I wish I could include a pretty picture of me here. But I am not that kind of person anymore. Life is pretty kids-health driven now (and often covered in wet kisses and dripping noses!).
And yes I have the outfit and training gear ready to perform (In fact I am looking forward to dress up and perform next week in the Summer Bootcamp again). But a lot of the time life is UNglamerous and I do look like a frump when the youngest goes from chicken pocks to the flew and I go all Florence Nightingale on him. By the way, being a working mom myself, I share my personal working mother rolodex with my personal adressess and my lessons learned for pregnant women & relaunchers here>>
Usually when I share something personal and imperfect, I get messages from people thanking me for sharing this. But I feel that at the same time we beat ourselves up for not being that perfect. Not being quite ready to let in success at all. Nor will we ever be.
So it’s ok for other women to be imperfect. But it’s not ok to do this ourselves.
And I think when I read Denise Duffield’s message about imperfection, that she is totally right here.
We have got to stop this.
Stop thinking that good things will only come our way when we are ready (cause often we are ‘under construction’ when good is happening to us). And it not only comes from within.
Outside ‘advisors fuel our feeling of inadequacy and not deserving of success and good things even more…
When I was a child (about 10 years old) someone close to me told me I would never ever amount to anything. Because of my fragile health.
(that person is now by the way unemployed and very vicious about life)
That remark made me very sad and insecure. This person knew me very well. And if he would say I would not ever make it. Not ever. Than… what then?
Should I … give up my inner dreams?
Should I just quit it all together?
Even writing this makes me said about that little girl in me then.
Because I know what these external ‘advisors’ can do to your self esteem, your dreams, and our inner blocks for our daily drive and…
Those well meaning remarks just kill your highest hopes for yourself and… silence the #1 advisor we have.
Now 36 years later in my life I can still vividly recall the scene in which I am told that I would never ever amount to anything in a career way. Nor as a partner or mother either.
And you know what? That makes me so angry.
Over the years I have come to learn and see a thing or too. And what I learned about that remark is this:
This person was not talking about me at all.
He was talking about his fear that I in deed WOULD make it and leave him in my shadow.
And that I would make it in such a way that my health would not even matter.
Now I don’t know about you but I have this little voice inside. It is actually (as I learned from teachers over the years) not so much a ‘voice’ but a strong inner feeling about things.
And when I was 10 I had a strong inner feeling that this guy was totally wrong about me and my future.
Back then I did not have the physical proof to say that he was wrong.
Nor did I have the experience to know that he was talking about his fears instead of about my future.
And that was one of the many instances where I unfortunately started to shut up my inner advisor.
In fact there was a lot of physical proof when I was 10 that I would not be successful as a working woman.
Let me sum a few things up that worked (and still work) against me in my dream to make it as a working woman:
* I am not pretty, I look ok
* I am a size 12 / 14
* although I have a high IQ (132) I was kind of a B/C student (accept, ‘quelle surprise’ for Religious & English classes, than I was the A student)
* I am wordblind AND number blind as well
* I scored really low on Cito tests and barely made it to the Gymnasium
* I flunked in my business administration studies, twice!
* I was certainly not popular, I was sometimes very popular and than not at all popular, I was most of the time more of an outsider
* I had no female rolemodels around me, in fact independent working women were ridiculed in the place where I grew up
* It was expected from me to marry a career promising guy and have kids rather than waste my time on studies. Study was an acceptable mean to meet an eligible man (though not Nyenrode, I enrolled myself there secretly).
* and yes, I am a sensitive person with a very fragile health. So if you for example speak badly about me, I feel that, literally from a distance. Bad working cultures, large unhealthy social groups, do literally make me sick. I even predicted the end of some departments because I felt death in the hallways. Not a very helping feeling when you’re asked to try to ignore that feeling and do your work.
The #1 advisor that is so valuable to our success is the exact one that is shut up because we would rather listen to the bullsh*t of someone else.
And I too remember the bullshit a lot.
There is more bullsh*t of fear hidden in ‘advise’. Let me sum a few up.
According to some people that have crossed my path I should have expected this to happen:
* I would never find my partner for life I would be single my whole life
* I would never have kids
* I would never become a writer
* I would be really sick my whole life
* No one would be interested in what I have to say
* I would never be accepted to Nyenrode University
* I would never experience entrepreneurial personal success in female leadership
* I would have experienced 5 (not 2) miscarriages
* I would never come up with something worthwhile
and there are a lot of bullsh*t lines still in the air but are more about my future (fe our plans to make it in the USA and sell some of the rights of my 7 Vices model later for a huge sum).
Now had I listened to those remarks, I mean like really listened I think I would have given up on myself too early. And hence the future would look exactly like that.
But luckily I am a bad listener
I chose to listen to my #1 advisor too.
I purposely say too because the nasty thing with these social downers is that it brings your best hopes down and makes you doubt your inner compass.
But instead of sobbing in a corner giving up my hope I chose to buckle up, look around for a way to make it happen, continue to make progress.
In short: I showed and still show up for life.
And just by not giving up this is what happened.
Even though it took me a while longer than the ‘success’ people I looked up to I did:
* Find my partner, Rob and I are happily married for 8 years now
* We have 4 healthy kids (come to think of that it was also said that because of my health I would not have healthy kids either hah!)
* I did write a bestseller in 2007
* I did find a way to live healthy and almost medicine free
* Thousands of men and women have shown up at events to hear me speak
* I was accepted and did finish Nyenrode (I even got a masters at the university of amterdam to boot)
* I did and still do experience success with my practical touch base solutions on diversity and female leadership
* I did came up with something (the 7 vices) that is helping people to figure out who they are and what they want next in more that 6 countries now.
What I learned from this is that the best predictor of what will happen in your life, or what is the best choice for you, is inside you!
And I do understand that other people’s bullsh*t can block your ears to your own inner guide.
But I also now undertand that that bullsh*t of those people is not in any way about you!!! It is about them!!!
And another teacher told me about fear:
There are two main feelings in life:
FEAR and LOVE
And where there is fear, there cannot be love.
Fear brings doubt, doubt brings wandering, shame, secrets, pain and anger.
And where there is love, there cannot be fear.
Love brings secureness, staying on the right track of your life’s journey, clarity, speed of luck and serenity.
So I don’t care anymore about what other people tell me about what I can or cannot achieve.
And neither should you!
Trust your inner guide and nurture it with self love.
And above all:
Listen to that inner voice of yours.
It is the #1 advisor you have that will coach you through the most challenging crisis.
I know the journey is certainly not always easy.
And even though I know I have had many occasions where I know that my gut was right all along, even still even now I can doubt my inner advisor because of the fear of others.
But in the end when you trust your inner advisor you will you get there where you feel you will be happy.
So please forget ‘bad grades’, ‘bad reports’, ‘bad predictions’!
Remember who you are, and what your inner advisor has been telling you all along.
Do what you feel you need to do. And all will come together like a very well constructed puzzle. Never too late, never wrong. Always right and extremely well fitted together.
Do it! Do it! Do it!
Let me hear what inner bullsh*t is blocking you now, and what your best advisor is telling you about it.
Let your advisor speak and share the wisdom below.