She was the only woman in a room full of males.
A bit intimidated and sheepish.
Trying to fly under the radar.
Didn’t want to make noise.
She stood in the corner despite being head of operations,
despite wanting to run these meetings someday!
Until she hired me as her executive coach.
Immediately, we got down to work.
We decided that before she went into meetings, she would repeat the mantra – I AM HERE TO TAKE UP SPACE – and then repeat it with her actions.
She sat near the front.
She raised her hand.
She contributed her thoughts.
She asked questions.
She graciously disagreed.
She listened intently.
She took notes.
She went the extra mile, connecting one-on-one with co-workers after the meeting to get more of their thoughts, bounce ideas off of and glean more insights from.
Within four months, she was running that meeting!
She was standing at the front of the room.
She was introducing resources, processes, and guidelines.
She was pulling on people’s strengths so they would share freely.
She was engaging with diversity of thought.
She was in control.
As women, we tend to shrink and minimize and over-apologize like we’re in the way.
But it’s not our position.
Ours is a position of power, and that’s what my client ascended into by simply changing the way she showed up. By changing her belief about her deservedness, she changed the way the whole room, and the whole company operated.
It’s the perfect example of what we’re here to do, what we’re built for, and what is in front of us when we are unafraid to take up space.
So, right now, here’s what I want you to do:
Get out a sharpie, a post-it note and write this down:
I AM HERE TO TAKE UP SPACE.
Put one on your bathroom mirror, your car dashboard, and your computer at work.
Put it everywhere.
See how your life will start to change with that simple, but powerful truth.