RADIO SHOW/AUDIO PODCAST: Solutions...with Courtney Anderson! (SwCA) Episode 009 -Originally aired 12/31/2013 11:30 AM - HELP! SITUATION SPOTLIGHT series -"You are the only 'you' (e.g., age, gender, etc.) in the group!"
The HELP! SITUATION SPOTLIGHT™ series addresses challenges, obstacles and problems (real or perceived) that are preventing a person from surpassing their goals! In this series, we shine the light on challenges that community members have shared. In this episode we are exploring the reality of being the only person in a group who is “different” (or who appears to be so). It might be that you are (or are perceived to be) younger than everyone else, or older, or the only person of your gender, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, color, tribe, disability, marital status, etc.. The dynamics of power in both social and professional settings are impacted by perceived and observed authority.
From Eleanor Roosevelt:
- "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
- "No man is defeated without until he has first been defeated within."
- "You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do."
How does it feel to be the only 'you' in a room for an important work event? When no one else in the room is even aware of the the unique challenges you may face? For example, you are the only person with mobility challenges who uses a wheelchair. You are consumed with worry about navigating your exit (while also trying your best to focus on the meeting content) and no one else in the room is even aware of the multiple issues you are facing. They do not have the mobility challenges that you do, so they don't even stop to think about how you will cope. Meanwhile, you are mentally burning out! You are simultaneously doing all of the work that everyone else is doing and trying to troubleshoot and plan ahead for all of the possible problems with logistics. You also have additional anxiety and distraction as you worry about running late to your next meeting if you are not able to secure the timely exit assistance that you will need. Whew!
None of us want to appear 'weak' or 'less than' everyone else. Yet, how do we [...]