I hate feeling intimidated.
When I feel intimidated, I feel small, worthless, and helpless. It is a terrible feeling to not know your worth.
When Ron first went to prison, I struggled with my own self-worth and value. I felt defined by the experience I was in; a prison wife. I felt intimidated by the legal system, the prison visiting process, and the weight of having to take on all the responsibility for my family. It was crushing. It also made me feel insignificant.
I struggled to find my feet.
I needed to find courage and bravery. This event in our lives did not define me, but I wasn’t sure how to overcome the nagging feeling that I would never be “good enough” again. Looking back, I am not even sure what I was worried about being “good enough” at! But it ate at my self-confidence.
Facing the lawyers, the prison visiting staff, and the people in my community was a BIG deal at first. I wondered what they thought of me, what they were saying about me, and whether they looked down on my family. It was emotionally and mentally exhausting. I was taking their opinion of me as a measure of my worth. So wrong!!
"I was determined to do whatever it took to overcome this situation"
Thankfully, I figured out that the only person who gets to define who I am is ME. Whew. That was a huge relief. When I began to live as ME, I began to worry less and less about what others believed about me and my family. As a result, my courage, confidence, and self-worth grew. I was determined to do whatever it took to overcome this situation. I realized that I needed to define my own value if I was going to make it. The world didn’t want me to be valuable or my family to matter. In reality, it was up to me to change that.
As I began acting like I mattered, I found that others treated me differently. When I was walking in shame and embarrassment, feeling intimidated by everything, that is how others treated me -like I was weak and worthless. After I began to walk with confidence in my own worth, people around me treated me with respect. It was so crazy! I found out that it IS true that people respond to you based on the way you carry and present yourself.
Hand-Picked Related Content: Eye Contact and Other Non-Verbal Communication
It’s well known that good communication is the foundation of any successful relationship, be it personal or professional. It’s important to recognize, though, that it’s our nonverbal communication—our facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, posture, and tone of voice—that speak the loudest.
"Dress Up. Speak Up. Look Up."
Here are some simple things you can do to overcome intimidation-
- Dress up. Yes, really. No, I am not talking about a fancy dress. Rather, I am talking about looking your best—a nice clean, neat outfit, hair styled, and make-up on. I started dressing up to go to the grocery store, to take my kids to the doctor, and to go to all my appointments and as a result, it changed two major things: my own confidence and others’ respect for me.
- Speak up. Politely say what you need to say. Don’t let other people make your decisions for you or assume that you agree with them. On the contrary, ask questions, state your opinions and wants, and say what you really think. Speaking up doesn’t mean being rude, disrespectful, or raising your voice. In fact, you can make your point better if you politely say what you need to say.
- Look up. Stop looking down to avoid making eye contact. Look people in the eye when you talk with them, pass them on the street, or listen to them. Making eye contact conveys a strong sense of confidence and self-assurance that people respond to well.
I am rooting for you!