“It’s an amazing feeling: to be truly celebrated, and not merely tolerated”.

Whoah – what a statement!

My fellow members of the Mastermind Group looked at each other, and nodded in agreement.  Our colleague Julie had hit the nail on the head.

We were coming to the end of a three month programme of Mastermind Meetings, and we were making some final reflections on what we had got out of the programme.  And Julie was explaining just how much she was stepping into, and fully assuming, her “Julie-ness”.

Her statement resonated for me in so many ways as I build my business bit by bit.  But maybe not as you might first think.

For me, what resonated about celebration was not about being lauded up hill and down dale.

What resonated was the idea of being seen for who I really am, and celebrated for that – not just merely tolerated.

What’s wrong with a bit of pink?  😉

I have spent so many years in the past trying to fit into a box – a box of corporate life.  Where wearing a bit too much pink (my favourite thing in the world at the time was a fuchsia pink coat that I wore to meet my clients), or whistling a little bit too much on the way to the coffee machine, was seen as being way too far out of the box.

Ok, to be fair, I was working as a tax consultant – and, let’s be honest, as a tax consultant, or an auditor, a lawyer or an IT person – there is a certain expectation of what you are going to be like.  Of what “box” you need to fit in to.  Irrespective of how good you are at tax, or audit, or law, or IT.

I spent a long time trying to fit into that box – and I must admit that as I advanced in my career, the box probably got bigger, as the people I worked with saw what I was capable of, even if I did wear pink, and even if I did whistle.  But sometimes I did feel like I was merely tolerated because of how good I was at tax – not celebrated because of how good I was at being me.

And boy, it’s good not to have to fit into a box any more.

I’m working on a bunch of fun stuff at the moment to start in September, including a Meetup group called Luxembourg Powerhouses.  It will be a Meetup for purpose led business women, to help our members play bigger by creating a supportive and collaborative community around them.

And as I do so, every element in this is about me showing up and being me – and trusting that it will be enough.   That by me having the courage to show up and step out of the box, I will encourage others to do the same.

That by all of us being ourselves, we can all be celebrated for who we are, and not just merely tolerated as being too different.

What are you up to at the moment that allows you to show up for who you truly are – and not just try to fit into a box?

Here’s to being ourselves!