Know You’re Enough

22 July, 2015

Sunset Girl

I watch women pushing their limits, afraid if they slow down everything will fall apart. I watch women struggling to cope with mothers and mothering, feeling guilt-ridden because they don’t have better relationships with either or both. I watch women fall out of love with their husbands and their bodies. I watch women feeling ashamed that they’re ageing and are no longer worthy of appreciation. I watch women cut off from their spontaneity, their interests, their happiness. I watch women become defensive, pretending, racing, trying to put on a face for the world for fear of not being enough.

Have you seen these women?

I’ve been these women. Maybe you have too?

Here are three things I’d like to say to me. And you. And them.

Competence is over-rated

There’s this crazy thing called the confidence gap, which simply put is the gap between where women are and where they’re capable of being, right now. It comes about when women let their doubts about their abilities stop them from achieving. As women we try and fill that gap with competence, which in reality is like trying to plug a bath with a stone.

Here’s the thing: competence in your field of expertise is only enough to get a foot in the door. It is not and never will be what makes you exceptional. The only thing that makes you exceptional is your true, colourful, complex and interesting self. And when you show the world who you truly are, you give other women permission to do the same thing.

What we need is to get more comfortable with {gasp} self-promotion. We need to get more comfortable with saying what we stand for and what we’re good at. Not out of ego, but out of service. We need to know exactly what we offer that’s significantly different from the best in the field and how this can be of benefit to others, and in doing so reach our next level of personal success.

Ageing is not shameful

As we age we learn that everything is transitory, our social status, our health, our youth. As we age we learn that youthful innocence is not as captivating as the face of wisdom and experience. As we age we realise that where we wore beauty before, now we wear pride and power.

So many of us spend years in the workplace perfecting our strategic minds, but there comes a time when we shift our focus from ambition to meaning. When this happens we can more fully occupy our hearts and truly connect with our lives.

Helen Mirren says we grow bolder, not older. I agree. As we get older our points of view get firmer and our capacity to forgive gets greater.

You are enough

One of the most amazing things about the work I do is the people I meet. Each person is enormously talented but without exception they don’t see it. Each of them has a blind spot to what makes them truly remarkable. And everyone is remarkable. So are you.

Everything you are, or not, is the best and most valuable contribution you can make to the world right now. You don’t have to steal your child’s Ritalin so that you can stay focused for 8 hours straight to get through your to-do list. [I’m not making this up. Women do this]. The people around you want you. They don’t want the image of who you should be. What makes you likeable is your vulnerability. What makes you belong are your connections. Trust them.

If you can’t see this on your own, then find someone like a good friend or a coach – or an older woman – to help you.

What message do you have for women, or anyone, struggling with the self-inflicted demands of ‘more’?

This post was inspired by the book You Are Enough by Colleen Saidman Yee

Robyn Young - Personal Leadership Branding for Executives

About the Author

Robyn Young

As a personal leadership branding strategist, Robyn Young helps individuals identify and articulate their unique strengths, values and goals, empowering them to build an authentic personal brand that resonates with their stakeholders.

Robyn has a keen eye for aligning personal attributes with professional aspirations, helping her clients project a powerful and compelling image in their chosen field.