’t earning their respect. So why should they take me seriously?
What Was I Doing Wrong?
Simply put, I wasn’t respecting myself. Because they were all men, and men behave different than women by nature, they were talking over me and hanging out with each other. That made me feel left out and not worthy.
So I stepped back and asked: what does their natural behavior have to do with respect for me? I then realized that if I respected myself, then nothing anyone did would rock my boat.
Once I decided to respect myself, I had a mental shift. I started to see things differently. As a result, I started showing up very differently- I spoke up when I needed to without getting frustrated, I held my ground firm but with kindness and compassion and I got my point across softly while leading the path silently. Was this easy? No. It’s simple, but not always easy. It took me being really honest with myself and not blaming others for my negative mental outlook.
When I earned my own respect, the board members started to show up differently around me. Did they always behave the way I wished them to do? Maybe, maybe not. The point is, I can’t control the people around me. I can only control my mentality- and thus my brand perception and outward display.
What does this mean for you? Stop and consider:
1. Where in your life are you not respecting yourself? How does that show up?
2. Do you go around saying you “deserve” respect and need others to take you seriously?
3. What’s one small mental shift you can make today to start respecting yourself more?
While none of this is easy, I know you got this. I’m here to support you and your brand growth as you work through these changes.
Want more support? Download this guide below.