If you were fortunate you have been surrounded by family and friends that supported you and cheered you on. You never doubted your ability to tackle a new project or goal. But let's be honest not everyone had this. Many of us, lived in a family situation where we were told why we would fail and that it just was not possible to do the things we longed for. I was in that category and I know many others who grew strong despite the putdowns from others.
I was brought up by my grandparents in a household of many aunts and uncles, 13 to be exact. Try be the little one in a family that size, it was not an easy journey. It could have been great if I was welcomed, but that was not the case. I landed on the doorstep, supposedly for a short term and stayed for 19 years. I also had 6 step brothers and sisters that I never lived with. So here I was stuck in the middle of all these people, not quite knowing my place or how I fit it. That fact was I didn't fit it, I think the stork played a really bad joke by dropping me off there, I never felt I was in the right place and searched for it ever since.
I only have a couple of pictures of myself pre-school age. The one I think is so cute and says so much about me, is the one where I am standing on the back of the sofa in my rooster dress. It was the safest place to be in this crazy family, and I felt invisible and safe up there. I played that invisible game well into my 40's, until I could hide no more. I peeled away the layers by doing extensive personal development training and with that came new self-confidence and an understanding of what motivated me.
So how does someone like me, who was teased, ridiculed and told on a daily basis how I would fail, get pregnant or be a loser, get to where I am today. That is a question you could ask many successful and happy people. I know I am not alone, you may be on the same team. It takes determination, and tons of courage.
Yes an encouraging hug would have been great, but I was motivated by the negativity I was handed. I call it "I'll show you motivator
" I had a job at Leon’s Furniture store selling furniture in my 40's, and our manager keep telling me how I was not cut our for this job. The truth was I really wasn’t, but there was no way I was going to quit and allow him the satisfaction. He was a very smart man and knew that it motivated me when he challenged me. It hurt and I remember feeling like the little girl, with tears running down my face as he was pushing me to be a better salesperson.
There was no way on this earth I would have been a pregnant teen, I would not let them (my family) be right. When I was at a cross roads, those negative, nagging voices, egged me on to do the right thing. And they still do. There are times when I have to stop and think of my true motivation for doing certain things. Is it to prove them wrong or because I really want to do it. And yes even today, those voices I heard as a child still haunt me. But I can flick them away quickly with a few short internal words and move forward.
It doesn’t matter what age you are, if you do not understand what motivates you, it is never to late to get a coach or to do some personal development work. Fabulous@50 has many great coaches and I would be happy to recommend someone to you.
Always remember to be kind, be encouraging and always believe in yourself...if not now, when?
P.S. Isn’t this interesting. Maybe the symbol on my dress had a special meaning for me.
Rooster symbol meanings are all about fanning out with brilliance, and showing the world your shimmering facets of personality. Seeing a brilliantly plumed Rooster in our dreams indicates it is time to let others discover our true selves, and strut our stuff (show our talents) to others.
Dianna Bowes is the founder of Fabulous@50 and the editor of Be Fabulous! Magazine.
Dianna was the winner of the 2011 YWCA Women of Distinction Award in the Turning Point category and the 2014 Leader of Tomorrow Business Award. She is a creative soul, who loves connecting people and embracing life. Travel, great food, family, friends and a long bike ride on a sunny day is her definition of great life.