I've been getting a lot of "Who said you could do that..." questions from women recently.
For example, I was speaking at an author's conference recently to an audience of readers and book lovers. A woman raised her hand tentatively during the question and answer session. We made eye contact and I could see how hesitant she was feeling. She began by sharing that she had earned a degree in journalism followed by a master's degree in creative writing, and then she began to stammer and blush. I knew what she wanted to ask. I waited. The room got uncomfortable. So I said, "Are you asking how it is that I have written 13 books without a degree in writing?" (I get that question a lot 😉) She replied, "Actually I'm wondering who told you that you were allowed to become an author without a writing degree"
Three days later I was teaching a LinkedIn makeover workshop and I suggested the women use the hashtag #bethtoldme when stepping out of their comfort zones to create their first original posts. Amongst the laughter, a member of the audience shouted out, "I've been wanting to ask since I first saw that posted, WHO gave you permission to create your own hashtag?"
There was a time when questions like these would have caused me to feel shame and embarrassment, but I now know that what these women are asking is not Who do you think you are?
What they really want to know is:
Do I have permission to do that, too?
The truth is, no one has ever told me that I could not:
write a book
host a workshop myself
record my own audio and videos
buy a house without a husband
invest in the stock market
invest in real estate
take a trip by myself
speak at colleges even though I don't have a degree
be a social media influencer
have meetings with CEOs of large companies
use a hashtag
Because I. NEVER. ASKED.
And you don't have to either.
You were born for a reason. You have a purpose. If you're miserable, unhappy, and unfulfilled, chances are you've been separated from that purpose. You've fallen into the people-pleasing, gold-star-earning trap of life that starts to trick us as soon as we begin preschool. You've been taught to sit still, be quiet, don't stand out, be seen, be heard, or make others uncomfortable. Don't be too smart, too visible, or too loud. That happens.
Today, I'm giving you permission to re-visit that dream. Activate your vision, and re-ignite your passion. If anyone asks "Who said you could do that?" Tell them, #BethToldMe. 😀.
Want to break through your self-sabotage and start living that dream? Join my new business accelerator for women. This week we're covering social media strategies. Join here.
Want to learn more about Imposter Syndrome and how you can overcome that? Watch the masterclass here.
Save for whenever you need a reminder: