Fitting In 

I wonder if, like me, you’ve spent much of your life trying to fit in and not stand out, for various reasons. As a kid, particularly as you get to those teenager years, you want to be the same as your mates. You certainly don’t want to be different. This week I’m going to share with you some of my story, a part that is relevant to NOT wanting to stand out. It relates to disfigurement and scars. 
Scars can make you feel self-conscious. I have lots of them. Multiple surgeries to my left hip from birth mean my left-hand side from just under my waist to mid-thigh tell a story. These days they operate then stitch you up and the scars heal to be very neat, scarcely noticeable lines. Back in the 60's and 70's they weren’t so neat. 
I first remember being self-conscious of my scars after some surgery when I was around 9 years old. Just at the age when kids become aware and self-conscious of their bodies. I asked for a swimming costume with a skirt for the school swimming lessons. I wanted to hide the nasty purple lines. This was scar number 3 and ran parallel to the other two. It went from my hip down my outer thigh. Not a neat little line like you get these days. It was big and long, a purple, angry looking thing with horizontal marks approximately every inch. They’d left a mess. (I hadn’t mentioned it to him, but it was so bad, that my hip replacement surgeon offered to neaten things up a bit when I was having that done aged 46!) 
These days I don't mind the actual scars per se. I am, however, conscious of how they change my shape and how it looks in clothes. I work around it. It looks like a shark bite. It's as if I've had a chunk bitten out of my side, the fat tissue, my hip padding, is displaced. The result is that one hip protrudes much higher than the other. Being overweight makes it more obvious. 

The True You? 

How is this story relevant to me as a woman in business today? And why am I telling you? I’m not telling you so that you feel sorry for me, but I suppose I’m hoping it will give you a bit of an insight as to why I am passionate today about helping women to proudly stand out from the crowd. To embrace who they are and be comfortable enough in their own skin to be loud, proud, and confident as a woman in business. Not trying to fit in with all the rest, embracing your unique, authentic self and appreciating that you are one of a kind. We are all different. 
Are you showing up as yourself, the true you, and honouring who you actually are? I didn’t for a long time. I lost parts of myself for a variety of reasons. To express yourself without fear of judgement feels good. I now love helping others do the same. You might worry about showing your personality too much in case it puts people off. If you are too much for someone, they are not your people. 
Caring less about what others think of you sets you free. When you stop worrying about being judged it’s quite liberating. With the shackles of worrying about what other people might think being released, you feel a sense of freedom and give yourself permission to connect with your true self. You feel comfortable in your own skin and more able to show up in your power. As a woman in business you need to be visible, putting yourself at the front and centre because you are your brand. Your brand identity reflects your VIBE, your charisma and personality. It's the essence of you. You feel excited to put yourself out there and become recognisable and known. Your vibe then attracts your tribe. 
When you’re out there, loud, and proud, with an amazing brand identity that reflects who you are, what you do and how you do it, you magnetically attract more ideal clients who are excited to work with you. Ultimately you boost your business and celebrate more success. Investing in yourself becomes a win win situation. I find it so exciting to be part of these personal journeys and observe the changes as my clients gain clarity, defining, and refining their own version of being the flamingo amongst the flock of pigeons because as Roy T Bennett says ‘You were born to stand out, stop trying to fit in.’ 

Flamingo - why? 

Make an 
Impression & 
I’ve always liked flamingos. They are kitsch, synonymous with mid-century design that I’ve always loved. However, my taste had developed a more mainstream flavour and I’d blended into a more magnolia world during what I now refer to as the dark years. I’d dumbed down my personal taste and our home was much more conventional in its décor than I would’ve ever had it at one time. 
When my ex moved out, I decided I would reclaim the bedroom and pink it up. I fell in love with some pink flamingo wallpaper and just HAD to have it. I spent far more than I could afford on 3 rolls and my sister hung it for me. She later admitted that she was very nervous about cocking it up. I absolutely LOVED it, and it gave me so much pleasure to look at. 
A friend, who’s good with words, decided that it was symbolic in more ways than one as she said the words ‘Flaming Go!’. I still have the wallpaper and it still gives me a little buzz of excitement every time I look at it. 
Once I’d reclaimed my identity, dyed my hair magenta, added pink and glitter and leopard print more obviously into my life, I felt like I was finding myself again. I was once again unique, standing out from the crowd. I was no longer anonymous. I felt like a flamingo amongst the flock of pigeons. 
Then, a few years later I incorporated flamingos  into my branding. People now associate them with me every time they see one. I love it!🦩. The symbolism fits in perfectly with my work as a personal style & brand liberator too, supporting FAB women in business to show up in all their glory so their VIBE magnetically attracts their tribe and the bottom line is boosted. 

Spirit Animal 

Interestingly, flamingos are actually ‘ugly ducklings’ when young. It takes a while for their glorious pink plumage to appear, and it fades if they don’t look after themselves properly by eating crustaceans. Just goes to show that you are what you eat! 
I discovered that if you identify the flamingo as your spirit animal you tend to be an open book, open minded, a collaborator, in tune with your emotions, wearing your heart on your sleeve, you appear expressive, flamboyant and fun – I’d say that pretty much sums me up. Except the flamboyant bit of course – lol! 
And of course, with the launch of the FAB Business Club, the flamingo spirit animal is even more fitting. They thrive in large groups and form strong bonds, valuing individuality yet are true extroverts, enjoying the sense of belonging to a tribe of likeminded peers. However, it is about the quality of relationships that matter rather than quantity. Flamingos are so aligned with the ethos of our community. 
Personal Brand Alignment 
Take it from me, there is nothing quite like having your business and your personal brand in total alignment, so that you can just be 100% comfortable and confident in your own skin. If you haven’t yet experienced this level of comfydence and are masking your quirks or networking with your guard up, I urge you to come along and give one of our meetings a try out to see if we’re a good fit. You’ll know once you’re there whether it’s for you or not. Get in touch and ask for a complimentary Golden Ticket. 
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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