Storytelling is one of my strong suits, so this is why I love to write and share my thoughts and inspirations with you every week. But today I decided to post a story from someone else. Today, I want to share a story from a woman who says she learnt so much from me … But the truth is, I don’t teach anything intentionally. We’re just two souls whose paths have crossed and since then we’ve taken many steps together. Through days, months, and even years, we created a professionally-personal relationship of mutual trust, understanding, and respect. Lately, when we were discussing life and relationships, I’ve heard her say she really feels I hold space for her. So, I asked her to write my today’s blog post on this topic. Patricija, the words are all yours. 😉

My Story about How Sasa Holds Space for Me – by Patricija T.

»You know that thing about creative writing that the most difficult is to start? Especially once you write as much as I do and come to the point where you feel like you’ve used all existing beginnings in the Universe!  Some might say it should be simple, thanks to all these thoughts running through my head all the time. But it’s not … well I guess, I have the beginning now and I can get to the topic … 🙂

To hold space for someone is not a simple thing to do. Especially if that someone is me. I might seem self-confident and easy to handle, but the truth is my ego is big and my insecurities are even bigger. But I cope. I cope more than well, I could say. And I cope even better since I’ve met Sasa.

When Trust Defeats Fear

I still remember the first day I stepped into her office. I was full of fears that she’ll say I am not good enough and that I should leave as she will bring a professional to do my job. This was typical me, back then in 20-something. Underestimated, underrated, and underpaid self-taught content marketer.

But there is one thing I always keep in mind when I am afraid. It’s a simple question: “What do I have to lose?” And that day I used it. I still remember how Sasa asked me who I was, what I do, and how I feel about it. And I did not hesitate a bit. I told her everything as honestly as I could. How I got to what I do, why I do it, what I am concerned about and how I see things should be in the future. Unbelievably to me, she not only understood what I had to say, actually Sasa made me feel like she agrees with me. – As if she knew that will help me trust her and rely on her leadership.

Today I know, this was the first time she held space for me.

How Could She Hold Space for Me after Knowing Me for Only 15 Minutes?

It’s just who she is. We still work together, so I can see that when we meet new people. She gets it. Totally. Her emphatic sense and emotional intelligence are unbelievable. But very real and reliable. It’s like she knows who you are when she looks you in the eyes. It’s her calmness and gentleness, her enthusiasm and her understanding. It’s simply Sasa.

Ok, now that you know the very beginning, let’s move forward. Let me tell you how Sasa’s been holding space for me as my colleague, but also my boss, my friend, and also my mentor. And how my life has changed since she’s around.

What Sasa Brought to My Life

Of course, it was never bad – I had a really good life and was provided with all I needed from my family ever since I can remember. But with Sasa, everything seemed to start turning out even better and happier. Some of the credit for sure goes to the fact that she showed me the person I wanted to be. Not by judging me or telling me what to do or making me feel inadequate. Simply by being who she was and accepting me for who I was.

With her, I felt understood, supported. It never seemed like there would be a secret agenda hiding being her kindness. I was always looking forward to the days she came to that office and we worked together. I can still remember her laughing and saying one day: “I cannot believe you, how happy you are! We are all so tired out and annoyed, but you smile whenever I see you.”

Sasa, that day I did not tell you that probably the most tired and worried person there was me. Actually, I was so sick of that toxic place that when you and the other members of our small marketing team came together I was just so happy to see you all. 🙂 Well, now you know. It’s what you do to people. You are a sunshine and I guess this is why yellow fits you so well.

Being there just enough

Sasa has one speciality. She is there, but not all the time. I remember how angry I was the first time I felt she left me behind. But later I learnt that I couldn’t cling on to someone. I had to learn to keep my independence and to rely on myself and my own ways. Especially if it’s about business. A part of being professional is actually also being able to be in charge of your tasks. You shouldn’t let others control you. Of course, it’s easier, but in the long run, it makes no sense. And this is another thing I learned from Sasa.

She also never judged. Yes, she set the boundaries when things got messed up and I wasn’t able to think clearly and instead of ratio, the emotions were speaking from me. It helped a lot. I felt safe again.

Through times, she began to give me more responsibility and put me in the positions I never believed I could take. She gave me opportunities but never forced them. She made me feel like I was enough and that my work was contributing to the goals of the whole team. But never she made me feel that I reached my maximum. Sometimes I get scared that she believes in me just too much. But then again, she takes a step back and let me settle in the moment before gently supporting me to take it to another level.

What I Am Grateful for the Most

There are many things Sasa does for me just by being herself. If I had to choose one, the most helpful has always been her capacity of making me feel safe enough to be who I am. She makes me feel like she wants me to speak my mind. She actually asks for my opinion and feelings about a certain topic instead of forcing me her own. She lets me be.

I guess it’s what I missed all my life. To know that I can be. And I guess this is what means to me ‘to hold space for someone’.

Working with Sasa helps me be a better person, day by day. And by being shown that someone can hold space for me, I am learning to hold space for others, too. No, I am not just saying that. Ask people who know me. They’ll tell you the same. 😉 “