In the past few days, I’ve been wondering if all the leadership and connection challenges in several areas of my life are worth the effort. That’s a lot: being strong and flexible, understanding and vulnerable yet grounded, supportive yet trusting; setting the clearest expectations possible and welcoming the reality possibly richer than the expectations; caring enough to connect and inspire yet not so much as to despair. That’s a lot, and much of that feels like a foreign language.
Last night, at a toastmasters meeting, it felt almost too much. I joked about the challenges in one of my addresses, to share and to relate. That led, unexpectedly, to someone offering to do something I assumed was mine.
Also, this happened. Andres walked up to me after the meeting and said, “Look, N, I don’t think you see yourself the way you are.” Then proceeded, in the parking lot, to describe how he sees me. That, essentially, was as I aspire to be seen, from within: strength, light, character, the feelings I kindle in others. From that place, he called me to be bolder in owning that.
Being seen as I truly desire to be is a rare and special gift. I can count the instances of having received it like that, clearly and openly stated, on the fingers of one hand. That’s also a reminder to strive, boldly, to see myself and others as we aspire to be seen, as our own best. That is worth it.