This is a difficult blog post to write but it is imporant to me to write because I refuse to be the head of a blog empowering women to be authentic and not live that message my self.
To my shock and horror over the weekend I had a big aha: I have been shrinking back from life.
To those who know me and to myself, I had no idea. The people who know me will either be shocked or agree that they've seen me shrink but didn't know how to tell me or articulate it to me.
Let me explain...
I hit a peak of Success in my life, career, and achievements early because I've always soaked up information fast, been great with people and strived to be my personal best. There's nothing wrong with that but what made me burn out was the constant judgment from others to always be successful at everything I did, working in a career whereas I felt I always needed to represent my race and feminine side while being tough because I was normally the only one in the (board or executive) room, being talked about and having decisions questioned, etc, etc.
I felt I could never just be normal...I always had to perform and live up to the Diva name that always seemed to follow me wherever I went, no matter where the place or situation. People weren't referring to me as a Diva in a bad way; they were saying it as a compliment but I didn't like the expectations that came along with it.
For example, if I had chipped nails there would be negative comments, if I wanted to sit quiet in a room instead of my normal outgoing self there would be comments about my "bad attitude", if I was attending a board meeting with my white male colleagues I would have studied for a week so that I wouldn't be considered incompetent, losing friends due to envy...you get the idea.
And this went on for me day in and day out for more than a decade. I couldn't explain it to anyone, I couldn't articulate it to my family and friends...and to add to all this, in this same decade I lost both my parents. I was getting crushed under the pressure, grief and stress...
So when I left my six figure, elite oil&gas job in 2011, it wasn't just about pursuing my dream of being an entrepreneur... It was to also save my own life.
coaching and strategic advisory firm. I now know that's why we all need tools and resources to maximize our potential because as a human, we can only handle so much!
For the last four years I have backed away (what I'm calling shrinking) from anything that remotely makes me stand out as a Diva, Standout, Top Leader, etc...I stopped wearing makeup as much (I love makeup!), I stopped wearing my best clothes (Armani and other name brands I scored at outlets!), I gained lots of weight, I stopped the momentum of serving on Boards, etc, etc.
This weekend's aha was so very timely for me because I am not a Shrinker...I was born to stand up to everything that comes with me living out my purpose! I know this now...
And what's interesting is that I can always tell when someone is shrinking...I know acquaintances, friends, executives, and former colleagues who are making decisions that subconsciously are shrinking decisions. I only know this because I have been one of them.
Again, don't shrink. Take a break, take a sabbatical, take an extended retreat, hire a counselor, hire a coach (I'm a great coach and would genuinely love to be there for you!)...do whatever you have to do but don't shrink!!!
The world needs your light...email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get coached on maximizing your potential without reverting to shrinking. We offer the tools and resources that supports the weight of you living out your purpose and standing out.
As always, I believe in you and this is the message of authenticity I wished was shared more in the world. No worries, Curva-Lish will always be that for you in the pursuit of your purpose, with grace and style.