There is a “stand still” moment, you have put in all the work and all your effort into a purpose. The wave of anticipation rolls over you, you have placed importance into every detail and poured your experience into every space that needed to be filled. “How will my work be received?”, that question has been answered so many times.
“Could you not be so….bossy?”, there has been someone who has been accusing me of being “bossy” for about 2 years now. Am I? Hmm. I would say that I am direct, I am a no nonsense person who likes to get my work done. I have been leading an office that has faced the largest of hurdles, together we have tamed a monster. My colleagues call me “Mama Bear”, because I am overprotective of my cubs. What I heard the person say was, “Could you be less?”. I heard her ask me to minimize my effort, to make less of the accomplishment of the team and I also heard her say, “You intimidate me”. Am I responsible for that?
The answer is no, if I had offended her by my words or behavior I would have gladly apologized. But it wasn’t that I offended her, it was that she couldn’t stand to see someone overcome an obstacle and shut down doubters.
So, if someone asks you to be less, you have absolutely nothing to feel bad about and have zero obligation to do so. Redirect your response with calling your behavior by the right name, “Dedicated, Hard Working, Direct, Self Starter”, so that those that mistake your identity are made aware that you do know who you are. You cannot make yourself responsible for the insecurities of others, you can just show them how to overcome them.
Keep pushing through, big hug!