Throw away comments leave scars 

“No name calling truly bites deep unless in some dark part of us we believe it. If we are confident, then it is just noise.” Laurel Kay Hamilton 
I hear many conversations in my FAB Network community about how words and other people’s opinions have impacted confidence. 
Quite often these words have been uttered by mothers, fathers, siblings, friends etc – people who we are very close to. 
I’m talking about strong, independent bad ass women who *still* have to brace themselves before family visits! 
Barbed comments about appearance. Weight shaming is a recurring theme for many, comments made about clothing choices, not able to be brainy AND beautiful, gifts given as “hints” the list goes on. 
I often meet women whose clothing choices have been influenced since their teenage years due to throwaway comments about their “tree trunk legs” or “elephant arse” made by family. 
Here are a few comments that I received when I raised this on LinkedIn earlier this week: 
“My Dad - ever the wag - when someone asked me what the USAF on my T-shirt stood for jumped in with "it means it's so flat you can land one of those on it" pointing to the jet fighter also on the t-shirt. As an insecure teenager in a family of well-endowed women, I hated my smaller boobs. I can laugh at the memory now, but it demonstrated how easily you can come to believe something for the rest of your life, despite evidence to the contrary.” 
“I still have to ‘brace’ myself before some family conversations/events. My usual confidence and resilience abandons me at the first ‘well meaning’ comment (invariably weight-related), and I regress back to childhood shame. I’m getting better at letting stuff wash over me, but every once in a while, something really lands, and it can be as painful as a dagger through the heart.” 
“My mum didn’t stop when I was younger, she just carried on right through.” 
“When I was young there were a million things about my appearance and also about me as a person. Now I am an adult there is always something prefixed with "Its such a shame that....." everything from my hair, my clothes choices, my weight (up or down), how muscular I am, how sporty, wearing too much make up, not wearing enough..... “ 

Words affect worlds 

One of my mum's best ones was when we were clothes shopping. I was about to go in a shop and she said "ooh do they do your kind of sizes here?". The irony was that I am a 22 and she was a size 20 ffs. 
Now I know for a fact that she was unhappy with her weight because she had cupboards full of books and videos of every diet and fitness regime known to man. I remember her always being on a diet from being in my early teens. Despite the unconditional love we had (have) for each other there was something that made her think it was ok to make comments like this and think nothing of it. 
So come on parents WTF is this all about? We blame the media for giving us hangups but perhaps we need to look closer to home? 
Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me...remember that little ditty from the playground? What codswallop that is! 
Words do hurt. 
Words affect worlds (thanks Paul McGee for that one). 
What is also interesting is that so many of the women I chat with, who are in their 40’s and beyond, also say that they feel more comfortable in their own skin than ever before. Yet despite this, these words/unsolicited “feedback”/barbed comments still get under their skin at times. 
So does that mean that deep down there’s still some belief that the comments *might* be true. Food for thought? Is the quote a truth bomb? If we are truly confident, wouldn’t it just be like water off a duck’s back, I wonder. 
Life is hard enough without people saying stuff that leaves scars. Hopefully, in these days of #bekind we are more mindful parents than those before us? Using our experiences to build others up rather than trying to knock them down to make us feel better. 
Are you familiar with this poem? 
This Be the Verse by Philip Larkin 
They fuck you up, your mum and dad. 
They may not mean to, but they do. 
They fill you with the faults they had. 
And add some extra, just for you. 
But they were fucked up in their turn. 
By fools in old-style hats and coats, 
Who half the time were soppy stern. 
And half at one another’s throats. 
Man hands on misery to man. 
It deepens like a coastal shelf. 
Get out as early as you can, 
And don’t have any kids yourself. 

But why is it triggering? 

Let’s move on from parents and shift the topic on to business and our work and think about how the name calling might be an issue here. How does being criticised about your work/business make you feel? Because actually, if there is no truth in it and you are 100% solid in your shiz it will slide right off your Teflon coat of confidence. The doubts will only creep in if your self-belief is not fully charged. Otherwise it will just be noise like the adults in the Charlie Brown cartoons – remember them? 
How about reading a social media post or a blog that is inadvertently calling you out? 
Because I don’t know about you but if there’s ever a trigger in what someone is saying I like to explore why I’m finding it triggering. It might not be pretty, but it could be something you are not facing up to. It’s about holding a mirror up, looking hard and seeing what is behind the reaction. It could be a whole ‘it’s not fair, it’s alright for them because xyz’ and if that is the case then what can you do to make changes to move yourself closer to your desired outcome? 

Start with self compassion 

The way I see it there are things that can help with your confidence and self-belief if you don’t feel like your Teflon Coat is quite there yet. It starts with loving yourself warts and all. Facing your insecurities and knowing that’s all they are. Surround yourself with lovely people who will treat you with compassion and accept you for who you are. Then you treat yourself with compassion and accept yourself too. You will become more comfortable in your own skin. 
If you need to borrow validation from external sources until your Teflon Coat is fully formed then collate all your testimonials and reviews, read them regularly. Take screen shots of nice comments. Share your reviews on your social media. Be loud and proud about who you are. Self-belief and confidence will enable you to reach more people as you become more visible with your content. 
Increased visibility means: 
that you are kept front of mind when your potential client is ready to buy 
you are delivering useful content and giving your potential client a sense of what it might be like to work with you. 
you are able to communicate your values and mission, so people get a sense of you as a person. 
you can answer frequently asked questions to form your content, so it is educating your audience. 
you know your stuff, be helpful and informative. 
Raise your VIBE 
Everything I do is about helping women in business feel that that can 100% show up as their true selves – I use colour, clothes and branding as the vehicle. 
I work with compassion. I have an ability to listen, to be able to *see* people and then translate ALL of that to showcase the person in all their glory. Every client is different, so the process is bespoke, but essentially, I help them join up the dots to create a cohesive picture that is their personal brand identity. 
The end result is that the way they present themselves and their business feels totally aligned. They feel uber comfortable and confident that it is a true representation. 
In turn, this means they show up loud and proud, increasing their visibility. Their ideal clients are magnetically attracted to their vibe and the know, like, trust factor is accelerated. The buying process is quicker, the bottom line is boosted. 
🦩We look at clothes, style, colours for them and their brand. 
🦩How they look and feel as their best self when they get dressed, how to dial their look up and down without stress, for various environments and situations. 
🦩Fonts, textures, shapes, composition for the graphics to be used on social media and their website. I create templates to make it simple to be consistent. 
🦩 We talk about the kind of stuff they need to discuss with their photographer for the branding shoot and their web designer too, so it all looks cohesive. 
All of this takes time to embed so it’s usually a 6–12-month package. I’m hand holding and guiding throughout. 
The other thing that’s included in my packages is the FAB Network community, because this is a space where you truly can be yourself. It’s a space of support, camaraderie and personal development with other women who get it. 
FAB Network : female authentic ballsy 
I say I’m a VIBE Liberator because of what my work encompasses. 
V – visibility 
I – individuality 
B – belonging 
E – empowerment 
You can join the FAB community and be part of something special from just £35pcm. Then, when/if you’re ready for the next step , we can join the dots with your deep dive personal brand work. It’s about so much more than pretty pictures 😉 
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