The other day Genevieve and I were at the Oswestry Bizmums networking meeting at Baby Bird Cafe. The meetings are great for self-employed mums as they always have a guest speaker talking on a topic about business and you can bring the little ones along! When we got to Baby Bird, the lovely Katie who runs the cafe and is also the host for Oswestry Bizmums told me it was ‘only her’ doing the talk today. She then went on to give a really useful, inspiring talk that left me with a clear idea of things I am going to do to help myself and my business. There were a few other ladies there, with great businesses, who made similar comments about their own work not being good enough despite it actually being fantastic.
It got me thinking – why do we keep apologising for ourselves?
This seems to be quite a British thing, but particularly us women – we’re either afraid to put ourselves out there or when we do we try to downplay it or put ourselves down. There’s billions of people in this world and only one you; nobody else is like you at all. Everyone has unique qualities – I don’t care what anyone says, everyone has the capacity to do great things. It’s all about finding what you’re good at; your niche and your passion, then throwing yourself into it.
Here was a group of women who have looked at what they’re good at and what they’re passionate about and taken the plunge to make a business out of it. This isn’t something that everyone can do, it’s scary and it takes confidence and self-belief. However instead of recognising how courageous they are and how much they have to offer, some of these fabulous women were apologising for ‘imposing’ on other people or downplaying what they were doing.
Now obviously it’s important to recognise that you can’t please everyone. You can’t expect everyone to love what you’re doing or even like you – that’s a recipe for disaster! You’ll just end up either burnt out from people pleasing or a bundle of nerves taking every negative criticism personally. When it comes to putting yourself out there it’s important to accept that some people won’t get you, but that’s ok. We shouldn’t have to apologise to those people for being us. We shouldn’t have to change for them. Just smile, let it go and focus on the people who actually do like what we have to offer. There are plenty of friends, clients or whoever to go around.
Have a think – do you often apologise for who you are or what you’re doing? How does it leave you feeling? Try to notice when you’re doing it or when you’re about to say something negative about yourself and press that pause button, smile and just be yourself. If they like it, great, if they don’t, that’s fine too.
What do you do that you’re proud of? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below or on my Facebook page. Go on, put it out there – dare the haters to hate!