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You don't need to be extroverted to be successful or happier

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Articles and opinions telling me how I should be more extroverted to be successful in business frustrate me.

There are so many and even the ones that are supposed to be championing us introverts are still using the same old descriptors, shy, quiet, anti social……for the love of god please hear me when I say - Introverts are phenomenal, can be loud, ambitious, strong and love meeting people. Ok so we might have to hibernate for a day or two after doing all that but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to! I am not quiet but I LOVE quiet.

Introverts are amazing business owners and amazing people!

Research seems to be finally figuring it out that we don’t have to be more extroverted to be happier - come on, you really think that’s news to us? Why would we to change who we are. Of course we want to learn new ways of doing things, but that doesn’t mean we want to be more extroverted. We like being who we are. I love that I can spend time alone and come up wth ideas and the answers to things I have been overthinking for days. I love that feeling after I have actually been to a networking event when I get home and kick off my shoes, put my pjs on and feel proud to have met some new interesting people and told them about what I am up to. I love challenging myself to do the things I think I can’t only to realise I can actually do them and if I can do this then nothing is out of my reach.

Please don’t let your introversion stop you doing anything if you want it that much. If you don’t and you are happy to chill out at home and stay in your comfort zone then that’s fine too. It’s all about what YOU want that matters and that might mean stepping up and out of that comfort zone!

Asking or expecting somebody to change what is fundamental about them like their personality, is never going to make anyone happier.

Now I am the biggest believe in change. I was a Probation officer for years and also worked with some very vulnerable and challenging young people so I know that believing in change is part of who I am. It is possible for everyone. But this is about change that is welcomed or craved. Saying things like ‘introverts will be more happier if they are more extroverted’ is like the craziest thing I have heard. I am happiest to be me. Yes I am happy to push and challenge myself because that’s part of my personality too! It has nothing to do with me being an introvert. Introversion is about energy and I get my energy from being alone it’s as simple as that.

There is a massive difference between changing WHO you are and challenging yourself to do things you THINK you can't. The things you actually WANT to do.

Introverts are great leaders.

Now someone recently said to me “No we are looking for strong dynamic and entrepreneurial types - not introverts!”. Oh really. Well check out some of the great leaders in the world to realise that this belief is just nonsense and so outdated. I consider myself to be all of these things and I bet you do too.

Working for yourself, building your own business and being ambitious will mean (regardless of personality) that you will have to push yourself to do things you haven't done before. If it were easy everyone would be doing it. But not everyone will or can be a leader and that is something you have to decide for yourself - are you ready to lead or follow?

It's not easy but it can be so worthwhile and not just have a massive impact on your business, but also massively boost your own confidence too. For instance I have supported women to step up and tell more people about how great they are at what they do and what they stand for, despite them feeling 'cringey', because we worked together to find a way that felt GOOD to them. You don’t have to do it the way ‘extroverts’ have done business over the years.

You have the chance to carve out your own path. Do that.

**Gemma Stow works with female leaders who are introverts and are ready to take themselves and their business to the next level.  To find what is getting in the way of putting themselves forward and creates a space for them to explore who they really are and who they want to become.  As well as high level private coaching, she runs Introverts Talk Biz events where women come together to share ideas, struggles and make plans. More info on the next one HERE. Or book in a chat with Gemma if you are looking to increase your confidence so that you can do the things you keep telling yourself you can’t do **

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Am I an introvert and why it matters in business?

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So many people say to me “ you don’t need to label people we are all different”. Of course I know this already. Having worked in the public sector in probation, and with young people with different challenging behaviour there can be nothing worse than being labelled and being put into a box that is a one size fits all scenario!

But labelling can also have it’s benefits.

For years I used to think that I didn’t measure up. Questioning myself why couldn’t I be more like ‘her’, love public speaking, oozing confidence, full of charisma, the life and soul of the party?

It’s really important in business that you figure out who you are and get really clear on what you can do, what you think you can’t do and what you really want to do.

People often tell me that people that there is no need for labelling and who cares if you’re introvert or extrovert personality, but of course it does matter as it’s all about who you are and what you like to do and enjoy to do, rather than having to always feel like you’re not good enough because you don’t do things in a certain way and that is often the case for introverts.

Business is about telling others about what you do.

You know business is about the selling, marketing, visibility, putting yourself out there and at the same time all those things can scare the hell out of introverts because it’s doesn’t always appeal to us. However the only reason it scares us is because we associate all these things with being big, loud and in your face. When they really don’t need to be.

I know a lot of introverts that are amazing at selling because they do it in a way that feels good to them. They make real connections with people, build relationships get to know their customers. You just have to find the way that works for you not against you. I’m all about you finding out what your superpowers are and using them to your advantage in your business.


Am I an introvert?

So the traditional way to decide about your personality is to do the old school personality tests. I’m sure you’ve heard of Myers Briggs and other kind of personality questionnaires that you can spend time filling in your preferences and then it will come back and tell you what kind of personality you’ve got and what your strengths and your weaknesses are and all that kind of stuff.

If you’re interested here a few links to some of the personality test that you can take to see what you’re kind of personality is and they can be quite enlightening actually and when you read things about yourself like that makes sense under things start to fall into place for you. Check out Susan Cain’s or Sixteen personalities to start with.

It might also make you realise you know where some areas in your business needs some work. You know you are the expert at what you do for work, however there are always things in business that we avoid because they just don’t feel good are they not aligned with our personality.

So I am an introvert, what now?

Well now is the exciting part you get to look at all the areas of your life and see where your strengths are and how you can play on those strengths and use them to your advantage in business. It is all about looking at the things that you’ve previously decided aren’t for you and maybe to take a new perspective on them. For example a business owner downloaded my free guide on how to network even if you are an introvert and hate talking to strangers. After that she got in touch and told me the impact that had on her networking journey. She had started to regularly attend a local event. She has now spoken at that event and won an award for her business. From telling herself that networking wasn’t her thing to actually finding the right one for her has been a massive game changer!


So why not think of three things and figure out what it is but you need to focus on more in your business to really get the results you’re after. What have you been avoiding and telling yourself it isn’t your thing? Take a new perspective on it - how can you use your strengths to make it work for you?

I couldn’t find a networking event that really worked for me - so I started my own ‘Introverts Talk Biz’ and I haven’t looked back. The feedback has been incredible. One women said it was a like ‘coming home’ and she realised she could actually enjoy networking.

Here are three things you can think about….

  1. Where do your clients come from and are you actually being visible in that area? Just because it doesn’t necessarily float your boat - it might float your clients? Can you make it work?

  2. Figure out what makes business fun for you? It’s all about enjoying what you do - so take stock of your business model - does it actually serve you?

  3. Make sure you factor time in your diary to re-energise. If you’re pushing yourself out of your comfort zone by going to networking events, showing up online etc you need to factor in some time alone to get your energy back. If you don’t do this you and keep pushing without time for yourself you start to become exhausted and feel negative towards your work, which could reinforce that you shouldn’t be doing the things you doing, when actually a lot of good and positive things can come from it.

When people tell you that it doesn’t matter if you’re an introvert, extrovert or someone in between, it actually really does matter and it really matters to your business and the success you want. Don’t hold back from trying different things - it might just be that you need to do things in your own way!

So maybe it’s about time you figured out what this means to you and how you can use it to your advantage. Figure out what your true strengths are and have some fun in business, it doesn’t have to be stressful and yes it will be hard work, but building a business is a rollercoaster so why not find the fun in everything you are doing instead of feeling scared or avoiding it.

Figuring out that you’re an introvert in business can be the best thing that ever happened. Let me know how you get on.

**Gemma Stow works with female entrepreneurs who are introverts and are ready to take themselves and their business to the next level.  To find their fierce and take that all important action.  As well as private coaching, she runs a membership called Club Fierce that gives that personal touch to women who are looking for support, accountability and an environment that breeds self belief and results.  More info HERE. Or book in a chat with her if you are looking to increase your confidence in different areas and find your inner fierce **

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What stops you being visible online?

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Being visible online can be scary.   But if you run your own business then it really can help to boost your know, like and trust factor with potential customers and therefore increase profits!

If you have been putting off getting yourself and your business out there then it is time to find your fierce and increase your visibility today!

It is pretty normal to feel scared.  Scared to put yourself out there online for your business to reach your customers.  I was scared too.

As we grow and learn there are always new parts of our lives that demand a different version of us and this can in itself bring more challenges and self doubts.

It was July 2015 that I posted my very first blog online.  I had no idea what I was doing.  But I did it anyway, and guess what.. I didn’t tell anyone.

It was online, yes - but it took me about 3 months to actually share it and then I hid behind another name.

I hid behind the name 'Fiercemum' and nobody, apart for my nearest and dearest knew about it - that was the start of something special - but only because I decided it would be.  

As a introvert this was a very difficult thing for me to do.  I like being behind the scenes and letting others take the limelight...but I knew that this time I had to do things differently.  I had to dig deep to find the confidence and strength to push those doubts I had about myself to one side, so I could step out of the shadows and help others to do the same - to be fierce in all areas of their lives. 

You know those doubts – ones like …

“I am not good enough”

“Who am I to think I can do this”

“What will others think of me”

“I don’t know enough and don’t have what it takes”

And it is not easy to silence those doubts – but with courage and paying attention to yourself and those thoughts, it can be done.

 

I have and it feels great.  I now have a great online business which means I can work from anywhere - which is all I have ever wanted; freedom and flexibility to do what I want, when I want, so that it suits my family and me.  And with my business means I get to work with ambitious women who also want the same thing too!  To make a difference and make money.

It all came from showing up.  From getting the 'ladyballs' to do what I believed in.  To be persistent even when I thought there was no point.  To get visible and show others what I stand for and what I can do to help them too.

I kept going. 

Because when you start the visibility dance you keep dancing and don’t stop.

Stopping means checking out what others are doing, or worrying about who is watching and not dancing with you, overthinking your own dance moves, instead of just enjoying your time on the dance floor and making YOUR dance up as you go.

Well you can have this too.

This is what I am all about - empowering women who work for themselves (or want to) to feel fierce about who they are and what they stand for and to have the confidence to go shout about it.  Not for them but for those people they want to reach.

 

So if this is what you want them connect with me over in my free group The F Movement for female entrepreneurs or book in a call with me today and let's chat about what you need that will make the difference between no one knowing about you and your business, to all those potential customers who want to get to know you better!

Just think how AWESOME it'll be when you can stop feeling overwhelmed, confused and hiding - to be super clear, confident and excited about taking that all important fierce action and being seen for who you really are!

No more hiding – much more dancing!

Gx

 

**Gemma Stow works with female entrepreneurs who are ready to take themselves and their business to the next level.  To find their fierce and take that all important action.  As well as private coaching, she runs a membership called Club Fierce that gives that personal touch to women who are looking for support, accountability and an environment that breeds self belief.  More info HERE. **

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#Stop Comparing Yours to Theirs.

Comparison is the thief of joy.  That's what they say - what do you think?

I can really understand this statement and it can be very overwhelming when you start to compare yourself to others and the impact that this can have on how you truly feel about yourself.

I did a #FierceTalk was on this very subject - if you missed it check it out.

Comparing where you are right now with someone else in a negative way is not good for you.  Especially when you use it to find faults with yourself.

The problem is that you don't recognise your own strengths and beauty as you are far too busy comparing yourself to others.

You start to feel undeserving, inadequate and inexperienced.  Who am I to do this? I don't have what she has? I am not good enough who will listen to me?

Do you find you do this?  We all do it at times and it can be detrimental to our self esteem.  If this becomes a habit then we start to lose confidence in our own abilities and the pressure and overwhelm creeps in and we stop moving forwards - we give up, we think what's the point?

Social media has only served to increase these feelings if we allow it to.  Do you know what I mean? Watching someone else's movie reel and all their highlights about what they are up to!  The thing to remember is that it is only their highlights - not everyone would have the lady balls to show up and show off their down days - those moments where everything has gone to shit.  It isn't easy sharing this with the world because of the fear of being judged - what will they think of me if I do show up and I haven't got my shit together?

Constant comparing of this nature will not end well.

Constantly comparing yourself to others in a negative way can lead to depression and anxiety because you ultimately tell yourself you have a shit life because it is not like those other people's lives you see on your phone.  Now there is a sentence I wouldn't have thought I would write - but it is so true.  We have all been there and I know you have too.

Well it is time to stop.  

You have an incredible life and can use it to inspire others.

Firstly you cannot compare your chapter 1 to somebody else's chapter 20.  It just doesn't work like that.  Of course there will be differences, of course they will have experienced more things, and you will too as you create more chapters in your life.  

Secondly, at least you have a chapter 1 right?  There will be others comparing themselves to you too - only thinking about starting to follow their dreams, but are too scared to show up yet.  They don't even have a chapter and will look to you and be amazed by how you did it.

I was watching my 8 year old daughter in her dance class last night.  I love seeing her dance and the passion she has.  She shows determination and commitment and never misses a class.  

She does get concerned about how far the other girls have got and how they can do this move and that move and she can't.  But what was interesting last night was that another little girl was asked to do the finale move - an amazing cartwheel without hands - which she was brilliant at but only on soft mats.  

The tutor wanted her to practice it on the hard floor ready for the real competition.  Se was scared to do it.  She cried.  Her dance class buddies were all staring at her, and then out of nowhere, they started clapping - it gives me goosebumps to relive it to be honest.  

It was amazing to watch.  Her girls had her back.  She knew it.  And she bloody did it.  And yes all the girls were probably thinking they wish they could do that move (I know my daughter was) but they didn't sit there feeling negative towards their team mate - they encouraged her to be the best version of herself, to push her out of that comfort zone, to do the thing she really wanted to do, because that is what is needed in these times where we think we can't go on.  

We need encouragement.  Which by definition is the action of giving someone support, confidence and hope.

And all those other girls who did the encouraging will feel a sense of satisfaction knowing that when their time comes they will have a huge team of other girls who will encourage them to do the same.  It's bloody inspirational and it is what I am all about.

Watching that unravel last night brought me to tears because it kinda sums up everything I stand for.  
 

Women having each other's back.  


So yes you may feel that someone is better than you and maybe they are further on their journey - but remember they were once where you are right now, and there are others who are only dreaming of being where you are.  

It is time to stop the negative comparison BS.

And instead start using comparison to your advantage.  Truly believe that if she can do it then it is possible for you too.  

Don't forget that.  

If someone is paving the way for you then this is a great thing, as it means that you can run along that path knowing full well what will be at the end of it.
 

Her success is definitely not your failure - it is only your beginning.


 


FM x

 

If you have not yet joined our amazing group of Fiercemums then come on over. 

And if you are ready to figure out what you really want and to discover that passion you can turn into work you love then grab my free gift here.

 

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#No Excuses

Did you catch my Facebook live on this?  

I had been doing some reflection and thinking about the things I hear from women I speak to both in my business and friends and family.  A common theme is that we don't have the time to do what we really want to do because we are too busy raising a family.  Does this sound familiar ?

It is true - the struggle is real and the balancing act is tough - working and raising your family can feel relentless at times - but it can also feel exhilarating.

Don't get me wrong I have those days too where it all feels like too much and I wonder what the flip am I trying to do here - but then I remember the real deep down reasons of what I do it for and it all makes sense again.

If you are doing work you love then this comes easier than if you are in work that does not light you up anymore.  And the thing is - we are women - and once we have decided that we don't like something the way it is we can't stop thinking about it.  If this is in a negative way then it can be all consuming and can lead to you feeling down and depressed.  

I am on a mission for ambitious women who love to work, to be doing the thing that lights them up.  After all if we are trading time away from our little ones then it surely has to be what we love to do?

How are you feeling about work?  If it isn't floating your boat anymore and there is something you would prefer to be doing then now is the time to do something about it #noexcuses.  

Maybe you know you need to step out of your comfort zone to be able to achieve the thing you want to achieve - but instead you are finding any excuse not too?

Yeah the best excuse is not having enough time because you are a working mum.  I know sounds harsh but is it the truth?

Time to get honest with yourself - is that the real reason or is there something else - maybe something around worrying about what others will think about you for stepping up and putting yourself out there? Maybe focusing all your time and attention on your family has totally knocked your confidence? Or just maybe you don't think anyone will care or listen to you because you are not good enough or you need something on paper to say you can do it before you start?  

BS. 

Listen, whatever your big idea, whatever your service, skills, expertise or products you have that you want to share with the world, whatever problem you can solve for others - how the hell is anyone going to come get it if you don't put yourself out there consistently?  There are others needing you right now and they can't find you because you say you don't have the time to do more.

BS.

I say that if you want something enough then you will find the time.  If there is something else getting in your way - then dig deep, figure it out and push past it.

 

You've got this  - now go bloody do it.

#noexcuses

 

FM
x

If you have not yet joined our amazing group of Fiercemums then come on over. 

And if you are ready to figure out what you really want and to discover that passion you can turn into work you love then grab my free gift here.

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#Find the Confidence.

So do you consider yourself to be a confident person ...depends on what you are doing?  Yeah me too.
 

We are all confident in some things and less so in others.  It is only natural.  The key is to figure out what you don't feel as confident in and face that fear.

This is a big deal for us mums as having babies and starting a family can sometimes knock your confidence.  Spending so much time being obsessed with everything baby while you are pregnant and then obsessed with everything new mum and baby after your little bundle of joy arrives is a whole life change to adjust too.  Having time off from your normal work and social circles can really take its toll on your self confidence.  

For me it was such a shock and a massive learning curve becoming a mum that I doubted myself straight away.  I didn't think I was cut out to be a 'good enough' mum and I know this can happen to so many like minded professional women who are so used to being control of their own lives, and then your little bundle of joy throws all that out of the window.  It can be a scary time.  The unknown.  But then that is true for most things we are unsure about.

If you haven't done something before then your primal brain starts telling you to be fearful and on alert as this could hurt you.  

You decide to fight, flight or freeze.  If you decide to fight and do it anyway and don't get hurt, your brain gets the message that 'ok I didn't die so maybe this isn't as dangerous or scary as I first thought' - the more you do it, the more you grow in confidence.

Taking action is the best way to reduce your fear.

Are there times that you can think of << Test First Name >> where you have felt like this or experienced something similar?  I have lots.  And I know the women I work with are often trapped by fears that they don't even know exist.  I was for years until I decided to figure myself out.

I have been live on my Facebook Business page every evening to share a tip to give yourself that boost of confidence when you need it.  If you have missed them go take a look and let me know what you think.  

I would love you to share any thoughts or experiences on growing our confidence in our amazing group of supportive ambitious mums.

Remember - If you can dream it then you can do it.  Anything is possible.

You've totally got this.

Love FM
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Am I good enough?

Let's talk about the emotions that surround the 'Am I good enough?' feelings that we all get from time to time.  When we become mothers this can be a regular feeling that crops up and sometimes even though the thoughts are irrational and make no sense - we still sometimes feel that we aren't good enough and we are winging it.  And sometimes we have to.

It can also be known as 'Impostor Syndrome' - have you heard about it?  It is where we believe that we are not good enough at what we are doing and therefore feel we shouldn't really be there or even doing it.  

This fear can stop us doing anything or even starting.

Some people feel like they may be rubbish at parenting or bringing children into this world - so decide not to, or some first time mums feel so inadequate it can lead to postnatal depression, some mums who have younger ones running a muck feel like they can't manage the school run and absolutely dread Monday mornings, but don't tell anyone for fear of being seen as a 'crap' mum.  These feelings are always around whenever we take on new challenges.  

And yes I wing it at being a mum a lot of the time because as soon as I get used to a phase of my kids development - they move on to the next and I have to play catch up.  If I haven't done it before, then it's new territory for me too.  


This is the same for most areas in life, parenting, work, new careers, new hobbies, exercise, self care practices... All of which require you to push yourself out of the safe and cosy space called your comfort zone.  


However as the saying goes - it is a nice place to be (your comfort zone) but nothing ever grows there - and this is so true.  Think of the last time where you really pushed yourself?  Where you were feeling so nervous and excited all at the same time?  Spend a couple of minutes thinking about that time and what you learnt from it ....

I am guessing that it is something around just going for it and telling yourself about the amazing feelings you had after the event and that if you can hang onto those feelings then you could push yourself again and again - good.  

Well you can.  

You are no impostor - and Amy Cuddy talks about it in her ted talk saying 'fake it until you become it' because putting yourself out there and just doing it - is the only way you can become something you want to be.

Amy talks about the importance of body language but also impostor syndrome and that we can all feel like this, but we can work at it until we become it.  Grab a cuppa or glass of vino or whatever you fancy and check it out here.


Let me know your thoughts on this or come over and share with us in our amazing group of Fiercemums - where working mothers are supporting each other through our ups and downs.

You got this.  You are good enough.

 

FM x