What I’ve learned from my own journey and working with clients, is that to be happy, healthy and fulfilled, it is important to reclaim and “own” all parts of ourselves. One way to do this is to identify and embrace the multiple roles we play.
Here’s a short exercise. How would you categorize yourself? Check each of the following that apply to you: a) Consultant; b) Entrepreneur c) Academic; d) Coach; e) Mentor; f) Manager; g) Executive; h) Mother; i) Daughter; j) Sister; k) Partner; l) Other (please add something if none of the above apply to you or if you wish to add something else)
What thoughts ran through your head as you answered the question above? You may have realized the multiple roles you play in your business and in your life. No wonder you feel like there are never enough hours in the day! You may have identified one or several roles/parts of yourself that you have never really acknowledged or “owned”. Why is that? Perhaps there is a limiting belief you have about that role that you’d like to explore further?
To illustrate the importance of reclaiming and owning all parts of ourselves, I’d like to share with you a personal story. What I came to realize is that I hadn’t owned the fact that I am an entrepreneur until about 12 months ago; even though I have started up and run 2 successful management consulting businesses since the early 1990s and a coaching business since 2008.
For some reason acknowledging and claiming that I am an entrepreneur, never felt quite right. Perhaps it’s because I have worked with a lot of public sector organizations and on projects with disadvantaged groups and regions and I have a strong drive to make a positive difference in the world. When I sat for a while with my feelings about being an entrepreneur, I realized that I have indeed been an entrepreneur since I was quite young. It’s in my blood! My girlfriend and I caught and sold minnows to fishermen when I was about 9. I made bracelets out of shells and sold them. I had a lemonade stand at a young age. From age 9 to 13, I had a card and small gifts business. I would go from house to house, show people my catalogue and invite them to place orders. When they asked me what I was saving for, I said I was saving for my trip around the world. Which, I am pleased to share, I took when I was 30.
So what made me not own up to being an entrepreneur? When I “went inside “ and reflected, one of the beliefs that came up for me is that selling is not positive. I tended to equate it with “greasy, car salesmen” and I certainly didn’t feel I had a lot in common with them! After some meditating, soul searching and journaling, I changed my thinking and beliefs about being an entrepreneur and now see and feel the positive aspects of it. I know that I am here to make a positive difference in women’s lives and when I focus on that it feels much better.
Have you had a similar experience you’d like to share? How did you “own” that part of yourself? Is there a process, tool or strategy you would recommend to others to assist them in “owning and reclaiming a part of themselves”? I welcome your comments below.