A few days ago, I was met with a situation that has cropped up many times in my career. As a woman who has spent over eleven years as a web designer/developer, I have been met with a condescending attitude from my male counterparts on countless occasions. In the past, I have made apologies for my knowledge by qualifying my statements with phrases such as “Well, I don’t really know, but this is what I would recommend.” Or “Well, I’m not the expert here, but…” etc. However, since committing to my study of Spiritual Principles, I have released the fear of standing in my knowledge and in my power.
So, to get back to my story…
I was asked by a friend to help her out with her company website because her web developer was taking a very long time to complete the job and when it was ready to launch, she was very unhappy with the design. I happily volunteered my time to prepare a design mockup for her which she loved. I also included in the email the phrase, “Hopefully this will be minimal extra work for your web developer.” (I will refer to him as “John” for now).
A few days later, I had a call with “John”. I was upbeat and excited to get the new design launched. However, John did not share my enthusiasm at all. He continually made barbed and/or condescending comments to me throughout the call. I figured he was probably going through some personal issues, so I ignored his grouchy attitude. Toward the end of the call, I said, “So it looks great! I see you’ve made most of the changes! It’s just about finished.” He retorted in what I can only describe as a snarling tone. Can you believe that? Anyway, he said, “You told Sue that the changes were EASY! They are not EASY! This is going to take me at least six hours to complete!” I proceeded to calmly ask him a series of technical questions in order to determine why a one hour job was going to be a six hour job for him. His response to each of my questions became more frustrated and more accusatory.
I was surprised by his tone. I didn’t understand what was upsetting him so much. Was he accusing me of lying to “Sue” or was he accusing me of not knowing how to estimate time? It was then that I decided to stand in my power as the expert in the conversation. I was intent on both standing in my power and coming from a space of LOVE, not frustration. I took a deep breath and I said, “You know what John? It is easy. And if you cannot complete this task in an hour or less, then maybe you should not be working on the project.” He tried to interrupt me, but I powered through in order to finish speaking my truth. After I was finished speaking, he immediately backed down. He admitted that in fact, he did not have that much experience with this technology and that he would need to seek out an easier solution for himself.
Although we had started the conversation with John feeling hostile toward me, by standing in my power and owning my expertise, I was able to help both of us. It does not do anyone any good to diminish your light in order to keep someone else from feeling “less than” or uncomfortable. You were given a bright light! A Radiant Light! It is your responsibility to the world and to Divine Spirit to shine it brightly!
P.S. The photo above is myself and my son, Sky, atop Stone Mountain, Georgia. We had just made the climb together, along with my mom (who snapped this pic). We were all going through some difficult stuff in our lives and reaching the top of the mountain that sunny day was just what the doctor ordered. As you can see, Sky’s favorite remedy is humor. So here’s to standing in your power!