This happens to all of us. None of us are immune to these three things. Jealousy, Comparison and Discomfort.

  • You see someone doing something really well, stepping out, showing up or taking steps towards something exciting and it stings. You question their motives, pick holes in their methods, inwardly (or maybe outwardly) have a pop at their action. Jealousy.

  • You watch as someone launches a new thing that is really similar to your idea. You agonise over what they are doing because they are doing it in ways you hadn’t thought of or with seemingly more ease or traction. You follow closely, weigh up how your version of that thing isn’t as good or executed as well, sinking into feelings of being an imposter or worthlessness. Comparison.

  • You brew an idea for something, let it simmer and realise all the work that is ahead of you to make it happen. You maybe mention it to a few people, don’t get the responses you wanted and that sense of failure hangs close. You shut things down before you even begin. Discomfort.

But what if these three feelings don’t have to be enveloped in pain? What if they are guiding markers, leading us towards understanding something really true about ourselves?

I want to flip the idea that jealousy, comparison and discomfort are feelings that we should go into battle with and show how, if we frame them just a little differently, they can give us some solid information and motivation that will propel us into action instead of hiding and shutting ourselves away.

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No, this isn’t clickbait, I promise.

I have genuinely come to this conclusion:

There is no such thing as confidence.

For such a long time I bought into the idea that confidence is something that you can build or grow or develop. Now I’m not so sure.

There’s something that rattles me about the idea of “being confident” that I wasn’t able to pinpoint for ages. It felt like, particularly for women, that word was everywhere - orbiting around us on magazine stands and by-lines; pointing out what was missing: 

“12 Steps to More Confidence”

“Why Confidence is Your Biggest Career Asset”

“The Confidence Gap & How to Close It”

“The Key to Building Your Brand: Confidence”

It all sounds compelling.

“Of course! That’s what I need: more confidence.”

“When I get more of that, then I’ll be able to do the things that feel stretchy; then I’ll be able to put myself forward or share my ideas or step out of my comfort zone.”

Pursuit of confidence has become this holy grail achievement for women of the world who are interested in offering more.

But what if it’s not the holy grail?

What if confidence is simply not ‘a thing’?

What if it’s a myth that has us circling around and around and never actually taking any action because the markers for confidence are really murky? How will I know if I’m confident? What does it feel like to be confident? At what level of confidence will I be ready for X Y or Z? Who knows? It’s all a bit illusive.

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There are some pervading lies that the personal development industry sells as being key to upping your business, your income, your influence or your success that I want to shed some light on.

It is more important than ever, in this noisy culture that wants to tell us the formula is for success, that we sift through the nonsense and tune into our own intuition and desires.

I want to share three things that I see as huge distractions that are keeping us from doing work that is fulfilling and meaningful.

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Mel Wiggins Comments

Fear can be a sneaky little bastard, you know.

Strong opening line, huh?

But it’s true.

 The more I work with brilliant women, the more I see the sneaky, undermining ways that fear can creep into our lives and hold us back. I’m talking about the less obvious kind of fear.

Sometimes fear is very visceral; we feel it in our bodies. Our voice gets shaky, our adrenaline runs wild, we have flippy floppy feelings in our stomach when we start to take any kind of self-supportive action or move towards putting our own ideas or talents out there. Our body reacts in response to potential vulnerability to tell us to pull back, stay safe.

And then there are the sneaky ways that fear arrives; showing up in ways that we have convinced ourselves as ‘normal’ or ‘realistic’. These are the ways that seem to be more difficult to detect because we’ve spent generations observing them as the status quo for women or being conditioned to understand these patterns as “just the way it is” for us.

I want to identify five sneaky ways that I have seen fear show up in the lives of brilliant women like you and me and how they are stopping us from doing the things that we would love to do, create or offer in the world. 

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Mel WigginsComment

The idea of influence is intriguing to me. I’m on a bit of a quest at the minute to explore what it means in culture today; to break open the word and dig out all the flesh that we have put around it and try to find out what is at its core – the real juicy stuff.

And I’m getting somewhere. Somewhere surprising. And it’s exciting to lift the layers and see what’s underneath all the trappings of influence that we have created for ourselves. (sidenote: what we have created - not wonderful)

You see, for the majority of my career I have been involved in activism work. Working with charities, running charity projects, advocating, lobbying, creating movements for change. I’ve met people along the way that have shaped my idea of influence. I’ve witnessed a hunger for influence in the social justice sphere and been fascinated at how the power dynamics work when working for systemic change. I’ve seen what it takes for shifts to happen in the policy room or the campaign planning session; how influence is used – in healthy and unhealthy ways. Yes. The non-profit sector is not always healthy. Activism is not always healthy. Crazy, right?

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I’m here for some straight talking today, folks. If I could write this whole blog post in CAPS and be sure it wouldn’t hurt your eyeballs, I would.

In all the work I’ve done with women of all ages and backgrounds over the last decade, there have been some emerging themes of self-sabotage that I have seen with my own eyes; some particular ways that I see brilliant women like you and I tripping ourselves up repeatedly over and over again.

Firstly, I want to lovingly say that this is the stuff of being human. These ways that we minimise ourselves, hand over power, get swept up and let fear lead the way – these things do not make you faulty – they make you human. The first step to being able to move beyond them into a truer sense of who you are is owning them; acknowledging that this stuff is real for you. That’s a biggie. So I want you to read this with an open mind, willing to see where it is that you might recognise yourself.

Let’s jump in. Below are five ways that I have repeatedly seen women sabotaging their own fulfilment and desires and holding back the progress of the sisterhood:

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