It’s often the brightest people who are most unsure of their potential and carry a deep pain they do not allow others to see.
For many years working in strategy, I suffered with imposter syndrome. Convinced I’d slipped in the back door somehow and was never supposed to be there, even though I was working on multi-million dollar briefs with a near perfect track record.
My whole life I have believed I needed to work harder than other people to succeed, that if I could just outlast everyone else I could win. This has of course turned me into a workaholic which has been lovely for my partners, past and present.
I don’t know where my lack of self-worth came from, as my parents were always ridiculously supportive of my younger sister and I chasing our dreams, but since I came out of the womb I have felt the need to lead a perfect life. My biggest pet hate up until recently was showing any ounce of weakness. What this perpetual need to be perfect created was a perfect storm of mental and physical fatigue, mixed with an obsessive need to keep becoming stronger every day.
My silent mantra in advertising was ‘You’re only as good as you were yesterday. Work harder’.
While a part of me loved the adrenalin of solving big problems in an ever shorter amount of time, it broke me. When my partner Jules became unwell back in 2016 I continued to work at the pace I always had, caring for her and our daughter Isabella on top. I refused to believe that I needed to change my pace and even turned to smart drugs to support my lack of sleep so I could keep up the ridiculous expectations I had set for myself.
I’ve had a fear of failure my whole life and it’s still something I’m trying to understand. Like an onion, it has layers.
Jules becoming sick put life in perspective for me in a way that nothing else had. And as we scrambled to find help and could find none, I turned back to spirituality and the lifelong healing abilities I’d had, but always denied to help heal the woman I love. It was here that I found my purpose.
I was a great strategist, however, there is a difference between being great at something and finding what drives you at a soul level.
And when my advertising life fell away, my new life began when I embraced my ability to work with spirits to help heal others. My greatest joy and purpose was born out of my heaviest pain. Life’s funny, huh?
When I work with my clients today I am honest. What’s funny to me is that in the beginning, a lot of them believe that I am perfect. I smile as I write this because after a few weeks of working together and them getting to know me better, they realise I too am a work in progress. I too am broken, just as all of us are. But like Kintsukuroi, I believe that our cracks are what make us beautiful and more empathetic to the journey of others around us.
What I give my clients is the opportunity to be very real with me and to not have to hide their cracks like I hid mine for so many years. What we work on together is understanding and healing those cracks so we can turn them from glue into gold.
What spirituality has given me is the appreciation that for all of the pain life offers, it serves a purpose and that is to help us grow and learn about who we are. From pain comes beauty and the greatest gift you can give yourself is the time you need to heal.
When we realise that to become who we really are, we need to put down our armour and our masks, that’s when we truly step into our power. When you stop hiding and start allowing yourself to be seen is when so many worries start falling away.
Find the people who want to see you and who love you for exactly who you are, not the image you have sold into them. The less time we spend on up-keeping our image the more we have to just be ourselves, and what a relief that would be!
I want to end on a passage from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet (one of my favourite books) on Joy & Sorrow. If you want to chat, reach out. My gift has always been seeing the potential in others when they cannot see it themselves. You can find me here.