I’m on the Executive Board of a local community organization and lately, it seems I’ve finally found my voice, so to speak. Oh, not that I wasn’t vocal before, but my first year as a general Board member, I was just focused on learning the ropes and Yes-Manned most items. Last year, my second year as  general Board member and my first year on the Executive Board, I was a little more proactive and gave more dissenting or new opinions. This year, I am finally taking charge and ownership of my role.

If you’ve ever been in a meeting of any kind, I’m sure you’d agree that people either take too long to talk about something that should really take three sentences, or they go completely off topic. (And most times, it’s a rambling combination of both.) In the past, if I wasn’t the leader of the meeting, I’d sometimes contribute my own funny comment or whatever and just let the meeting meander. But I started to get really annoyed because every time I’m at a meeting, it takes time away from DS and my business.

Well, these past few weeks, I’ve taken charge. Even when I’m clearly not the leader of the meeting, I still try and force people back on track. I try to do it politely and graciously (and thus far, it seems to be the case), but I really barrel through. As a result, we actually get a few things done in the meeting and people get to the point so then I know what next steps we have to take. Plus, I think people really appreciate the meeting going shorter. After all, who likes to waste time?

The point of this post wasn’t to laud my awesome meeting leading skills (albeit, incognito). Or my growing ability to ask more pointed questions and not really just Yes-Man everything. (But while we’re at it, Yay me!) I’m just pleased as punch to see that I am actually embracing the power that I have whether it’s in the roles I inhabit every now and then such as the Board position, or in my everyday role as a mommy or spouse.

Even as late as last week, this new found ability seems refreshing and even incredulous. Who in their right mind put me in charge? But now that they have, too bad! I’m gonna do what I want or think is best. It’s hard not to slip back into a previous mental mode and think I’ve somehow gotten away with something. Like I’m a little kid that just fooled the teacher into giving me what I wanted. When really, all I’ve actually done (and seriously, not even actively – it just happened) is let my self-perception catch up with reality.

I wonder how much power and agency I give up on a regular basis because of misconstrued self-perception? How sad. I am glad it’s starting to change.