This one question turned my world upside down and luckily I had a chance to change my perception.
Recently I attended an Activation Retreat with the amazing Michelle Richmond . I always see her as my fixer upper – when life gets crazy or when things just aren’t going to plan, Michelle seems to pop up,or offer a Retreat or Safari which I can’t say no too!
The retreats allow me to get away from my everyday life and concentrate on issues that have been holding me back, usually I have no idea what these issues are, but they come and unexpected things just seem to show their face!
Which is exactly what happened when Michelle asked me the question ‘Are you a business woman?’
As soon as she spoke those words I felt my stomach contract and my whole body went stiff, I actually felt sick to the stomach, my body was rejecting this claim.
Equally….my head was bemused and saying ‘Yes of course I am a business woman’. I part own a business, I talk to business owners all the time, put strategies in place for the business to grow, and actually act like a business women, so why oh why was my body rejecting these words?
Is it the Imposter Syndrome, deep down inside of me?
Suzanne Mercier an expert on this states that, “The Imposter Syndrome is a deep-seated belief that we aren’t good enough. It’s a case of mistaken “ identity” – Wholly crap that is me. I have been following Suzanne for years, and felt that this hadn’t resonated with me, and that everything was fine. I could spot it in others but not own it myself. But buried deep down inside of me was this notion I am NOT a business woman! (sorry Suzanne for not not listening)
To me I see a business woman as someone who has their shit together, beautifully manicured, perfect make-up, not a hair out of place, a wardrobe of fully tailored clothes and an air of confidence around them. Well this is certainly not me. I acted like a business woman, but hidden away in my subconscious, I didn’t see myself as a business woman, I didn’t own that I am a business woman.
I still felt like the uneducated little girl from country Victoria that was only playing in the business world. I don’t have a university degree, my degree came from travelling the world, whom am I to say I am a business woman?
Why this has turned into such a shock was that by not believing in myself, I was sabotaging myself, in little ways but actually making a bigger impact on myself. Some circumstance that’s how I was treated, like an employee, not like a business owner.
Thank goodness, after the retreat I gave myself a mini break, spent a couple of days staring at the beach, reading a trashy novel,drinking gin and hanging out with Michelle. But she didn’t feel that I was“finished”. On my last day, off to the beach we went.
Sitting on a secluded beach in Northern Queensland we gave that little girl permission to own her authority. With some intense work, we flipped this dumb notion that I am not a business woman and I finally cleared out a lot of fears I had been holding in my gut.
Coming back to Sydney I can now feel the difference. One of the funniest things to happen was that I attend a monthly dinner group with business owners, and I was sharing what happened and they all started laughing– they are all successful business women and they come in all shapes and sizes and most importantly I AM ONE.