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Have you ever seen yourself through someone else’s eyes and thought ‘what the ****?

I was with a group of friends yesterday and we got talking about #International Women’s Day. We got talking about what it meant to us and about whether any of us had done anything to mark it…attend an event, put a post on Facebook, written an article or just…well, got together with likeminded women to talk about it. Out of nine of us around the table in the coffee shop, only two of us could answer ‘yes’. I was intrigued, interested, curious and, I must be honest, a huge amount disappointed. These are my friends. My good friends. My peers. How could they not share my passion and my views about being a woman, particularly now?!!!

The thing is this. They do. They are every bit as passionate about women as a species. They do believe we’re strong, capable, compassionate, powerful and loving. And they do believe we’ve probably never been in a better time to call out, to have a voice, to step up and to let all that shine. They just don’t think that means them! Go figure.

Here’s how one of my besties explained it. “We’re not like you.” She said, deciding to speak on behalf of the other seven. “You’re naturally confident and can speak about things without bothering what anyone thinks. I just couldn’t do it. People would think I’m thick and I’d look an idiot. I just wasn’t born like that.”

Well, I seriously nearly peed myself laughing. I mean, they virtually had to scrape me up off the floor. Me???? Are you frikkin’ serious? Oh…my…good…god. Of course I quickly had to remind myself that these wonderful friends are relative new friends. Great quality - in fact, I’d go as far as to say they’re among the best quality friends. But, they only know the me I am now. And clearly, rather flatteringly I suppose, they see me as confident and self assured. Blimey!

It was a shock, a source of huge amusement and enormously complimentary. You see, I’m 52 this year, and it took me not much less than, well, 51 years to get to this point. What I mean is, I was once a dangerously introverted, bullied, stammering whisp of a little thing who, for at least the first 12 years of her life, tried desperately not to be noticed. As a child, I would literally hide behind my Dad’s leg every time one of his friends tried to engage in conversation with me or even ask my name. I would almost crawl under the school desk when the teacher asked for ‘hands up’ rather than be singled out to speak. And I had few, very few, friends. In fact, there were times when I didn’t have any at all. I vividly remember once at school, we were asked to prepare a 5 minute talk. I swear dind’t eat or sleep for 3 days. To say i was a nervous wreck, is a gross understatement. I think i would literally have rather died at that point.

So, how did I get to the stage where I talk for a living, often on stages, often in front of hundreds of people, holding workshops and running online get together’s and conferences. How did I reach the point where I can fully step in to my light and have my voice heard? How do I manage to do much of my business communication via video, even live video? Did I take a magic pill somewhere along the line? Did someone wave a magic wand over me? No. None of the above. What did happen though is that, at a very early age, I started to study people. I wanted to work out what the difference was between whispy, wimpy little victim me who was living a thoroughly horrible life, feeling constantly fearful and manicly sad, and those ‘other’ kids who seemed to me to be having an easy, comfortable, even enjoyable life, who seemed to ooze confidence and seemed to be surrounded by people who loved them and built them up.

Well, in short, after, ooh, something like 35 years, I cracked it. In truth, I cracked it in instalments, developing strategies, tools and techniques over 30+ years that would enable me to go from being whispy wimpy victim michele, to mentor, speaker, author michele. More importantly, to michele who is in control of her life, her destiny, happy and successful, and who now uses her rather unique experiences, tools and strategies to show other fabulous creative entrepreneurial women like you how you can step up, be who you’re meant to be, to shine your light. Because the world needs it. The world needs you! There’s a voice and a presence missing, and it’s YOURS!

So, if you’re sat around thinking you’re not capable, don’t have time, aren’t experienced enough, confident enough….just not enough, take note. None of us are just ‘born’ that way. It takes work. It takes commitment. It takes desire. And, you’re not meant to do it alone. Whether you enlist family, friends (make sure they’re positive, action oriented, encouraging ones if you do) or whether you get a mentor or coach, for the love of Mildred, get help! If you wanted to run a marathon, you wouldn’t stand a chance without a coach or trainer. If you wanted to explore the Amazon, you wouldn’t do it with a ranger guide. If you wanted to become an olympic athlete, you’d get a sports coach and a nutritional therapist. And yet, so many of us think we can take on momentous things, and make major changes in our lives and businesses, totally alone.

Now that’s BATSHIT CRAZY!!

If you’re ready to work with a coach who’s been where you are now. Who knows what you face. Who can see the way forward and knows you’re fabulously capable. Who believes in you and won’t allow you to NOT shine your fabulous on the world, drop me a line and let’s chat. You know you’re ready…don’t you?


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