Written by: Andrée Funnell, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Have you heard of Emmeline Pankhurst?
Emmeline was born in Manchester, UK, in 1858. She was the daughter of very forward-thinking parents for their time, Robert and Sophia Goulden. She was highly instrumental in forming the UK's Suffragette Movement and in doing so she eventually brought about the right for women to vote. In the 1800-1900s, society had the view that women had a far lesser role to play than their male counterparts and that their worth as a human being was also far less.
Imagine that back in the early 1900's when the Edwardian society was still feeling embarrassed by their gaudy Victorian parents, the incredible struggle that Emmeline must have endured. She was arrested and thrown in prison many times because she believed women should have more rights, especially the simple, most precious right of all, the right to vote.
You could be forgiven for thinking, 'hey, hang on a minute, this is an attempt to promote feminist views'. The answer is no, and the article is not designed to promote any kind of political agenda. The point I am trying to highlight is the sheer belief that Emmeline held deep within herself. This deep belief and determination to succeed are key traits of a successful Leader/Entrepreneur.
These key traits, plus many others such as empathy, drive, motivation, communication, and emotional intelligence, are how leaders and successful people are able to implement change that ultimately affects their future and the future of others.
Today women still face what is known as ‘The Glass Ceiling’ in many organizations. When I was a Senior Manager in a corporate organization that tended to be male dominant, I too found life difficult. I often faced discriminatory remarks relating to the fact that females should be at home. During the seven years working as a Senior HR & Training Manager in this organization, women in the boardroom were unrepresented.
So here is the question that springs to mind.
What keeps successful female leaders going in the face of adversity? Where does the strength to survive and succeed come from?
The simple answer is the belief in our own power.
The Power of One
If women from history such as Queen Victoria, Marie Curie, Rosa Parks, Marie Stopes, Diana Princess of Wales, Margaret Thatcher can succeed: then what is stopping YOU.
The point of writing about these most incredible women is to demonstrate that no matter what you face, what gender you are, how much you feel trapped, how much you want to change, or how much you face the disapproval of others, you also have that same power within you.
Limiting beliefs are what constrain us in some way and limit our outcomes and achievements in life. They are about us and our self-identity. We form our beliefs through our direct and past experiences which we have drawn a conclusion from. We may have beliefs about rights, duties, abilities, permissions and so on and these beliefs create our view of the world in general or about other people.
What we have to accept is that our elders and teachers are not always that well-informed. They tell us right from wrong, good and bad, to help guide us on our journey through life. However, authority figures telling you something is impossible or damaging may prevent you from trying new things.
Past experiences are what we hold onto. The image of ourselves and our self-respect is affected by an event, statement, or action projected by someone else such as an authority figure i.e. a parent, teacher, or loved one. These behaviors or actions will produce a categorization that will stay with you throughout your life, unless action is taken to identify, understand and remove the belief.
If your Limiting Beliefs are holding you back from achieving the life or the success you desire, then you need to take action.
How can you do this?
Turn your limiting beliefs into positive, EMPOWERING BELIEFS. My own personal example would be:
Limiting belief: – ‘I am not good enough.’
Positive belief: – ‘I am unique, I am as good as the next person, and I can do anything I put my mind to and achieve great results’.
As individuals, we draw on many helpful lessons from learning about inspiring people like Emmeline Pankhurst and others I have mentioned in this article.
In order to identify how to move forward to become an Empowering and successful individual, ask yourself:
Do I feel powerful enough to change my life?
What is acceptable to me?
What do I feel unable to accept that I am currently accepting?
What limiting beliefs am I holding onto?
What is my purpose and passion in life?
I know from the many clients I see that when I ask them to tell me who they actually are, they look at me with a blank expression and they struggle to answer the question.
This tells me that they've become so bogged down in the details of life, that they know their friends better than themselves and that over time; they have become a complete stranger to who they really are and have become in-authentic.
Whether you're male or female, if you want to bring positive change to your current life or circumstances, the first line of action you need to take is to begin questioning and often change your perception of the way in which you see your own world. If you want to live an AUTHENTIC and EMPOWERING LIFE, then take a shrewd and honest view of what you currently believe about yourself, the environment you live in, and the role others play in shaping your life.
It's all about the questions you ask inwardly and the dialogue you have with yourself, then taking a leap of faith in making choices and decisions that are right for you.
Andrée Funnell, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Andrée is a multi- award winning Coach, Learning & Development consultant, best-selling author and speaker, who is the founder and driving force behind the success of Aspiring Future Competence (AFC). Since its inception in 2002, AFC has helped clients across a wide range of business sectors to get visible, get heard and get ahead by applying inspirational ways to bring about positive change and empowerment. She has over 20 years HR & training experience working in corporate organisations and a further 18 years delivering development solutions that make a difference to people’s careers and lives. She is a qualified coach, professional trainer and NLP Practitioner. She discovered that Authenticity is the key to happiness, fulfillment and success and is keen to get the message out there to others. ‘Behind the Mask’ is Andrée’s literary debut about ‘Authenticity’. It’s an essential interactive step by step guide to turning your life around and achieving the kind of life you deserve by living authentically.