For years I struggled with my self-image: overweight, not clever enough, too sensitive… I didn’t allow myself the headspace or respite from this cycle of negative talk, I felt like I deserved it. But why? It has taken years of support from family and friends, the help of therapists to realise…. I am who I am, I am genuinely myself, I cannot be anyone else.
That struggle to be someone else led to a breakdown of sorts. My whole life I had been told that I was intelligent, I was expected to go far…but I had never failed in life. That lack of failure meant I did not learn that life truly has ups and downs. I was unable to ask for help, I did not have the vocabulary – surely if I’m that intelligent, I can work this out for myself. This way of thinking, over a couple of years, damaged my resilience.
By not dealing with the mental anguish I suffered, it left me weakened and sensitive to further blows I would experience in later years. The need for action arose when I was diagnosed with PTSD and post-natal depression after the birth of my son. I fully believe my resilience was weakened by the years of self-doubt and anxiety I suffered.
It has taken the years since to understand how this happened to me and that I can rebuild my mind and my confidence. I am still very much in the process of recovery and part of that journey was to realise I was very unhappy in my working life. Like many people, I attach a significant amount of my worth to my career and that is something I am learning is not good for my mental health.
This awakening occurred in 2020 when I followed the work of Samantha Kelly (Tweeting Goddess) and the Women’s Inspire Network on social media. Samantha and her network of ladies helped me realise it was possible to be authentically myself and do something I’m passionate about. That Christmas, I asked my husband for the gift of membership of the Women’s Inspire Network…
Since then, I have left my corporate role and now provide consulting and administrative services to business owners around Ireland. When you are part of a supportive community, where you can really be yourself, you know that they will have your back.
If you are struggling with your business or feeling isolated and demotivated in your career, check out the Women's Inspire Network.