When I share my thoughts, ideas or opinions, my goal is not to receive the spotlight, but rather to make sure I do not allow my fears and anxiety to leave me invisible. However, there are those who are looking for the spotlight and thrive off the energy that is produced from the spotlight. It becomes discouraging to me when those are the same people who will cast down my thoughts, views or ideas, but once there is any sign that it is a good idea by others, they will immediately run with my same thoughts — as if they were their own, as though they were always in support of me and my voice.

Even if you aren't the loudest in the room, that doesn't mean you don't still have a tremendous amount to offer.

I will continue to share my voice because there is so much that I have to offer. And so long as I am radiating energy that is light and genuine, I cannot and will not go wrong.

Whenever this occurs, my thoughts look a bit like this:

1. the problem is me

It is the first sign to me that I am not where I want or rather need to be. It feels like I am having to catch up. Where did I go wrong? Was I not assertive enough? Did I not push my perspective hard enough? I don't want to feel like I have to compete to have my voice heard, especially when on a team. I have never found value in competing with someone other than myself and becoming the best version of myself. So, when I feel myself falling into the trap of competing, I'm frustrated with myself.

2. Confidence not competition

My actions to assure my voice is mine and doesn’t get lost seem to be retroactive and hence competitive. How am I competing for my own voice? It becomes personal because I see value in my voice, I can take criticism. However, it's deceptive criticism that often brings doubt upon genuine criticism. It becomes hard to discern between the two and it is often “too late” that I realize that some criticism is deceptive.

3. Intentions and impact                           

I have to take into account someone’s intentions; not everyone is out to get me (although my anxious mind will try to have me think otherwise). My energy stems from a place different from others and I have to take note of that and accept it. As long as I'm sharing my voice, can it ever truly be taken or lost?

This self-reflection stems from something far greater that I must address within myself, beyond the confidence in myself — it’s the confidence in my energy and light.

4. Walking in my light 

As I continue to grow and, in turn, figure out my voice, I have come to learn many things. Many of which leave me discouraged, but also 1000 times more motivated to continue to walk in my light.

I know that my energy takes time and is of quality — it cannot be replicated because it's mine. There is no competition, and any competition that I feel is something that I must continually address as I strive to be better and better each second, minute and hour of every day.

Maybe this is simply the ways of our competitive world. However, for those out there like me who are works in progress and not the loudest in the room, but have a special light to share, this is for you. You're well on your way. Continue pushing, some days will be easier and some days will be just as hard, but this is your reminder to never dim your light because you are not alone.