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THINGS ARE NEVER WHAT THEY SEEM| Even mentors and coaches struggle

Do you ever want to just run and hide? Want to close the curtains and shut the world out? Does it just sometimes get to be ‘too much’? This post is dedicated to the lovely Lindsey Whitaker and our recent conversation about honesty, overwhelm, perceptions and ‘varipreneurship’ (my new label for the new breed of entrepreneur. More on that in another post).

I was interviewed recently by the lovely Helen Lo of Introverts in Business (check here out here, about the challenges and blessings of being an introvert entrepreneur. I’ve had an unprecedented amount of comments and messages about it, mostly around the theme “How can you be an introvert when you do what you do.?” There has been so much reaction, that I really feel that I need to speak to this. If you haven’t seen the interview yet, you can watch it here

If you’ve known me and/or followed me for a while, you’ll be aware of my personal journey from a childhood filled with horror; physical abuse at the hands of my violent paranoid schizophrenic mother and sustained bullying, to being one of few women in senior roles (at that time) in the extremely male dominated and corporately aggressive advertising and marketing industry, to successful, award winning mentor and coach working creative entrepreneurial women.

What you may not know, unless you’re a client of mine, is what lies behind all that perceived success.

You see, I am not only an introvert, but an empath too. I think and feel deeply. Not only about my own ‘stuff’, but about other people’s. Now, there’s no doubt that makes me a great mentor. In that respect, I feel extremely blessed with those qualities. However, it also means I have challenges that require constant attention, management and focussed work.

For obvious reasons, as a child, I was withdrawn and I internalised everything. So, very early on, I learned and developed tools and strategies for survival. Here are what were my top 3…

  1. I would pretend, spending lots of time alone, pretending to be someone and somewhere else, and imagining how it would feel if it was real.

  2. I would seek inspiration in solace. I would spend every spare moment in the library, reading book upon book, learning about what was possible, what lay beyond the world I existed in and getting inspired.

  3. I would HIDE, literally and metaphorically. I retreated in to myself and I had ‘safe’ spaces where I would run and physically hide from my mother.

As a child, I literally had little or no control over my situation and I wasn’t aware that I could reach out. I was alone with my mother, we had no extended family and she had no friends. I developed the strategies I developed because, at the time, they were my only options. The thing is, I am still tempted to apply these strategies now sometimes. Yep, even will all that I know, all I’ve developed and all the work I do, I still have to work on myself around this stuff.

• I still get overwhelmed sometimes.

• I still over think.

• I still feel hurt when people react insensitively.

• I still feel insecure.

• I still feel fear when I launch something new or when I have to speak in front of

hundreds of people.

• I still feel trapped, cornered sometimes.

• I still find myself worrying about what people think.

• I still worry about delivering the very best of what I do for my clients and about them

getting killer results from our work together.

• I still panic about investing large amounts of time and money in my own development

and men