Don’t Let Anyone Dull Your Sparkle

A slightly different blog from me this week, as I wanted to address a subject that’s been on my mind for a while.

Those of you who know me will know that I work hard at my career, I invest a lot of time/money in my learning, networking and volunteering so I can keep improving my skills and be at the top of my game. So when an opportunity that I felt I had worked really hard for was taken away from me I was completely thrown.

I started questioning myself. Was I not bright enough? Did I not work hard enough? Was I too bolshy? Was I not bolshy enough? Did I not have the right look? The right education? The right background? Everyday I asked these questions and everyday I felt my confidence disappearing bit by bit. I knew I had to do something as I could feel myself going down a dark tunnel of despair.

So I regrouped, brushed myself off and started working on building myself up again by following a few simple steps:

  1. Inspiration. A wonderful friend recommended the fab book by Shonda Rhimes, The Year of Yes – which is just fantastic. I’ve written a blog on why everyone should read this book as it honestly changed my life.
  2. Calm. With this confidence dip I was struggling to sleep. I could feel myself getting anxious before bed as my mind was in overdrive. However, the calm app was my saving grace. I highly recommend you download it if you struggle to fall asleep. You can listen to soothing sounds or a night time story. I’m normally fast asleep within minutes of switching this app on.
  3. Getting out and about. As much I really didn’t want to I pushed myself to go along to networking events. It was great meeting different people and talking about a career that I love. It gave me a confidence boost and it really helped me move forward. Plus I met some truly amazing people.
  4. Learning. What better way to get over your confidence lull then to sign up for a course. Even if it’s only a short half day programme or a full-on masters, nothing drives up your confidence then doing some self-development.
  5. Acceptance. Finally I started to accept that sometimes things do happen for a reason. Just because it doesn’t go the way you expected, it doesn’t mean you were not good enough.

Since I’ve started to go back to my normal self (whatever that is!) and I’ve got my confidence back, I’ve had some great things happen: I became the Vice Chair of CIPR Inside, I was named on the Northern Power future list, I spoke at my first public event which was broadcasted via the NPW podcast, I’ve been a guest blogger (thanks Rachel Miller, Sarah Brownrigg, Alive With Ideas), I’ve been asked to speak at a couple of events, I’ve contributed to magazine articles (look out for me in the next IoIC mag) plus I am working on something very exciting for early next year – so watch this space.

I honestly don’t think some of these things would have been possible if I had been given that opportunity. So to anyone going through a bit of a confidence crisis, things may look a bit grim at the moment and you may not be able to see a light at the end of the tunnel. However, I promise you that you will turn the corner and great things will come your way – just keep believing in yourself and keep working hard – remember don’t let anyone dull your sparkle!

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