Our brilliant mentor Kay Edwin talks about the importance of discovering your sense of ‘self’ and being proud of your uniqueness, as a tool to help you thrive. Over to you, Kay…
I’ve championed the role of women for as long as I can remember.
It dawned on me in my early twenties, just how many hats women had to wear to ‘have it all’.
The women around me were often primary care givers to young children at the same time as being inspiring and caring leaders in the work place.
It was only when I had my own children that I really understood that you can have it all, just not all at the same time.
If you let it, the workplace can be all consuming and it’s very easy to loose what I call ‘your sense of self’. I’ve been the workaholic, the imposter-syndrome ridden returning mum and the new kid who relocated yet again for another rung up the ladder.
Imagine you are at networking drinks and someone says ‘tell me about you’. Do you launch into what you do for a living? Your job role? Where you work? Or do you have more to bring to the table? Let me tell you something. We ALL have more to bring to the table but we don’t always recognise its value in a professional setting.
There was a time when my job role was everything about me. But as the years progressed, I became acutely aware that this meant my sense of ‘self’ was in the hands of others too.
Thanks to the (mostly unassuming) comments of others, I began to feel ostracised, under valued and unappreciated. My confidence deteriorated and anxiety set in. I questioned my own worth on countless occasions. I struggled to see my own value and was the first to beat myself down.
But it was also from here that I decided to redefine my sense of self. It was from here that I shut out the negative people in my life. I focused on my family and being bloody good at my job. I focused on my training, knowing I’d eat better and sleep better as a result.
And now? Now my sense of self is built from what really matters. It can’t be pulled apart by anyone in the world and it makes me unique. Now at networking drinks, I’m a mum, a crossfitter and I happen to work in one of the best product studios in the country. And what do you do?
Kay is one of our inspirational mentors and we are delighted to have her energy and passion as part of Find Your Wings. If you’d like to have Kay as a mentor or if you’d like to understand more about our mentoring programmes, please contact us.