This time last week I woke up grinning and in shock.
I couldn’t believe I had received ‘another’ award, but it wasn’t long before that smile faded and thoughts of feeling an imposter returned.
Photo credit to Sasfi Hope Ross
Yesterday I was chatting with a friend who had been up for award this week. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be my friends night, but she told me about lady X who had won the award.
Lady X appeared unexcited to hear her name called out as the award winner, she made comments about not wanting to “go up to the stage” and looked awkward about winning, she didn’t want to go up for photographs with the winners.
My friend felt it was because Lady X didn’t appreciate being awarded, and commented that if she had won she would have been “dancing on the tables”. My friend couldn’t make sense of Lady X’s response, and she felt frustrated Lady X wasn’t happy to be recognised for her efforts in business. I understand why my friend felt the way she did but I can’t help but wonder if Lady X was actually thrilled to receive her award, and was secretly dancing on the tables in her heart, but didn’t feel she could show it? So many women are struggling with imposter syndrome, syndrome often fulled by other women. It would be sad, if Lady X felt she had to contain her excitement but it is more common than we might think.
Imposter Syndrome is defined as ‘the persistent inability to believe that one’s success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one’s own efforts or skills’.
I was thinking about this last night and, thinking about how my exciting news has been received….did you know that I received two awards in the last month?
One from the leading global educator in women fitness Burrell Education for Woman’s Wellness Coach of the Year, and one from The Successful Women In Business Network for Successful Woman in Business of the Year. It can be really hard to know how to celebrate our achievements and here’s why.
I was thrilled to receive supportive comments from colleagues, friends and family when I received my first, and much coveted, award from two amazing leading ladies in the women health and wellness industry Jenny Burrell and Michelle Lyons . I was genuinely in complete shock, touched and overwhelmed. It felt ‘safe’ to be so happy with a room of like mined Burrell educated amazing women that inspire me. I felt I could enjoy my moment.
I have certainly felt that people feel that I am ‘boasting’, being ‘cocky’, or ‘showing off’ when I have excitedly shared my news about my second award from personal development advocate a networking organiser Gill Donnell MBE. At first I was ecstatic, but as the week as gone on my joy has diminished. I have felt guilty for posting pictures, and for talking about my award…..by Friday I was brushing comments off , changing the subject……BUT then something happened.
First I read a post by Instagram star Alice Living, and she was talking about imposter syndrome, the feeling we aren’t ‘good enough’, we will be ‘found out’ and aren’t ‘deserving’. Then I watched a video between Michelle Lyons and Jannie Davis of The Pregnancy Emporium , a colleague I admire. Janine opened up about her fear of being ‘seen’ on social media…..I never would have imagined she struggled with that!
Janine’s honesty combined with Alice’s post made me realise I need to change the way I respond to the negativity of others, I need to become more resilient. Not just for myself, but for the example I set my daughters, I want them to shout loud and proud of all they achieve. Why shouldn’t I do the same! We should all be able to celebrate our achievements without guilt, and enjoy our ‘moments’, so from now on that is exactly what I am going to do.
It is okay to enjoy our successes.
Society might be quick to dwell on failures and quick to forget successes but that doesn’t mean we need to be.
Let’s switch it up.
Why the hell shouldn’t we celebrate our successes? Goodness knows they don’t come without incredible determination, effort and vision.
So I’m not going to feel guilt for posting happy pictures, or for talking about an amazing night that is a highlight in my career. I am not going to be a Lady X, and conceal my excitement. I am completely thrilled, and I am going to shout it from the roof tops. I earned these awards, by studying hard, working long hours and striving to be my best. I earned these awards by channelling negative life experiences into positive passion, by not being defeated, and for believing everyone can find a way enjoy living in their body and educating myself so that I can provide that support.
I am Loud and proud.
I have now been supporting pre and postnatal women for over 20 years, through maternity nursing and as a women wellness coach. I am proud to be Dorchesters leading pre and postnatal expert and Holistic Core Restore® coach.
Winning these awards and feeling part of a community of women in business has helped me to ‘grow’, move beyond a turbulent past and look to my future. I have done a lot of self reflection in the last month, driven by receiving TWO awards ( yes I said it again).
This week that self relaxation has continued. While listening to a presentation about the personal journey of public speaker and author Elizabeth Cooke at the Successful Women in Business Network group, and at home. It has been cathartic to take some time to think about my personal journey, and enjoy thinking about what I have achieved, and thinking about the next steps. I feel really content and proud of myself right now.
I am a Rheumatoid Arthritis warrior, and a domestic abuse survivor, AND I am an award winning women wellness coach and successful woman in business, I am mother and a wife…… and I have ‘stuff’ I want to do. Stuff that has been ‘in me’ for a long time, things I want to do to make my mark, make a difference.
Receiving these recognitions has given me the courage to take the next step and make my hopes and dreams a reality. I am going to be brave and I will over come the ‘imposter syndrome’ fears. I might still suffer with imposter syndrome but I won’t let it dictate the decisions I make….or at least I will try.
Let’s use our passions to fuel our dreams,
and open our hearts to celebrating the achievement of others and grow a supportive society of successful women in business.
If you would like to find out more about the next chapter , it’s going to be an exciting one, or find out what it is I do here in Dorset follow me on social media or sign up to my newsletter.
Thank you to all the ladies mentioned.