If you are in the room, you belong there

Good morning beautiful people!!! Today’s inspiration is brought to you by the gorgeous view from my patio (full of orange, yellow and red hues), crispness in the air and cup of French vanilla sunshine (ran out of pumpkin spice K-cups).

Thinking back over my career I have been in ALOT of rooms where I felt like I did not belong.

I can remember early in my career, I was invited to a board meeting to learn corporate governance and was the only Black person in the room.  I sat in the back trying to make myself invisible and it must have worked because the conversation that took place made me uncomfortable.

Those leaders either forgot I was in the room or didn’t care because the conversation had me feeling like I did not belong there.  And because I felt like I didn’t belong, I didn’t feel like I had the right to ask them to watch the language they were using.

That situation is precisely why, for many years to follow, I would wear my Blackness as the my prominent identity when I entered the room. But not in a positive way. In an unapologetic way.  As if I did not have any professional skills or talents that warranted my being there. So I felt like I didn’t truly belong in any room I stepped in.

But time brings on a change as my Mom Mom Hubbard would say, and I have grown far past the point of entering a room unapologetically.  Today’s version of me walks in to every room, physically or virtually, with her head held high and the confidence in knowing this one thing…

If I am in the room, I belong there.

Daily it seems I am having conversations with professionals of all backgrounds who feel like their presence and voice don’t matter so they walk into rooms less than confident and sit visibly invisible in acceptance of what goes on around them or what happens to them.

But I am here to tell you that the first step in claiming respect from others, is first respecting yourself.  No one should be subjected to or accept microaggressions, microinvalidations or gaslighting in an environment where you have chosen to invest your time, education and talent.

Let me repeat that.

No one should be subjected to or accept microaggressions, microinvalidations or gaslighting in an environment where you CHOSEN to invest your time, education and talent.

So don’t accept it.
Speak up for yourself and others.
Challenge the status quo.
And if none of that works, LEAVE.

If you take nothing else from this moment in a mug today, please know this…

When you log in today or step into your physical workplace….
When you enter a conference room or login to a virtual meeting…

It doesn’t matter who you are…

YOU BELONG THERE!

Own it.

Happy Thursday!

P.S. This mug is part of my Moments In Mug collection launching soon!

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