FAKE IT UNTIL YOU MAKE IT?
Should you fake it until you make it? And at what point do you think you have made it and when should you stop? Or do you set another target and start all over again?
Fake it till you make it refers to the idea of projecting self-confidence in order to convince yourself that you can attain a goal that you feel as though you do not yet have the skills to achieve.
Richard Branson said that if someone asks if you can do a task, say yes immediately and then worry about how to do it later. After all, we’re always learning new skills and this is how we grow professionally and personally.
There’s a difference, though between being fake, and faking it. Just look on LinkedIN, everyone is posting publicly about how amazing they are and how their business is booming. But when I speak to people face to face many have recently owned up to how much they’re struggling for new clients and cashflow is drying up.
I have learned over the last year how fake friends can be. They’re no longer in my life and though I was sad to let them go, I don’t want them to reappear. They were conditional friends, happy to be around me as long as I had something to offer them- free tickets to an event, free drinks in a bar, introduction to my contacts that may benefit themfree goodies I shared when I was sent promotional products and even free PR advice. The list is endless. Once they got everything out of me they turned on me with their behaviour and so I cut ties. That kind of fakery can fuck off.
It’s perfectly okay to elevate your status and say how marvellous you are. If you don’t believe you are, how do you expect others to? I tell people I offer consultancy to that they must brag about their business products and services, if you don’t believe you’re the best then you’re basically telling people to go someplace better. Without being in delulu land and you can back it up, then a little embellishment goes a long way, after all that is what advertising and PR executives do everyday.
Faking it until you make it can be a positive thing, it may encourage you to be more productive at work in order to get the sales you want. The filtered insta pics of you sucking in your stomach can spur you on to do that extra workout. I am guilty of them both but I am not fake, I spill my guts out on social media everyday. I admit to botox and every beauty enhancement and age defying treatment offered to me.
If you want to come across as a happy person but inside you’re crying with stress, force a smile. If you want to come across as a popular person but you’ve spoken to no one in three days, act more friendly and warm. Focus less on your faults as that will just lead into a spiral of self sabotage.
Faking it until you make it is absolutely fine if it is about changing your behavior first and trusting the feelings will follow. As long as your motivation is in the right place, faking it until you make it can effectively make your goals become reality. Just make sure you're interested in changing yourself on the inside, not simply trying to people please or boast that you’re better than someone else. That’s not endearing.
Ultimately be the change you want to see and stay authentic.
RULES ARE MEANT TO BE BROKEN
I don’t like being told what to do. I am sure it stems from my childhood being locked in my room and having extreme discipline applied to me by a controlling mother who threatened me with violence if I didn’t comply to her rules.
While I excelled in school academically, I resented my teachers for the stupid rules they imposed. What difference did it make to my education if I rolled my skirt up or wore black eyeliner? My reports constantly criticised me talking in class, a skill I honed into a career. School was my social life, my happy retreat from an unhappy home life and the teachers annoyingly got in the way of that.
I wanted to be a journalist since I was a teenager, the main reason being that I didn’t want a desk job and I knew I could wear what I want. And of course, I loved writing. Don’t put me in a uniform, I will cut it up and turn it into a completely different outfit. I was not born to be a sheep.
On my first day on the job as a reporter for my local newspaper, my editor instructed me to go out and find a front page lead and not come back to the office until I had. I went out and found a story within a few hours and then took a couple of days off to go shopping and spend time with my boyfriend who was studying at university.
When I worked in television I would often take long lunches to go to the afternoon matinee performance at the cinema alone. Probably why I excel at being an entrepreneur, I can only work on my terms.
I recently landed a part job as a PR manager and in my interview, I told them I would only take the job if I could work remotely and continue to fly back and forth to Cyprus.
It’s a fact that when people tell us what to do, many of us rebel against it. If I feel my choices are being restricted I will either run a mile or do the exact opposite of what I am being told to do.
My ex-personal trainer called me up on this several times, and I frustrated the hell out of him when he was trying to coach me. It was only when he left that I took it upon myself to train on my terms, qualify as a Les Mills Bodypump instructor, tone up and build the muscle I wanted.
Being told what to do triggers my emotional response to my freedom being restricted and I enjoy my little rebellions. I regularly took my kids out of school in term time to go on holidays. Threatened with fines which I never paid, I turned it into a PR campaign against the school and ended up on national TV. I developed a fashion brand during Liverpool Fashion Week one year with the slogan “Rules are meant to be broken”. It went down a storm. During the pandemic I refused to wear a mask. During take off of a flight I don’t listen to the safety brief.
I encourage my children to also be assertive and not do everything they’re told. When my eldest daughter was in sixth form and a teacher was rude to her and talked over her, my daughter told her to fuck off under her breath. This promptly led to me being called into school. In the end I had the teacher apologise to my daughter for being disrespectful.
Currently my daughter is experiencing problems with a teacher constantly yelling in class. She answered her back and asked the teacher not to shout which led to a detention which I refused to allow my daughter to attend.
Schools try and condition you into adhering to rules that you have to follow through life but many of these are just controlling and create limited beliefs. I wish my school had shown us how to start our own businesses rather than preach about falling into 9-5 employment which is existing, not living.
The ex, stuck in a grey desk job he resented, criticised me for the way I worked but I now know it was probably out of fear that he couldn’t do it because he was conditioned to follow instructions. People who break rules are liberated, our brains can think freely and our creative juices flow without limitations. Of course I am not talking about hijacking a car and ramraiding a shop, or committing murder, although I have been tempted to at times.
There is a pressure to conform to society and many are scared of how we will be judged. Let that fear go.
Following rules is one thing. Sticking to the norms to be accepted by others is a different matter. Rules that restrict your lifestyle can be broken and the consequences can be incredibly uplifting. On the other side of fear is freedom.
I am loud, I am brash, I am confident and I am an attention seeker. But one thing I am not is ADHD. I am also not depressed even though I have days when I want to shut myself off from the world and sit on my sofa and not talk to anyone. I spend my days talking to people non stop, I live a busy life with lots of kids and I am constantly surrounded by questions and expectations and sometimes I just want to tell everyone to fuck off.
I am menopausal, however and moody with it, yet when I mention this, some people groan with boredom. Apparently this is unacceptable but throwing around labels of other genuine conditions isn’t.
I am so sick of people telling me what I am. Are you all medically or psychologically trained?
Just because I procrastinate doesn’t make me ADHD. I am super punctual to meetings, I do not fidget and I am highly organised in business.
But I am in the midst of menopause, enjoying the hot flushes and brain fog which gives me poor concentration, not to mention insomnia which fuels my bad moods. The other day I left my house with my front door wide open. But this is not acceptable, instead I am labelled as crazy and this infuriates me.
Did you know that over 20% of females leave their jobs because of women related issues? Can I even say females anymore without offending someone? We continually face discrimination in the workplace. I was made redundant for being pregnant yet my role was replaced by a man within six months. One woman received £37,000 from her work after taking her male boss to a tribunal who told her she used the menopause as an excuse for everything.
I constantly forget where I put things down. My ex husband rolled his eyes and made a dismissive comment when I couldn’t find my car keys the other week and I told him I had menopausal brain.
Women have a hard enough time. At every stage of our life we’re judged for everything we say and do which according to some men makes us “intolerable”. In school, girls cannot show their shoulders or have their skirts too short for being deemed provocative. Choosing to get married, choosing the number of children to have, or choosing to remain childless makes us selfish. Posting bikini selfies are deemed inappropriate which is hilarious when I spend six months on the beach. Wearing tops that expose our cleavage are seen as an invitation to make inappropriate comments when the reality is we have no control over the size of our breasts. We’re judged on our gym workouts, apparently having muscles isn’t feminine, we’re judged on our sexual activity and our looks. Why do I have false eyelashes and facial aesthetics? Because I fucking want to, that’s why.
Why do I post what I post on social media? Because it’s my page and I will do what I fucking want on it.
Why do I want to build muscle? Because it's a flex ok? I am not doing it for anyone's approval but my own.
I don’t see my menopausal symptoms as a weakness, it’s just another shitstorm that I have to ride. I sometimes am filled with self doubt but that doesn’t stop me going after my goals and chasing my dreams. I put off the jobs I hate (mostly housework) in favour of the tasks I love.
Labels limit yourself. Call me strong, call me a badass but don’t give me a medical condition that devalues people who actually have it and is debilitating for them. It’s becoming trendy to throw around these terms but if we’re honest, I’ve always been fashionable but this is one label I refuse to wear.
NEW YEAR NEW BLOG December 2023:
2023 was my annus horribilus but 2024 is going to be my annus fuckingfabulous.
I say this because I too am a queen and my crown has been rather crooked of late. Now it’s as straight as my sexual preferences. This year has shaped me more than any over recent years and I feel stronger, more powerful and assertive. I hold no grudges or resentment over events that I couldn't control and people that disappeared from my life. Excruciatingly painful and disappointing as it was at the time, I now know that some people are not meant to be in your life forever and I thank them for the experience because otherwise my mindset would not be as focused and strong as it is right now.
Normally I don’t give a shit about New Year’s Eve. It’s just another night with no real significance. But this year I feel an immense change around me. For starters, I decided I won't be spending my traditional NYE crying in my bedroom at my annual self pity party for one. I have done this for too many years. No, this year I shall be partying in Ayia Napa, in my favourite place with my best friends, my favourite people who make me feel good and accept me as I am. I have found my tribe. Cyprus is my spiritual home and as my son acknowledged yesterday, I thrive in the sunshine.
For far too long I have been a people pleaser, putting everyone’s needs and happiness before my own but I am not doing it anymore. I am over middle aged and my time on this planet is running out so I am going to make it count even more. Call me selfish, I genuinely don’t give a fuck what you think.
Of course my children always come first but they’re shaping up to be incredible humans. As a mother, my role is to provide them with infinite love and security, teach them independence and give them an endless supply of self-confidence so they can make their own decisions and function in this brave world. So far, so good. But mum deserves a life of happiness too.
It’s my time now.
January is toning up as fast as my glutes, which I may add, are banging, thanks to a new addiction to spin classes. I have exciting new business projects and my finances are looking healthier. I am fitter, having qualified as a Bodypump instructor and I have lots of new projects to work on; The Manchester Lifestyle Awards and a new part-time role with a charity in which I am organising a spring fundraising ball for them. I have a new silent business partner on Lifestyle magazine and I am scaling it to become global, a vision I have had for many years that will hopefully provide us both with a passive income which will free me up to spend more time on the beach and on things I love. People are trusting me with their autobiographies to write too, which is another passion as I can work from anywhere on this.
I don’t know if it is my age, or because of all the emotional trauma I have experienced over the years that I have finally said enough is enough. Really am at the “no fucks given” stage of my life. I have been to a lot of networking events over the past couple of months and I hear myself talking to new people. Once upon a time I would have been giving the hard sell of why people would benefit working with me and my vast experience in my field. Now I honestly don’t care if you decide to or not. I’m more than great at what I do so take me or leave me. I have recently told people I have worked with who have messed me around, withheld paying invoices ridiculously late and organised meetings with me and then kept me waiting for a disrespectful amount of time to actually fuck off. I don’t want to work with these people.
I told the employers of the company that I have been hired for part time, that I will only work remotely and that my life is split between Cyprus and Liverpool. I went into the office twice and got up and left by 3pm as sitting at a desk for 8 hours is not productive to my creativity or health. If they don’t like it, I’ll leave. I have set my prices for my work and I am not haggling anymore to secure a deal. This is my rate, this is what I am worth. Don’t like it? Step aside and make room for the people that value me. I am working on my terms.
I have cut ties with toxic people, people who made me question my self worth, and people who bored me. Adios motherfuckers.
I was holding out for a hero to come and save me for far too long but I now realise that I am my own heroine and my happiness is mine to create.
Goodbye 2023. I am going into the new year with no expectations so I shall not be disappointed. However, cliche as it may sound, the new year really is bringing in a new me.
Happy new year!
I woke up today feeling different. I had no desire to reach for my phone. The air was still and I felt calm. It was peaceful and my heart was joyful.
I have had a traumatic year, exasperated by the end of a year-long situationship which almost broke me. It was severed cruelly by him six months ago and by writing this I am putting it finally to bed and closing the chapter forever.
He was my online personal trainer which blossomed into what I thought was a close friendship but it was built on lies. He spent two perfect weeks in the sun with me, but it was a fantasy holiday romance. Despite the chemistry being insane, I thought we had a connection, we shared the same views on multiple topics. He was everything I hoped to find in a man, we worked out together, danced together and he taught me how about nutrition and how to eat properly after years of dietary neglect.. He messaged me from the moment he got up to when he went to bed everyday, he sent funny reels to make me laugh throughout the day, he gave me pet names and when we were together in person, he held my hand and made me feel safe. We went to nice restaurants together and he always paid for my meals and drinks and treated me how I had never been treated before. He cooked for me and checked in with me when I was poorly.
But it was a croc of shit and through my healing journey I have unravelled his sociopathic tendencies. He mirrored what I wanted to believe in a man, to reel me in and gain his trust. Then he slowly began to pick me apart.
It began with the training sessions. The steady criticisms of my technique holding the weights grew into threats not to train me if I didn’t match up to his expectations. This led me to feel confused and anxious before training. Occasionally I put the phone down on him after a scolding and he would call me back and tell me it was my fault and if I trained properly he wouldn’t speak to me in that way.
I was trauma bonded after years of emotional abuse which I opened up to him about, and which he finally used to gain his power over me. I was desperate to please him and would embarrass myself by telling him it wouldn’t happen again.
He never wanted me to tag him in pictures or post us being together, he played down us being together all time.
One time, after a summer of the gym being closed, I was excited for the opening and to be back training with the girls. I sent him a short video of my session, I really enjoyed it and was in high spirits, but he chastised me ruthlessly, telling me my technique was awful and don’t send him videos again, haven’t I learned anything etc etc? I spent the evening feeling worthless and again, the apology came the next day.
This pattern went on for several months but, having an obsessive personality, I convinced myself I was in love with this man, I felt comfortable being intimate with him and the sex was off the scale. I drove my close friends mad, trying to analyse his behaviour and told myself we would be together eventually. After all, my ex husband never wanted a commitment when we first started seeing each other and I foolishly thought this was normal.
Looking back there were so many red flags I could have sewn them together to make a king size fitted sheet ten times over. I was managing his social media and helped raise his profile. A woman popped up in his inbox sending nude pics and then next thing I saw, he was on a 15 minute call to her. Often women would message him with flirty texts or an arrangement to meet for a coffee and he would respond back in the same manner and then delete them but never before I read them first. The fact he deleted them immediately should have been the sign for me to walk away. But I had crippling low self esteem and this man was giving me the attention I craved for the first time in years. I ignored the messages, after all, he told me we weren’t serious and we could see other people and we were, for the most part, 3000 miles apart.
The end came in April this year after I spent a weekend at his, he started to pick apart my messages, bombarding me with questions over a potential business opportunity abroad and not giving me time to answer before firing another one at me.
Then I got a text telling me he “didn’t feel it anymore and didn’t find me sexually attractive.” There are a thousand ways to end a relationship but this was cruel, especially two days after we had spent hours in bed together. We went no contact almost immediately and I was grieving what felt like a death. It was so painful and for months I clung onto the hope that he would change his mind.
But I am deep into the healing work. He told me I was intolerable, like my exhusband told me I was a failure. They were just projecting how they felt about themselves and this criticism is on them, not me.
I know I am not perfect, I am strong willed, fiercely independent and I speak my mind without filter. I don’t like criticism and I like to get my own way. HoweverI would never intentionally hurt someone’s feelings, yet this man, who I opened up all my vulnerabilities to for the first time in 25 years, ripped them apart with no conscience or remorse.
Weeks ago I was sad and I told my daughter I missed him. She looked at me like I was crazy. “Why would you want to be with someone like that? It’s like being with dad all over again.” And the switch flicked. She was right, I had found the same man but in a different body.And so my healing journey began and I enrolled on an online therapy course.
I am no longer sad or anxious or pining for the potential that will never be. I owe my heartfelt thanks to him, for he gave me a valuable lesson. He taught me about myself and how I have people pleased for too long, how I will never accept emotional chaos in a relationship and how my needs will never be dismissed again. If I meet a man and they don’t match up to what I want, I wont waste time and effort hoping things will change. I will walk away immediatelyI feel stronger and calmer and recognise my worth and what I bring to a relationship.
Best of all, I recently qualified as a Les Mills Bodypump instructor.
Challenge creates change and finally, I do believe I have changed for the better.
MY NEW BLOG:
Today’s topic is procrastination, something I am an expert on. Ironically it’s taken me almost an entire day to sit down and write this because I’ve been faffing about making tiktoks, wrapping presents, surfing Amazon for crap I don’t need and sending emails here and there and playing with my cat. Usually writing a feature this length would take me less than an hour.
I am a terrible procrastinator, I leave everything until the last minute and then when the deadline looms, BOOM! I am on it; completely focused. I don’t know why I do it but I have always worked this way. I think it’s the rebel in me. I have never responded well to being told what to do since a child and always have to do things on my terms. Being self employed, I have to manage my own time, some days better than others.
Looking into the psychology of procrastination I have discovered that we procrastinate to put off chores we don’t like, or tasks that give us stress and anxiety as we think we won’t do them well but that’s not the case with me. I don’t have a fear of failure, if anything I am very confident about my work. I love my job I love writing, And I’m rather fabulous at it.
So why do I procrastinate? According to the New York Times, it has nothing to do with self control. Phew, because I haven’t got much of that.
They say it’s to do with bad moods which again, is something I can’t comprehend as I am rarely full of rage unless someone has pissed me off.
Procrastination is an emotion regulation problem, not a time management problem,” says Dr. Tim Pychyl, professor of psychology and member of the Procrastination Research Group at Carleton University in Ottawa.
That does make more sense to me as I am wildly emotional. “Procrastination isn’t a unique character flaw or a mysterious curse on your ability to manage time, but a way of coping with challenging emotions and negative moods induced by certain tasks — boredom, anxiety, insecurity, frustration, resentment, self-doubt and beyond.” he adds.
In other areas of my life this also resonates. I don’t have incredible attention to detail with mundane tasks and I put off looking at bank statements, I never clean (I would rather pay someone else to do it) and I cook with resentment. I pick and choose the jobs I like to do, similarly to my work, starting with the shortest task first to feel like I’ve achieved something quickly. It’s like a dopamine hit.
Maybe it’s linked to my insomnia too? Perhaps, as the jobs I should have done during the day prey on my mind subconsciously at night
There’s a lot of negativity associated with procrastination but as someone who usually looks on the brighter side of life, let’s look at the positives to it. Urgency to complete a task puts me into a fully focused mood as the deadline edges closer and I become more energised as the adrenaline kicks in.
Stepping away from my laptop isn’t a bad thing either as I go in search of other things to do instead of what I am supposed to be doing. Movement is good, it’s healthy and better than being sat on my arse all day. I am not a robot.
A 2012 study published in Psychological Science found that participants who were asked to daydream before completing a task used more creative problem-solving, compared to those who didn’t. I can relate to this too.
One time I went to marriage counselling with my ex husband (that worked!) he told the counsellor he couldn’t stand me living in a dream world. I told him it was better than the reality I lived in.
Daydreaming, procrastinating… whatever. It works for me and essentially I get the job done rather well.
I am trying to find a quiet spot in my house to write this blog but every room is filled with one of my children and their boyfriend or girlfriend, depending on which child it is. The house is literally overrun with people. I am not complaining. I chose to have six kids and I love the energy in the house. I woke up before everyone as usual and spent the quiet early hours working before everyone hurtled downstairs. Then I was met with four of my older kids wandering around sleepily with whichever boyfriend or girlfriend was in tow and I was asked to move from room to room so they could have some privacy!
How things have changed since I was young. Aside from the fact that my mother was mentally ill, she actually beat me up when she discovered I had gone to the doctor to get the pill when I was 18 and my boyfriend was never allowed in the house, never mind stay over. I am just glad my kids are safe under my roof because, let’s face it, they’re going to do it anyway. And they’re not kids, they’re adults now.
I’ve picked up my kids’ contraceptive prescriptions from the doctor many times while they’re at work, I’ve tidied their rooms and come across things no mother chooses to see but at the same time I am super proud that they have no hang ups over sex and we can all talk about it openly.
I had some sex toys left over from goody bags from a fashion show sponsor a couple of years ago and recently found some left over packages in a cupboard I was clearing out. My daughter handed a load out to her uni friends and the last two I gave to my sons, saying “You’re either going to think I am the most embarrassing mum on the planet or the coolest, but go knock yourselves out and have fun.”
Fortunately they think I’m cool.
It’s so important to have healthy conversations about sex, something I could never talk about with my mother. She accused me of being a slag, a whore and a prostitute all the time I was with my long term boyfriend, she tried to make me feel ashamed of something that is the most natural thing in the world and that every human craves. I still do! (Note to older women, the menopause doesn’t squish your libido)
It’s so important to talk openly about sex with your kids and not just the ones doing it. My ten year old said with a deadpan face when my son got with his girlfriend, “We all thought you were gay.” Not that it would have made any difference to any of us. We love unconditionally under my roof.
Growing up I always told them to be happy and safe and be with someone who makes them happy, regardless of gender. I want them to be able to come to me with any problem or question. Realistically they would rather talk to their siblings or friends but at least the option is there. They laugh at me and say that with my track record they don’t want my advice but I’ve been round the block a few times and despite my current shit show of a love life, I have been in long term relationships and I have experienced love. And of course I have had way more sex than them. I’m not just an expert, I used to be a sex feature writer for the Daily Star and wrote a book in my 20s entitled Caution, Slippery When Wet, which was serialised in a national newspaper about women’s sexual fantasies.
Sex is so much more available and far more explicit online than it was when I was a kid. There’s the thirst trap pics, Only Fans and don’t get me started on the dating apps which is just like trawling through a budget sex supermarket. And though I can't protect my girls from getting sent dick pics, I can talk to them about it and we can laugh about how gross they are.
I think I’ve instilled some good morals into all my kids, they’re comfortable with intimacy and happy with their partners. I’m often tripping over bunches of flowers and cards and empty present boxes left that they’ve exchanged and left lying around various rooms in the house. It’s lovely.
Being open about sex with your kids teaches them self respect and self esteem and of course consent. Talking about sex is healthy, having sex is healthy and knowing that my kids can come to me and talk about anything without any boundaries is so important to me and them.
When my son got with his gorgeous girlfriend he sent me a pic to show her off and I said, “I hope you two will be very happy and he replied, “I hope you find someone too that makes you happy, that’s all I want for you,” and my heart surged with love.
Love is definitely in the air, but not with me, ha!
I've been single for a while. OK, technically I am married but the divorce is on its way and we have been separated for over three years. I have dabbled on and off the dating scene but one thing I am learning is that men say one thing and mean another.
My job, apparently is a huge red flag for the men I have met.. They say they're attracted to a strong, independent, good-looking woman who runs her own business but the reality is that every man I have encountered is threatened by it. I run a public relations company, I network every day, I go to meetings, parties, corporate launches, and film premieres. Basically I will go to the opening of an envelope as I never know what opportunity may arise from it. I create events that bring hundreds of people together. To make this happen I have to be super active on social media. My reels and posts are aimed at catching the attention of potential new clients and it's worked for me for the last 15 years so I am not going to change. It's also quite entertaining for me.
My last boyfriend dumped me unceremoniously because he said I was intolerable, he hated my social media attention, ironic really as he initially contacted me through social media under the guise of working with me.
More recently I met a guy who we seemed to click with quite rapidly. He ticked my boxes, he was smart with a very intelligent career, financially independent with a banging personality to boot. But as soon as I mentioned I was hosting and producing the Lifestyle Awards he started to twitch because he was unable to attend due to family commitments. Who was I going with? Who was I seated with? If I was going to get chatted up would I tell him?
I had a guest list of 200 people, and of course I was going to chat to everyone, they're all business prospects. Some men can't grasp this. It's as if my work is irrelevant.
I am super independent, I have had to be to financially support my children and also because I require the freedom to carry out my days as I please. I am lucky enough to work my own hours, meet friends for lunch and go the the gym when I want. This doesn’t mean I don’t work hard, I am frequently writing at 4 in the morning. I run businesses in two countries and have clients in many more. I catch a flight every month, this is my lifestyle and I want someone who is confident in themselves to not red flag me every time I am out of their sight.
Getting a boyfriend isn’t a priority but I am human and like the idea of being with someone. But every man I come across who shows a glimmer of interest rapidly declines into what seems like a competitive sport and I lose interest equally as fast.
I have been through more testing times than the average woman, I think, and I finally know my worth and would rather stay single than battle a man over my career and social life which is crucial to me. But here’s a message for all the men out there who are threatened by a strong independent woman, we’re not interested in what you earn. We’re interested in how you treat us.
My success inspires and motivates others and I am not going to water it down to massage your ego. My income is not relevant to your self-worth, hell I was married to a man who didn't work for over a decade.
Strong, independent women want a partner who encourages them and supports them in their lives and at the same time, gives them the space to do what they need to do. My lifestyle is not intimidating to someone who has high self-esteem and understands the hard work and long hours that have been necessary to get to where I am. Owning a business is different to being an employee. We can’t switch off in the evenings or weekends, we’re always thinking of the next move to elevate our success. And if men don’t feel worthy of us they’ll start sabotaging the relationship by putting us down, trying to crush our self confidence, gaslighting us into telling we're crazy and unstable and making us feel like shit. This is a reflection of their insecurities, not ours. We’re not thinking about jumping on every dick that talks to us over a glass of wine. We’re looking for men who enhance our careers and our lifestyles, who are our biggest cheerleaders. My children, especially my sons, have been brought up to support these badass women so hopefully the next generation will be more tolerable and understanding.
As for me, I am done with dating. I genuinely don’t think there’s a man out there who could match what I offer. And that’s fine, I am comfortable hanging out with my sassy beautiful girlfriends in similar positions. We're a pedigree breed that few can afford.
My good friend of 20 years called me today and said, “Amanda, I wish I had your confidence.”
It was so lovely of her to say that but it made me think about what confidence really is.
I am confident in the way I dress and the way I carry myself, I have no filter when it comes to defending my behaviour or fighting for causes I believe in. But for the last few months I have been doubting my capabilities as I felt my life spiral out of control. Healing from the pain of broken friendships, struggling to keep my business going, hemorrhaging money with the never-ending bills and the stress of desperately wanting to sell my house and finalise my divorce has taken a toll on my confidence. Plus dealing with the hormonal issues of menopause which has made me super emotional at times. It’s fair to say that it’s been a difficult year so far.
You wouldn’t know because I haven’t shared this until now. Running your own business can be lonely, you rely on no one but yourself for it to work so you have to show up for yourself even if you don’t feel like it. Being an entrepreneur makes you constantly doubt your decisions but I suppose I must be doing something right as I am nominated for two business awards this autumn. I do get spurts of confidence with the work that I do, I know I am an expert in my field and I can help people with their goals too, and I have a vision for the future of my business which I try and stay on track with.
There’s a fine line though, between being overconfident and coming across as arrogant or self-absorbed. On the flip side, being underconfident prevents you from taking risks and grabbing opportunities for fear of failure or worrying what other people may think of you.
I have no problem walking into a room full of strangers and making new contacts and I love talking to everyone but I am a terrible procrastinator. I can sit on my sofa for hours and scroll through social media when I should be banging out emails prospecting for new clients or writing up a feature. And having spent years being emotionally abused by people I cared about, it’s knocked my confidence. I’ve been accused of being a fake and a bullshitter, which is ironic as I am completely genuine and a terrible liar. I’ve been defamed and trolled on social media throughout the years which has made me question my entire being at times. But learning to not care what other people think has made me stronger and more resilient, not forgetting more determined to prove them wrong. Which I have done multiple times.
I saw a quote today which said, “Just because I’ve sat in darkness doesn’t mean I won’t shine my inner light.”
My friend asked me if I could teach her how to be confident and I’ve had a think about it. It’s more than a mindset and reciting daily affirmations. I do the things I love daily, I exercise, I go to the beach and spend time with friends who motivate and uplift me and when I feel happy, I feel more confident.
I take pride in my work and give it my best, I believe in it and am passionate about it. And when I see the results of my work; the magazine published or an event come together and people celebrating their successes with me, it instills me with new confidence.
What keeps me pushing forward is an unwavering determination to succeed at all costs. I don’t have a choice, I have children who depend on me. No matter what personal or professional challenges I face, can’t just give up. I will step up every time and face the obstacles. Because whatever I’m going through, I know it won’t last. Self-belief is the ultimate confidence builder.
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