I used to always stand in the background, at least one step behind everyone else.
Moving to so many new places and starting over and over again made me an EXPERT at blending in - first I would scope the situation then conform to what was needed, never considering that I deserved to be seen. Like Mia (Emma Stone) from the movie La La Land who almost didn't make it to THE audition of her life because she believed she wasn't good enough. Imagine if she had actually listened to her fear? What a loss it would have been!
For as long as I can remember I hid behind all kinds of excuses, just like Mia, not to do the things I wanted the most because I didn't think I deserved them.
On pictures, I'd always stand at the edge, never in the middle.
I didn't apply to the jobs I really wanted.
I hardly negotiated my salaries or fees.
I didn't fight back when my rights were violated (boss, co-workers...).
I didn't fight for promotions | raises.
I volunteered my services A LOT.
I thought that hiding on the sideline or behind my fears would protect me from being "discovered", judged, disrespected or disliked.
But I never felt good about it. I felt horrible actually because each time I chose not to show up, my insecurities grew stronger and deeper.
Interesting enough, people around me didn't see me the way I saw myself. They looked up to me and my achievements!
..."But if they only knew"...