I've spoken to women from all over the planet, and am often amazed how, when I comment on something they said or did that has inspired me, they blush or brush my comment away. Why? We work hard, we love passionately, and we do a damn fine job at many things. So, why are we overly-humbled to the point of crawling under a log, when others tell us we might have helped them push through a barrier or kept going? Or better still, started something they otherwise would not have?
On my quest to understand why we love inspirational women so much, so long as it is not us, I travelled back to basics: the dictionary. It wasn't much help! Inspirational meant 'to inspire'. Doh! Until, I stumbled on this much better explanation:
Simple Definition of inspire
to make (someone) want to do something
to give (someone) an idea about what to do or create
to cause (something) to happen or be created
to cause someone to have (a feeling or emotion)
Think about it carefully. You help your children to grow into well-mannered individuals. You nurture your staff to create your vision. You build your brand. You share your story so that others feel they aren't on their journey alone. You take a risk to open your business. You send off a press release in the hope someone will read it. You apply for a job you may not get.
You are inspiring others every day, every way! There are loads of examples!
You don't need a million dollar empire to be inspirational! Sure, that makes it easier to identify who is out there making money. But it doesn't necessarily prove that they are inspiring anyone. They could be selfish egotists, out for themselves. So can we clear that one away? Money does not create success. Nor should it be a symbol of success. It can certainly be a reflection of the journey, but it is not success of itself.
Some women are inspirational simply because they got out of bed this morning. They might be going through cancer, depression, a death, divorce, loss. They might be turning up to the gym, saying no to the third bottle (or glass) of wine.
Have a look around you. I bet you can spot dozens of inspirational women.
I have a friend who stopped drinking five months ago. She wrote a blog recently about that journey. Without casting herself as superior, she simply shared her story. That was it. And now, I am juicing for six days as a result of that blog. It is a direct result of her opening her heart, and sharing her journey.
She does not consider herself inspirational at all. She has no choice in it! She made me want to do something after causing me to have an emotion. She helped point out that I needed to take care of my health. She inspired me.
We often gear our brains to compare. I love Janine Allis. She also inspires me, but not because of her empire. I met her last year for an hour in Ubud and was amazed at how real she was, a true mum and wife, with some pretty awesome ways of looking at her life.
I am also inspired by Lisa Messenger, and a dozen women who barely rank on Google. But oh my, how we love to line ourselves up with the rich ones at the top, and then somehow, push ourselves off the bottom. We tell ourselves we are not worthy, and when someone invites us to tell our inspirational story, we twiddle our thumbs and look down (metaphorically) in embarrassment.
Ladies, I want this to stop! You are amazing! You have inspired, and you are inspirational.
But, I hear some of you ask...why share my story? Truly? Do you need to ask that, after we've just looked at the benefits you've likely received from others' stories? No, of course you don't. What you do need, is help. Help in crystallising your story, pulling it out of you and casting it in a way that it gives to others.
This is why I am asking you, inviting you, to be a part of Inspirational Australian Women in 2017. I can literally fill a library with inspirational women's stories, but I want yours. I have a vision that somewhere between Carmen Jenner's professional interview and the writing of your journey, you will want to meet you for yourself! You will hold your head a little higher. Not from ego. No, it will be from esteem, and the knowledge that by sharing your story, you are living a life of service.
It is only by collaborating, being willing to share, that as women in business, we can grow.
I will be sending out personal invitations to women who inspire me. I am proud to be working with Carmen, and with Business Women Australia on this edition. And I will be even more proud when you, a source of inspiration, also comes on board.
If you want to connect with me, I am all up for a pep talk about how amazing you are! Email me and I will call you. I promise.