Confidence - Part 1
Well, someone this past week asked me to speak about confidence. I was referred from two different people from the company. First, I am humbled that people thought of me, but second, is that how I am perceived? Confident? Heyyyyy....that makes me feel pretty darn good! And by the way, those two referrals, were both from men.
I think while its important to empower women in the work place, this topic is suitable for anyone. When I started talking to Mama Choy about this, she listened and said why of course. You've been in training since you were a kid. Huh? Whaddya mean?
For those of you who don't know, my father aka Ba Ba, is deaf. He's been deaf his whole life and I communicate with him through sign language. My mother told me from a very young age I always looked out for my Dad. Not that he wasn't capable, he's one of the most confident, charming (and sometimes overly egotistical) and loving man I know. But, sometimes he just wouldn't notice when someone was motioning to him if he had his head down or turned the other way. This often was the case when we were at restaurants. The typical waiter would come by and ask what we would like to drink, and at later points of the dinner, how our food was and if we needed more water.
My Ba Ba
Um, he'll have the chicken stir fry noodles, please.
Often my dad was deep in conversation with someone else or just plain not paying attention. But I never wanted him to feel different or embarrassed, so I always paid attention and stayed observant and I spoke for him. They asked what he wanted to drink I would say Coca Cola with ice. They asked what would you like for your meal, I'd jump in and pick something out for him. And I always asked for the bill. The wait staff always just thought I was being cute, but I was doing it for my Ba Ba.
But what that did, was that instilled really early on to speak up and to be comfortable with that. I put my discomfort aside because I wanted to help my Dad and be his ears for him. I think my mom is right. That was the beginning. And I have to give my mom credit, because she let me babble and do the talking. She thought it was good and it helped me build a really close relationship with my father.
It taught me to be extra observant of my surroundings as well as others and adjust as necessary. But in this case, it helped build my confidence, and a huge part of that was just becoming comfortable. I'm not confident in every situation, but it has helped lay a foundation that I can build off on. I'm sure my Dad would've been just fine. He normally wrote or just pointed at the menu and he adapted as he needed to be. But he let me be his little helper, and it made me feel like the protector. Love you Dad!