I spent a long time being afraid of my just how powerful and strong I could be. Not fear in the sense that I was panicked at the mere thought of being in charge, but more in the sense that there was this under-lying feeling of being unworthy.
Hindsight allows me to reflect on the people who recognized my capabilities long before I did. And I realise that for the most part, my lack of self-belief made me easier to exploit. When you don’t trust in your own abilities, it means others can manipulate them and further reduce your confidence to ever be able to step into that power.
Power doesn’t mean that you are an evil dictator, it means you are comfortable stepping into your own sense of self and you know without waiver who you are.
And that is powerful.
For me, I was always a born leader. I had this deep sense of knowing that I could connect people in a way that few seldom can. I marched to the beat of my own drum and never felt comfortable following along without questioning why. I wanted to bring people around me up and would get immensely frustrated when I was not listened to. I was never afraid to step in front of a crowd or take ownership of a group.
What I was afraid of was how powerful I could be become on my own.
For all my endearing qualities, I was convinced that I needed other people to help me. That i was not capable on my own.
When I finally took that step into opening the doors to my business, I still did not believe in myself. Strangely, I knew that my vision and my dream was enough, but I didn’t know if I was.
I would spend nights restless and in a panic that eventually, people would realise that I was not the strong person I projected and they would withdraw their support.
But it didn’t happen that way.
After two and a half years of being open and more than five years of working for myself, I am fortunate enough to still have many of the same people with me.
And this began to change how I saw myself.
I started to realise that when you break yourself down to the most raw and authentic version of who you are, you release the ego – the voice in your head that tells you that you’re not good enough – and people actually start to gravitate toward your quirks and honest imperfections.
The fitness industry, and just the media in general, tell people that they need to fit into some unrealistic mould, but you can never actually achieve it. If you’re “not attractive enough” then you are “jealous” and if you’re considered “attractive enough” then you’re “too stupid” to have any actionable input. Basically, you’ll always feel inadequate.
And I was, in my own ego’s projection of myself, one façade away from being called out as a con-artist and people not accepting me for my truly unique self.
A few years ago, I lost a significant amount of weight and decided it would be fun to do some modelling. I say fun, because at 160cm, I was never walking any run-ways and was essentially told I was possibly “print advertising pretty.” So, no big dreams in that career, but none-the-less, I had always enjoyed both aspects of being in front and behind a camera, so it was an experience I think my journey needed.
I learned that it is very easy to get obsessed with how you look, even if it doesn’t feed your soul. A photograph portrays a beautiful, staged moment and one out of fifty shots will be perfect. A bit like life.
And once I caught myself skipping meals or jumping on the scales to make sure my weight hadn’t jumped back up, it was time to start to rethink this whole situation.
So, I decided to start talking about real life. I opened up about my battles with anxiety and depression. I posted photos of my legs with cellulite. I showed myself being silly and embarrassing.
And it was terrifying and liberating all at once.
I realized later, that putting that stuff out there was me asking the world to see me.
By putting that out into the world, I was beginning to take steps toward owning my power. And the first steps were by laying out the real and authentic person behind the name sake.
It is a scary thing to do at first, to show the world who you are and ask them to accept you.
I don’t think I could be the business owner, boss and leader I am today without first exploring and loving who I am as a person.
To even bring the words like leader and boss casually into a sentence, is a part of my evolution.
By showing an authentic person to the world, I feel that attracts and gives permission to those around me to feel the same.
It was never a strategy for me, to be a brand in myself. It was not really even a choice as such, just an overwhelming need to relate to people. I needed these people to come into my life and continue to teach me what it meant to be a whole person.
Truly stepping into my power didn’t come until more recently.
Something occurred that made me sit back and think “I have finally got this to show for my sacrifice and hard work.” And something clicked.
I am a leader and I am actually bloody good at it.
Am I still uncertain about what all of this means for the future? Of-course.
But I can no longer shy away from accepting my role, because I can’t anymore. Personal power should lift others up. By accepting your own, you give permission for others to do the same. Personal power is owning your quirks and “flaws” and being comfortable enough to offer them to the world (or your community) with pride. When you step into who you truly are, then the world gets a little brighter.
I think that when we are afraid of what makes us great and the potential, we have inside of us, we are ultimately depriving the world of another beautiful source of joy. If you decide to let go of this idea of being perfect and give your self a big hug, then you are already more powerful than you know.