I know those are the words that immediately come to my mind. But to be honest, I've never considered myself to be a strong leader. Even when I was a little girl, I never quite had those "leadership" traits. In fact, I was the complete opposite - I was shy, quiet, bashful and a little awkward - (actually... I still am... Ha!).
I can actually remember back to 1st grade when my mom had a parent-teacher conference with my teacher, Ms. Cutting. She let my mom know that although I was academically doing well, I was having some other "issues" in the classroom. She went on to say that I was "very shy", "extremely aware" and "overly observant" of others - that I paid too much attention listening to my friends. She informed my mom that I needed to focus more on myself and worry less about my classmates. Now, at the time, my little 6 year old self took this as horrific news! She spoke of these traits as if they were all bad things and that I was not being my bestself as a result.
Little did I know that that one moment would have such an enormous effect on me. Moving forward, I tried to adjust myself by embracing and adapting other traits into my personality - I tried to be more outgoing, loud, vocal, firm and "less" attentive to my surroundings and more in tune with only me. All in all, I don't believe this was necessarily a bad thing because I was able to grow as a student and conquer simple fears, such as being the first to raise my hand in class or even trying out for my high school basketball and cheerleading teams, but ultimately, these traits were foreign to me by nature.
Like many of us in our 20s I've spent the past couple of years doing a lot of self exploration, trying to discover who Erica Kmiec really is! And you know, it has been a journey, but I've come to recognize that I am still that bashful little girl.
I am and always will be more of a listener than a talker, more quiet than loud and more shy than outgoing.
I appreciate my environment at all times and relish in the present.
I may not be the most outspoken person >>> I lead by example.
I stay true to my values and live my life according to those values and I think people around me can see that.
It doesn't make me or any of you (if you're like me) any less of a leader - we just lead in different ways.
We lead by listening, by observing and being attentive. We lead with our kind, soft voice.
We are all leaders and we are all needed - so SHOUTOUT to all my low-key leading ladies! I hear your quiet ways! :)