Feeling Comfortable in Your Own Skin

Feeling Comfortable in Your Own Skin

Feeling Comfortable in Your Own Skin

Too many of us think ‘if I just looked better, had another qualification, or gained some more relevant work experience, then perhaps I will be good enough or accepted?

Taking charge of your thoughts when you’re not feeling confident or trusting others, can be one of the toughest things you do when you embark on your journey of personal growth.

If you have been fortunate enough to break the boundaries of the ‘glass ceiling’

That invisible ceiling where diverse women have an increasingly difficult time, relative to white men, accessing jobs with greater organisational power.

You may feel even more uncomfortable in your own skin, especially if you have never learned to embrace your strengths or weaknesses before getting that promotion.

But, for diverse women we must also acknowledge the social reality of race and gender.

Diverse women will often experience dislike or rejection in the workplace as their own fault and may respond to power or authority as untrustworthy and insincere, a grief reaction which communicates

‘I am not feeling safe or like I belong here’

Feeling that you are truly of value, no matter how you look or sound or what others think of you should be a priority for any organisation creating a culture of belonging.


Race, Gender & Workplace Power

Race, gender and workplace power impacts us all differently and is harmful to the psychological and emotional development of the organisation and individuals, particularly for diverse women.

Some of us are on the receiving end of racism, some of us are from groups where there is power to perpetuate racism.

And, others who previously experienced racism, but have experienced significant freedom or privilege are no longer personally affected anymore.

If you don’t feel safe in your own skin or have never been told you are good enough, it is probably one of the most difficult spaces to occupy in the complex workplace power dynamics.

Lennox Thomas opened this dialogue up in the field of psychotherapy, defining the ‘proxy’ self, which he describes as a coping mechanism to avoid psychological trauma to fit in within a white world.

For both individuals and organisations the ‘proxy’ self is less painful and less disruptive to the status quo.

However, the consequence of fitting in, is that it effects your ability to express your true self or to feel comfortable in your own skin and impacts on accepting who you truly are!


Taking Back Your Personal Power

Dynamics that project our own internal negative mental picture of someone, before we meet them or ascribe a negative social and psychological position or stereotype to specific groups.

Unfortunately, challenge is usually denied in these organisations due to homosocial reproduction or bureaucratic kinship systems, in other words white men that have historically held the reins.

Hence, this ‘collective’ or ‘group think’ thrives on a lack of awareness.

In other words, racism or discrimination operates more where we avoid learning opportunities and entering processes for reflection and self-examination that could evoke change and challenge is experienced as too threatening or unhelpful.

Reframing some of this unacceptable systemic discrimination in the context of the organisation, through naming these experiences will disrupt the status quo and evoke change, particularly for those of us are on the receiving end of racism.

However, this may seem too far away or quite big and complex to tackle for some organisational leaders.

Language and communication will remain an important indicator to gauge emotional or mental readiness to these changes.

But, for diverse women. Feeling comfortable in your own skin will often come down to your own self-worth and embracing who you really are. Something you can certainly embrace as part of your self- development or personal growth journey.

Perhaps, part of reclaiming your personal power is giving yourself permission to express your ‘true’ self regardless of who holds the workplace power.

Want to reclaim your personal power? Join us on the First Friday of each month for Kinship a Safe Space for diverse women. Please register here