How’s your Thursday going? We’re both recovering from what has been quite an intense past few weeks. It’s been exciting but pretty full on, and now lucky Phan is on a beach, and I am keeping my envy at bay by spending a worrying amount of time in & Other Stories. Needs must.

I’ve also been doing quite a bit of thinking. This is always a bonus, as some weeks pass in a logistical haze of meetings and events and our brains don’t seem to be able to compute much else.

So let me share my current thought with you, and it’s a pretty big one. Really, there is only one talent that separates those who achieve their dreams (whatever those dreams may be: big, small, somewhere in between) and those who don’t.

And it’s this: self-belief. Yes, I know that sounds like a big, nebulous concept that none of us ever achieve. And in a sense, there’s something in that. It’s not like you wake up one day and think, “Ooo, my self-esteem is finally at max, let’s do this.”. At its heart self-esteem is about believing in yourself.

All of us have days when we feel like shit. That’s a given. When stuff goes wrong, when we can’t motivate ourselves, when our work never seems to get done. That’s normal. That’s normal even for people overflowing with self-esteem. We’re realists, no one feels great about themselves all of the time, but (BIG BUT) you need to believe in yourself some of the time. You need to be able to be proud of yourself (warts and all) and put your best foot forward if you’re going to get the career you want.

That’s the crux of this thought.

We know through personal experience, and through many hundreds of hours of working with all sorts of wonderful women that the common thread amongst all of us is the perilous voice inside our heads: we constantly put ourselves down. It’s female nature. The women who are able to sometimes put those thoughts under lock and key though, who think “Fuck it, I know I’m not the best presenter in the world, but I’m going to smash this pitch”, are the ones who will, for sure, make their dreams a reality in the end.

A positive mental attitude doesn’t just alter your own actions, it emits from you too: others can easily read positivity and belief. And that counts for plenty. Think about the woman in your office who just seems to be bossing it on every front. Clearly, she isn’t, but her attitude, that self-esteem and self-belief, which she wears alongside her cool dress and trendy boots, is pretty seductive.

Look, we know that this one email isn’t going to be able to singlehandedly build your self-esteem, but we want it to be a catalyst for you to make a small but important mental shift.

You are unique.

You are brilliant.

You can do this.

Have these as your daily mantra. No one else in this world can make your dreams come true, so let’s do ourselves a favour be kinder inside our heads. Your dreams are everything so don’t give up on them just because you’re feeling a bit heavy boots about life. We all have the ability to make our lives what we want them to be.

Yes, it might be an uphill struggle, but you can get there if you allow yourself the gift of self-belief.

Right, let’s all have a positive, productive afternoon.

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