Through the marvel of Twitter I have met some really amazing people, both on and offline. I have found some new lifelong friends, some great new colleagues, re-connected with past friendships and been inspired by so many determined, vivacious, creative beings.
This week I met up with Mike Sullivan, one such Twitter connection, at the bhive, my London base. Mike is, among other things, a confidence coach, so I was interested in his work. Confidence never used to be a problem for me; throughout my school life I was blessed with amazing friends, popularity, and academic capabilities. I sailed through school, 6th form, college, and uni. I was a determined young whipper snapper too; I always had the balls to get out and meet people, do portfolio drop offs with big magazines, making contacts with companies I wanted to work for, make new friends and move around with no concerns.
I never really worried about my looks - I had always had a petite hourglass thing going on, not short of dates, and the world at my feet.
Fast forward a few years later and my confidence has been up and down, but nowhere near those levels of younger years.
So what happened?
A few things. Endometriosis crept in at first then waded in with massive boots on and announced it’s presence and effect on my life. The impact it has had over the years on my activity levels has made my weight fluctuate, not great for the self esteem.
A nervous breakdown and sudden move from my beloved London and lifestyle made me feel out of the loop. I went from running teams of designers, developing new business, running pitches and holding weight in the boardroom to a freelance life in the country. I loved this shift in pace, but the social aspect and involvement with peers and colleagues was missed. I felt far removed from being the person I was. I used to call my work persona “Joanne”, she was the one who went to see clients, who went networking and whose brain was in gear. She had gone and I wasn’t sure if I could define myself without her.
Another massive life changing event, becoming a mum, had further impact on my confidence and ability to classify myself, a situation many mums find themselves in as we define our new roles, trying to cling to role models, a new sense of self, and the most important role we will ever do.
Mike’s work is predonimantly with ladies just like me, and it will be an interesting journey to learn how he unlocks the power to pack a punch again.