Have you ever been told that you are too much of something or too little of something to get where you want to be?
Have you ever believed it?
In business and in brand building, I think this is a conversation we need to have.
Let me tell you a few stories…
I like to say I have an Indian heart. Since I can remember I was fascinated by the imaginary world that India represented for me. I would stare at my dad’s photos of his visits there. When I started design school, every opportunity for ‘pick your theme’ projects was focused on India. I loved the colour, the mystery, the textiles, the music... I just couldn’t get enough.
Understandably, going to India was pretty high on my list.
A dream in the making, by the stories, the people that had gone and come back, the books, the yoga classes...
Then one day, a dear friend said to me, he truly thought I could never make it there. He believed my body wasn’t strong enough, he thought my high sensitivity wouldn’t stand it.
My heart was crushed.
I didn't question it, I didn’t give myself the benefit of the doubt, I just believed him and went down.
The joy and the illusion all lost momentum because of a single conversation in which I gave my power away. I gave my dreams away to a comment, a point of view. And I didn’t stand up for myself.
As life would have it, India came to me. Not only did I visit India. I lived and worked there. Met my heart family, met my husband and fell deeply in love with the place.
This story is good because it has a mix of both.
Destiny bringing what I feel was inevitable in my life (journeying to India) but also because I was able to beat the odds. With a mix of pride, a mix of "you think I can’t, well watch me" and a mix of fear of "what if my friend is right".
Similar to India, a few years back I started Wallnut.
I was having good traction, good clients and great projects, then a job offer came along.
It required A LOT of me. Moving cities, changing occupations, starting again in many ways. But the person with the offering was inspiring and I thought it could be a great experience. After a bit of back and forth and listening to my heart, I declined the job and chose Wallnut instead.
I will never forget how the person who offered the job said to me something like…
“Do you know that most businesses close down after 2 years? Do you really think you are the one that is gonna beat the odds?” I think I said something like, "only time will tell". (FYI that was more than 10 years back :) ) But I’ll tell you. It shook me. It felt lonely and I felt silly. Who did I think I was after this?
I see this in brand building and women often.
A mix of them not having enough belief in their work. A mix of sceptics that surround them and a mix of giving their power away and not standing up for themselves (we all do it).
The thing with this is that the calling, the gold and the potential for the difference you came here to do, live inside your heart. No one really has the fire screaming from the inside as you do. No one aches as much as do you when you see the issues that you know you can contribute to solving. So as an older sister, or a wise woman, developing our ability to stand up, protect and roar for our dreams and desires, is a huge skill that I want to keep cultivating in myself and my clients.
Because the tragedy is that if life or destiny keeps insisting, well, things will work out. But at the end of the day, it is we who drive it. The desire, the dream, the achieving, the business. We are the ones who host it inside, who know it’s potential well.
So, even if no one will,
Will you stand up for your dreams?
For your gifts?
I deeply hope you do…