Resilience and D&I: what do they have in common?

Last week, our Associate Phil Cox ran our first Career Experts session of the year about how to get over the ‘doom and gloom’ many of us are experiencing as a result of the pandemic and the burdens imposed on our personal and professional lives.  In addition to offering practical tips on how to banish the blues, Phil posed (and answered) the question:  why are we – Voice At The Table – talking about resilience?  It isn’t, strictly speaking, a D&I topic!

This point gave me pause as I take it for granted that everything we offer – however far-removed from the Diversity agenda it appears to be – builds the necessary foundation for embracing Diversity.  After all, being open to diverse views and opinions is about being more emotionally intelligent, i.e. having greater self- and social awareness, managing our feelings, understanding why we react to certain things in certain ways and testing our own thoughts and actions.  We engage in a similar process when we aim to mitigate our own biases.

Phil’s session on resilience, therefore, helps us understand our common pitfall thinking and how it influences our mood and behaviour.

Phil made another connection to D&I, about our readiness to embrace new things and learn new habits.

It’s a long journey from intending to be more open to Diversity to being more open to Diversity.  Things get in the way.  Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – as Phil explained in his session – tells us that we can begin to embrace new things and develop new habits only once our more immediate needs have been met (the very basic ones being food, shelter and psychological safety).  A person who is feeling unhappy is going to be less inclined to open their mind to new things, to experiment with new habits and be generally more open to learning and development.  Even if we have already started the journey, when we’re tired, sad or stressed, we’re prone to falling into old habits, reacting to things more emotionally rather than rationally, and overall we’re less prepared to see the positive.  These negative reactions are the adversary of the open mindedness we need in order to become more welcoming of Diversity.  To help us become more open-minded again, Phil explained the importance of conquering our doom and gloom (something most of us have the power to do ourselves), outlined the most common unhelpful inner dialogue and shared his tips  on how to address it.

So whether we’re interested in becoming more emotionally intelligent or we want to be in the best mental shape to embrace new habits (whatever they may be) – or whether we simply want to feel happier – getting rid of unhelpful thoughts should be at the top of our list.

If you liked this blog, you may also like Five Ways to Banish the Winter Blues

Our Top Five New and Recurring Diversity and Inclusion Trends of 2021

2020 was an extraordinary year for Diversity and Inclusion and, thankfully perhaps, it is now over. We now have the advantage of looking back through the year to better understand what lessons we have learned and what will continue to evolve in 2021. Here’s my list of five new and continuing trends for Diversity and Inclusion this year:

  1. Diversity & Inclusion at the top of the corporate agenda

Last year was a wake-up call for many companies as the BLM movement highlighted the deep-rooted, latent biases that prevent Black people from progressing. Once recognised, many companies realised the only way to combat bias is with a more rigorous and responsible approach to Diversity and Inclusion. Some have responded by introducing company-wide initiatives that lay the responsibility of progress at the feet of both the leadership team as well as each individual staff member. Voice At The Table is involved in several such programmes and is delighted to, finally, be part of more impactful change.

  1. The Evolution of Language

Use of language has two sides: one is to ensure that the words we use in our communication do not betray ingrained biases and outdated beliefs; the other is giving people the words they need to express what it’s like to be on the receiving end of bias.

Outdated language: the surge to eradicate words from our vocabulary that betray racism, sexism and other “isms” started last year with the purge of terms like white and black lists, master and slave servers, master bedrooms and so on. Our language has evolved to include antiquated standards without us noticing – until now, it seems.  Many a business has been named and shamed for the use of callous terminology that alienates employees, customers and other stakeholders.

You might recall the H&M incident a couple of years ago.

 

Words to express bias: Until recently, people weren’t sure how to explain why D&I is good for business, how it feels to be on the receiving end of microaggressions and what indirect discrimination looks like. With increasing emphasis on Diversity and Equality-related subjects, stories are emerging that showcase discrimination in a way that others understand. “Systemic racism” and “white privilege” are now recognised terms. Companies and people are woke to terminology that captures and expresses conditions that, not so long ago, while rampant, were not visible to most. This change will afford people opportunities to better explain the latent unfairness they may be experiencing.

  1. Diversity in the Public Eye

Diversity isn’t just important to companies, it has become a topic du jour for society. More and more films, TV programmes, theatre productions, art exhibitions, sports events and written materials occupy themselves with the topic and reflect society in a more authentic and accurate manner. Think of Netflix’s Bridgerton and BBC’s Small Axe. Consider all-female football and rugby teams now being afforded more screen time. Think about art exhibitions celebrating Black female artists and articles dedicated to female artists. While still in its infancy, this is a growing trend.

  1. Working From Home

Both a blessing and a curse, working from home is most certainly here to stay. It has, unfortunately, been as much a villain – particularly for women – as it has been a saviour – giving many of us an opportunity to wrap our careers around the rest of our lives. While the pandemic keeps wreaking havoc, we will continue to make our homes also our offices.  What happens after is still a mystery, but I’d venture a solid guess that we won’t be returning to the office on a full-time basis.

  1. Women are back in focus

The 2020 pandemic hit women hard. They bore the greater burden of the job loss predicament, having to exchange their careers for home-schooling and caring duties. Companies in the UK were also given a reprieve from Gender Gap Reporting in 2020 – a retrograde step for our legislative progress[i].

As a result, the focus on hiring, retaining and supporting women in the work force has returned, particularly in the Tech sector. The good news is that, while we continue to applaud efforts made by companies to level the playing field, many women have taken matters into their own hands by highlighting the issues and fighting to regain lost ground. Like NASDAQ’s CEO Adena Friedman who is pushing for more Diversity in the Boardroom, as reported by the New York Times in December.

Here at Voice At The Table, we will continue to work with you on developing your D&I strategy, helping you assess the levels of Diversity and/or Inclusion in your organisation, and helping you implement impactful culture change initiatives that will ensure that your organisation garners the benefits of diversity both for the business and for each individual.

To find out how we can help you on your Diversity journey, please get in touch with me.

[i] It would be remiss of me not to mention the fact that women have also been let down by governments and society when it comes to protecting them from domestic abuse which always rears its ugly head during pandemics.

Active Voice: 5 Ways to Banish those Winter Blues

While we’re all happy to see the back of 2020, we may be grappling with the annual post-Christmas despondency amid short, winter days and the cloak of Covid continuing to mute our freedoms, lifestyle and habits. But the days are (gradually) lengthening and the vaccine is being rolled out and there are many ways to stay positive. We show you how.

  1. Get Moving: When the Mercury falls to single digits, throwing on your trainers and Lycra and braving the elements can easily play second – or no – fiddle to slumping on the sofa with a hot cup of tea and starting another Netflix series. But experts agree that exercise is a great way to boost your mood. It triggers the release of endorphins into the bloodstream, relieving pain and producing a feeling of well-being. A lack of exercise increases your risk of anxiety and depression.
  2. Stop over-thinking: People often dwell on problems, going over and over the same negative thoughts without making any progress to resolve them. If you’ve been worrying about a problem for 30 minutes or more without coming up with a plan of action, or you’ve been going over questions with no answers, it’s time to stop. The main objective is to shift your focus from worries to practical problem-solving. Stop and ask yourself what steps you can take to address the problem, break it into realistic components and set about taking the bull by the horns.
  3. Set a new target: Drawing up a new goal helps to focus the mind. It could be something big and demanding, like learning a new language or something small like challenging yourself to read more or switch off your screen an hour before going to bed. If it’s outside your comfort zone, and it’s pushing you forward, it gives you a focus and a sense of control. This, in turn can give you a sense of self-worth.
  4. Reach out to people: The pandemic has made it a lot harder to be with others in person, and winter can make it even less attainable. That’s a big issue for millions of people and the mental health consequences for some will be serious. So, try to maximise social contact opportunities. Isolated people are more likely to focus on themselves and this can make them feel even more alone. Reach out when you can, and if Covid-19 means you can’t do that in person, make that phone call to a friend, or arrange to talk online.
  5. Train yourself to be optimistic: Optimists live longer, have better relationships and better immune systems. Try writing down three things – each day – that you’re grateful about, to force yourself to focus on what’s gone well and why. It’ll fire up the left-hand side of your brain, which is associated with positivity. Emotions are contagious, so try to steer away from negative, glass-half-empty people who are constantly complaining, otherwise you’ll find yourself becoming one of those people too!

And if you want more advice on how to banish the blues, email us to obtain the recording of our recent virtual session on this topic by psychotherapist and coach Phil Cox.

Happy 21st Birthday to the 21st Century!

By Melissa Jackson

2020 has been beheaded, hung, drawn and quartered and accurately demonised as an annus horribilis. So, let’s move on. This year sees the 21st century come of age, so let’s celebrate. I’m optimistic that 2021 will give us all something to look forward to. Here are some of the highlights that I’d like to share with you.

I’m going to dive straight in and declare that I’ll be appreciatively cheering, from this side of the pond, the inauguration of Joe Biden – the 46th US president – on Wednesday 20th January and equally – his right-hand woman – Kamala Harris, the first female and woman of colour vice president in American history. I believe this is a turning point for the country and for women in the US and that, if Kamala’s reign inspires other women to go into politics, optimistically, in four years’ time we will see at least one female candidate running for the top job.

More vaccines. We cannot thank scientists enough for their relentless pursuit and deliverance of Covid-defeating vaccines, some of which are now in circulation, including Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford Astra-Zenica and Moderna, to name but three. There are others being developed or trialled in different countries, including Russia, Germany and Australia. The greatest challenge now is supply and distribution to ensure mass immunisation.

The surcharge on women’s sanitary products took effect on 1st January. This will reportedly save the average woman almost £40 over their lifetime – with a tax cut of 7p on a pack of 20 tampons and 5p on a pack of 12 pads. It’s a huge achievement in the fight to end period poverty.

There may be a slow return to mass gatherings at concert and theatre venues, but, for eclectic music fans, Eurovision is on. The ever-popular and extravagantly camp Song Contest, which was postponed from 2020, is currently pencilled in for May in Rotterdam. Will the UK receive nil points for exiting the EU? You’ll have to tune in to find out.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics were paused because of the pandemic, but are now scheduled for July 2021. This is a huge boost for the world’s elite athletes who are engaged in a punishing training schedule to prepare for the international event. It may not resemble the traditional Olympic competition as we know it, but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has stated that it will be a “simpler, more restrained approach”.

It’s the 75th anniversary of BBC Radio’s Woman’s Hour. In its long history, the show has tackled challenging and controversial topics and had a host of illustrious female presenters (despite initially being hosted by a man). The Queen, who is reportedly an avid listener, described Woman’s Hour as a “friend, guide and advocate to women everywhere” in a message sent to the BBC Radio 4 programme – at the beginning of the year – in tribute to its landmark birthday.

And staying with the Queen, Her Majesty, who is already the longest-reigning monarch in British history, will celebrate her 95th birthday in April. Her husband will mark his centenary in June. Covid-permitting perhaps we’ll be able to hang up the festive bunting and indulge in some good old-fashioned street parties, bringing communities together for a much-needed, morale-boosting national celebration.

We All Have Value to Bring to the Table!

Guest Blog by Leila Singh

How often do you find yourself holding back from speaking up, be that sharing ideas, opinions, asking questions, or simply reaching out to connect with others? I’d like to set you on a course for 2021 to value yourself and channel your thoughts and experiences into positive energy to strengthen your self-belief and empower you to take control of your life both professionally and personally.

There are many factors at play which may prevent us from speaking up, these include –

  1. We feel that our voice is not worthy of being heard;
  2. A previous bad experience when we did speak up
  3. Worry about judgement and others’ opinions
  4. Lack of confidence and self-belief in ourselves and our abilities
  5. An inferiority complex, perhaps due to how we look or sound, perceived lack of knowledge or education, our diverse background

Many people are surprised to discover that I was once this person, afraid of speaking up, due to having a huge inferiority complex – because of how I looked.

Whilst struggling with extreme acne from age 11 through to my late 20s, I exacerbated the problem in my head – with thoughts of how ugly I was, others’ judgement of me, and a subsequent lack of confidence in the workplace. I chose to hide rather than stand out. I didn’t want to be noticed.

By not speaking up, what has this cost you in the past?

  • Sharing Ideas – Perhaps a colleague raised a similar idea, it was implemented, and they received kudos for this
  • Sharing opinions – Maybe sharing your opinion would have prevented problems occurring or accelerated results, for you or your team
  • Asking questions – Possibly your question was asked by someone else (often the case), or by not asking, it created delays or issues further down the line, a misunderstanding, or worse yet a huge mistake, warning or disciplinary due to having a lack of clarity at the outset
  • Reaching out to connect with others – Perhaps you missed opportunities to increase your visibility, expand your network, make yourself and your skills and knowledge known, or others aware of your talents and achievements, which resulted on being overlooked for a new challenge, project, or promotion, worse yet, not being considered for a pay rise or bonus.

Embarking on a new career, taking myself outside my comfort zone, leaving accountancy to become a recruitment consultant, placed me in a position which left me no choice but to speak up and make myself known. It was here that I learned that ‘we all have value to bring to the table, everyone is equal’, as I had both clients and candidates listening and valuing what I had to say.

What I have learned is that much of what holds us back are our own thoughts.

The factors at play are all a result of our thoughts, even the bad experiences.

In other words, we often hold on to past experiences, we unwittingly create generic beliefs and expectations that those experiences will re-occur, and consequently they often do. They become our truth, when in fact they began merely as an experience.

By realising and tuning into the power of our thoughts and re-framing them to those that serve and encourage us, by focusing on what we do want, rather than what we don’t, we get to have a different experience.

Consider this –

  • My voice is worthy of being heard
  • My past experiences do not determine my future
  • Others’ will judge no matter what; that is their business
  • Confidence comes from within (my thoughts)
  • Inferiority comes from my own inner dialogue

Set yourself the intention this year of creating a habit of tuning into your inner thoughts and dialogue and recognising where they are not serving you. Then reframe your thoughts to positive ones.

Remember: Our experiences are a result of how we choose to respond to any given situation. Change your response (thoughts), change your outcome.

 

Biography:

Leila’s’ corporate career of 25 years combines a wealth of experience initially gained as a qualified accountant (FCCA), followed by 16 years spent at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, with seven years in Corporate Finance & Treasury and thereafter nine years as a successful Sales Executive delivering a little shy of $1bn of business.

In parallel, during the last six years Leila has established her Personal Brand and Coaching Practice, mi-brand, where she is enabling driven and highly motivated career & business professionals at all levels, to establish their competitive advantage in their organisation and industry, and accelerate their career, by creating a powerful personal brand!

Leila is a TEDx Speaker, Accredited Master Coach (IAPC&M), Coach Trainer & Speaker Mentor, Certified NLP Master Practitioner (ABNLP), Author and Podcast Host of mi-brand HQ.

leila@leilasingh.com

TEDx Talk

mi-brand HQ – Personal Branding for Career Acceleration

The Most Impactful Diversity and Inclusion Trends of 2020

2020 has been an odd year for Diversity and Inclusion. On the one hand, it’s been a terrible year for women: they took a disproportional hit of 50% of all job losses – though they comprise just two fifths of the global workforce – according to the World Economic Forum. There are also serious concerns about increased domestic abuse and other manners of intersectional discrimination that women have suffered. On the other hand, the fallout from the #BlackLivesMatter movement has forced many companies to take a hard look at their own D&I practices and set a new course for a more meaningful D&I agenda.

As a result, apart from a short blip in our productivity around the first Lockdown, Voice At The Table had many opportunities to support, influence and observe D&I developments across a broad range of organisations. Let me therefore share with you my top five most impactful trends that I witnessed this year.

  1. Safe Space Conversations

Following the outcry of #BlackLivesMatter, many organisations offered their staff a forum in which they could safely share their experiences of being Black. Anticipating good participation, most organisations were blown away by the interest in both speaking out and in listening to these experiences. These safe-space conversations provided not only a forum for sharing experiences, but also a space that brought together employees of different backgrounds with a strong desire to act and solve the raised challenges around systemic racism, microaggressions and other covert forms of discrimination.  Safe space conversations proved so popular and impactful that many organisations have pledged to continue to host them in their own right as a full-fledged initiative to help table some of the unstated currents that run through our society and work culture.

  1. Inclusive Behaviours

Many organisations have begun to realise that without efforts around Inclusion, their Diversity efforts are less impactful. As a result, they opted to focus on laying the foundation of an inclusive work environment before layering it with Diversity initiatives. In doing so, it became important to them to understand what it means to be truly inclusive. As one example, many of our clients adopted our Eight Inclusive Behaviours model that not just identifies the types of behaviours to focus on but shows how to continue to develop each of these behaviours both as an individual and as a team in order to become more inclusive.

  1. Neutralising Terminology

‘Woke’ organisations realised that words matter. Everything, from policies to job descriptions to company reports to town hall speeches, is being scrutinised for gender-neutral and inclusive language to ensure that words do not unintentionally alienate. Antiquated terminology that conveys latent racism – such as blacklist/whitelist, blackball, black mark, master/slave, etc. – is being converted to words that convey the intended meaning without invoking racism. Leaders are being sensitised to the use of their words to ensure they set the bar for inclusive use of language that is aligned with the company’s inclusion values.

 4. Inclusive Leadership

Leadership is being redefined. Mature leaders are being urged to add a layer of leadership skills to those they have already developed that allows them to be more conscious of blind-spots, to be fair in doling out opportunities across the entire team – not just to a chosen few – to be humble and more vulnerable in their demeanour in order to appeal to the changed priorities of today’s and tomorrow’s workforce. These practices – often already part of the norm in less senior leaders and managers – are being emphasised alongside other business-related priorities, and efforts are in place to support leadership in developing these additional skills.

  1. Flexible Working

The biggest shift that the pandemic brought to our work is logistical. According to some data, 60% of the UK adult population is currently working from home. This change brought many surprising developments to Diversity. Working from home enabled many more people with disabilities to perform roles that they wouldn’t have been able to perform previously.  It gave opportunities to many women to fit the much-needed flexibility into their work-life routine. It proved to companies that working from home can be done successfully and that it is a sustainable model that will allow companies to attract a wider variety of talent. One such example is Zurich Insurance in the UK, which was able to attract more diverse candidates by advertising many of its senior positions as ‘flexible’, ‘part-time’ or ‘open to job-share’.

These are my observations. I would love to hear your observations about what has worked well in your organisation this year.

Next month, I will share with you what I predict to be the 2021 biggest D&I trends.

Until then, I hope you have a restful holiday season and a healthy and happy New Year.

If you liked this post, try reading this one.

Don’t Be Too Hard on 2020 – It Wasn’t All Bad

By Melissa Jackson

The other day, I was reminded of a meme that went viral (pardon the pun) during the height of the Covid pandemic. It parodied a scene from Back to the Future, where the Doc warns the movie’s hero, “Whatever happens Marty, don’t ever go to 2020.” It sums up what a terrible year it’s been for everyone. But amid the gloom, there have been some bright lights, so let’s end the year on a positive note and celebrate the best bits.

Surely, the most heart-warming event was when, 99-year-old British war veteran Captain (now Sir) Tom Moore, raised the nation’s morale – during the dark days of the peak of the pandemic – and £33 million for the NHS.

He started out on his unanticipated route to fame by walking 100 laps of his garden, wearing his service medals and using his walking frame for support, hoping to collect £1,000 for the Health Service! His efforts earned him a knighthood, a biopic – which is currently in production – and led him to record a cover of You’ll Never Walk Alone—reaching No. 1 in the charts. Now, having turned 100, Sir Tom has launched a new campaign with the hashtag #WalkWithTom to raise money to combat loneliness and support the bereaved.

Devastating though the disease has been on all our lives, there have been signs that changes in behaviour – due to Covid-19 – have triggered a number of environmental benefits; with many countries reporting cleaner air, beaches and less traffic over lockdown.

It also brought out a sense of community, most noticeably when the nation got behind the NHS to take part in the weekly Clap for Carers. It was a ritual that united the country, with applause rising from doorsteps and smiles and waves shared between neighbours who had never previously acknowledged each other. Fed up with being isolated in our homes, suburban streets became a social hub galvanising us to speak together as never before.

Our change in habits, prompted by Covid, may have had a beneficial effect on global warming, with CO2 emissions expected to drop by 7% this year, according to estimates made by the Global Carbon Project (GCP). It suggests these emissions will clock in at 34bn tonnes of CO2 (GtCO2) this year – a fall of 2.4GtCO2 compared to 2019.

This annual decline is the biggest absolute drop in emissions ever recorded, the researchers say, and the largest relative fall since the second world war.

Thanks to the tireless work of young activists such as Amika George, founder of not-for-profit organisation Free Periods, free sanitary products are now available from the government for girls across the UK. In June this year, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern followed suit, announcing that her government would pay for period products in schools in an attempt to end period poverty, which sees girls across the globe missing lessons while having periods due to the prohibitive cost of sanitary products.

Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford successfully pressurised the government into pledging £400 million to provide free school meal support for children whose families were struggling financially. Rashford spearheaded a remarkable campaign that saw over a million people sign a petition in favour of free school meals. His action was the catalyst for dozens of communities across the country that enlisted local volunteers to deliver food packages to families in need during school holidays.

Kamala Harris made history as the first woman Vice President of the United States. Moreover, she is the first Black and the first Asian-American US vice president elect too. “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last,” Harris, 56, declared in her victory speech, “Every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.”

Finally, we have several Covid vaccines – a Christmas present to the world. And more encouragingly, at the forefront of the UK’s Oxford/Astra Zeneca jab are two women – Professor Sarah Gilbert and Professor Catherine Green – two names that will forever be associated with the pandemic in a (life-changing) positive light. I hope they receive the recognition they deserve in the New Year’s Honours list.

If you liked this post, try reading this one.

Further reading/viewing:

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/final-clap-for-carers-when-annemarie-plas-begin-a4452961.html

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/work/meet-sarah-gilbert-female-scientist-leading-oxford-vaccine-team/

The BBC’s list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2020

https://www.carbonbrief.org/global-carbon-project-coronavirus-causes-record-fall-in-fossil-fuel-emissions-in-2020

Active Voice: Poets’ Corner – Giving a Voice to our Creative Talents

We are departing from our traditional Active Voice “tips” this month to bring you a collection of thought-provoking and evocative poems, created by us – the good folk of Voice At The Table. We asked everyone on our core team to “get creative” and we’d like to “gift” our rhymes to you as a Christmas treat. Enjoy…

Twenty-twenty came to a halt!

Twenty-twenty had a big fault;

All the world’s brainiacs, brilliant women and men;

Scrambling for a vaccine so we can party again!

 

But life goes on and we are near the end

Of this peculiar year when facemask is a trend

Lockdowns, quarantines, two metres, even better

The days of 2020, we shall fondly remember… not!

By Alice Hutton

 

 

Make America great again, he said

I will build a great wall, he said

We need global warming, he said

Grab them by the p*ssy, he said

I’m smart, I don’t pay taxes, he said

I don’t need to wear a mask, he said

The election was rigged, he said

Go away Donald, you’re done, the world said

By Jane Ashley

 

 

Dancing Leaves

Where do the leaves go?

When the wind blows?

Dancing and playing,

Twisting and turning

Funnelling upwards,

Spinning and falling,

Whirling like dervishes,

A Tango, a Rumba,

Better than Strictly!

By Melissa Jackson

 

 

Disruption

Disruption has upped its game

Disruption has just gone full-time

Disruption is here to stay

What are you going to do about it?

You can’t discipline it

You can’t make it redundant

You certainly can’t furlough it!

You just have to deal with it

How do you deal with it?

You have to meander, like a river runs through it

You have to find a way

Disruption is here to stay

You have to sit with it

Entertain it

Pour it a nice cup of tea

Interact with it

Even do a Zoom, when it feels like doom and gloom!

Disruption is our new and unknown best friend

Go on, I dare you, open your arms and give it a big warm hug!

By Joyce Osei

A Dreamer am I

Roses are red

Violets are blue

We all have our colours

Your beauty is within you

We bow to tradition

Convention is King

But people are different –

That’s the value we bring

Imagine a world full of Lemmings at work

Imagine the monotonous drone of their quirk

Forget creativity, forget innovation

All of us slaves of our own limitation

But enter the prize of a more tolerant mind: a creature of wonder – one of a kind.

Emotion is stirred

Our pulse quickly rising

Our sense of vitality oh so surprising.

Diversity is the intrinsic value we bring

Our beautiful minds full of marvel and zing.

Be sure to invite it – just open your mind!

The eyes will then follow – leave all fear behind.

Your roses still red and the violets still blue

But you’ve taken a leap

Now your dreams will come true.

By Rina Goldenberg Lynch

 

 

Ahhh the ever-present voice of self-doubt

It sits in my brain, sucking the oxygen from the fire in my belly

“You can’t do this”, “no one cares”, “don’t bother”, it roars

And the fire, once raging, fuelled by an explosion of ideas

It dampens

Subdued by an impossible list

And yet the embers still glow

Persistent, impatient, encouraging

And so, I pause

Take a breath

Think

What is one thing I can do right now?

And I do it with no expectation of anything more.

By Jude Sclater

If you liked this post, try reading this one.