Breaking free from the round hole 

How weird is it that being yourself can be so HARD at times? 
 
I don’t mean being a version of yourself. I mean being totally YOU. The warts and all person. The person that feels safe to be fully open and not judged...As a woman in business empowering others to explore their identity and relationship with clothes to ultimately express who they are, I’m on my own journey too. 
 
In the past I’ve been in jobs where I’ve not felt able to show up fully. Fearful of speaking up with my opinions in meetings. 
My integrity challenged as I worried about calling out injustices, I was privy to. 
Trying to stay calm and unruffled when people are deliberately making things difficult but cleverly keeping it under the radar. 
I’ve been really bloody miserable, kept awake worrying at night but shown up with a smile. 
Prozac and counselling services my crutch as I’ve carried on going about my life feeling ashamed of struggling with my mental health. 
Then, as I started working for myself, I was scared to fully embrace all that I am – what if people don’t like me and won’t buy my stuff? 
I’ve been part of networking groups where I’ve felt like I’ve had to be on my best behaviour. 
Taken on clients and jobs that haven’t been fully aligned with how I want to work. 
 
There’s a whole load of baggage behind this stuff and I’ve slowly but surely been unpacking it. It’s not going back in the bag. It’s like the dry, flaky layers of the onion skin are being shed and gradually being peeled back. When I think I’m showing up fully as myself  and get comfortable there, something happens and another deeper, fresher layer is revealed. 

Misaligned misfit 

I know authentic might seem like one of those buzz words that gets bandied about a lot but then, if I’m being authentic, I really don’t give a sh!t. The older I get the less I care about what *they* might think. I show up more unapologetically as me with each passing year. This is part of my back story to why I’m so passionate about supporting women to be more themselves. I lost myself for long time. I’ve been through a lot that has made me who I am today. So I’m proud of who I am. 
 
If you’d have met me ten or more years ago, I was working in a prison, manager of the education department. Soon after being promoted, I realised there would be ZERO job satisfaction. The role was sucking the life out of me. It was about unattainable targets. I felt trapped, in my office, day in, day out, with bars on the windows, filling in bloody spreadsheets. 
 
My only chance of creativity was when I doodled in my notepad during the endless meetings. I was so fed up, feeling like I was being held prisoner by the golden handcuffs of the best salary I’d ever earned, the 8 weeks holiday a year and the fabulous pension scheme – I felt that I couldn’t afford to leave, despite the enormous cost to my mental wellbeing. 
 
I was incredibly unhappy – dreading going to work, with a sick feeling in my stomach churning every night, my self-worth and confidence took a massive dip. This job was just not me. There was nothing about it that allowed me to be myself. 

Express yourself 

This is just one of the reasons why I do what I do now. It’s a snippet and just one of the times in my life that I have felt trapped and unable to be myself. A square peg in a round hole, stuck where I didn’t belong. Suppressing who I was in more ways than one. I lost parts of myself for a variety of reasons, this job being one of them. 
 
Before then I had become a greyscale version of me. On the outside I might have appeared the same but on the inside I wasn’t. I could switch up the dial if I needed to temporarily and show up in technicolour, but it was tiring. I touch on my journey with depression in my book Project FAB! No More Making Do. I also speak of thinking I was fat long before I actually did become obese. I share my thoughts on how having a lifelong disability and limp affected my self-worth to a degree. I made do in lots of ways because of all of these things. 

Breaking free 

Before then I had become a greyscale version of me. On the outside I might have appeared the same but on the inside I wasn’t. I could switch up the dial if I needed to temporarily and show up in technicolour, but it was tiring. I touch on my journey with depression in my book Project FAB! No More Making Do. I also speak of thinking I was fat long before I actually did become obese. I share my thoughts on how having a lifelong disability and limp affected my self-worth to a degree. I made do in lots of ways because of all of these things. 
 
After hitting my lowest point ever in 2013, I started to reconnect with myself. I dug deep, found that I was still in there and I gave myself permission to became more me again. I was still holding back in many ways, worried about speaking up or creating waves. People pleasing and doing stuff I didn’t really want to do. Not holding boundaries for myself. Still feeling a bit like a square peg in a round hole a lot of the time. But I was better than before. 
 
As I regained my confidence and self-worth, I started to feel more comfortable saying no and speaking my truth. I changed the circles I was mixing in to feel supported. 
 
There’s safety in numbers and I’m very fortunate that these days I don’t come across toxicity and negativity much in my day to day life. I’ve curated my connections so that it’s OK to show up warts and all – authentically. I’m in such a different place to where I was 10 years ago and that is to be celebrated daily. 
 
I’ve stopped wearing too many hats. I see things more clearly, follow my intuition and the rose tinted glasses are off. I have boundaries in place that mean I’m happier in myself. I no longer wear the weight of other people’s opinions. 
 
I’m still work in progress and I’m sure I’ll keep evolving. As each day goes by, I feel more aligned than ever. It feels good. My mission now is to help others do the same as they show up as the face of their business. 
The power of being uniquely you 
Here are  a few of the things I’ve learned: 
 
You don’t have to follow the crowd or try to fit your square peg-ness into a round hole. 
Your unique perspective and personality can set you apart from others doing similar work. 
Embracing your uniqueness can help you create a brand that truly reflects who you are and what you stand for. 
You have the freedom to explore and experiment with different ideas, tailoring them until you find the perfect fit for you. 
Embracing your uniqueness can also help you attract the right clients. People want to collaborate with individuals who are authentic and passionate about what they do. 
When you create a brand that speaks to your ideal clients, they will be more likely to connect with you on a deeper level. They’ll feel like they know you. 
You might worry about showing your personality too much in case it puts people off. You’re right. It will put some people off. But that’s fine because they were never your people anyway. 
 
Be More You! 
 
Be More You than ever before. 
 
It helps whittle out those less than ideal clients and magnetically attracts the ones who will make your heart sing. ❤️ 
 
If you want help expressing the your “you- ness” with how you and your branding looks give me a shout. It’s what I do. I’ve got a special offer available at the moment for new clients - Personal Brand & Style Strategy ‘power hour’ for just £147 (normally £297) Click here to take advantage. 
FAB Business Club : female authentic ballsy 
This community is really special. It's got the most amazing vibe going on. It’s a safe space where you can metaphorically fling off your bra. It’s women empowering women and providing a circle of support because being in business can be a lonely place. 
 
It's a supportive business network with personal development and a heart centred vibe at the core of the community – no pressured referrals or other stuff you don’t like about networking. It’s birds of a feather networking and growing their businesses together, sharing collective wisdom, a place to thrive and celebrate camaraderie. It’s a space where you feel like you have come home. 
 
We have monthly meetings, online and face to face events. Your first meeting is free, hit me up for a complimentary 'Golden Ticket' to see if we're a good fit. 
The paid membership includes an option to upgrade your networking to include personal style and brand mentoring with me. There's also free FB group if you’re not ready to invest just yet. Come and join in the conversation. 
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