Results from the IAT 😶

In my last post, Back to Black, I referred to a test called the Implicit Association Test. I said that I’d do it and feedback my results. 

The IAT highlights hidden biases that we may have over certain things/people. 

I completed the test with Project Implicit – a non-profit organisation. There are a series of free tests that you can take on their website including age, weight, disability, sexuality, race – which is the one that I took. 

I was a little bit disheartened, a tad sceptical but not really surprised with the result. 


Your data suggest a slight automatic preference for European Americans over African Americans.

  • The website explains that the automatic preference may be described as “slight”, “moderate”, “strong”, or “no preference”.

A series of pictures (black and white faces) and words (good and bad) flashed up on my screen and I had to categorise them as instructed as quickly as possible. I couldn’t tell whilst doing the test how I was performing. 

After reading more on the website about what the results mean (below) I actually felt better. 

“The IAT shows biases that are not necessarily endorsed and that may even be contradictory to what one consciously believes. So, no, we would not say that such people are prejudiced. It is important to know, however, that implicit biases can predict behavior. If we want to treat people in a way that reflects our values, then it is critical to be mindful of hidden biases that may influence our actions.”

I invite you to visit the site and take a test and let me know how you get on. 

IAT Test

Emma x

Back to Black 🙋🏿

I asked the universe for a sign of what I should put in the spotlight next for my year of vulnerability and over the course of the week I had numerous ideas skip by me. 

There was the invitation that made it’s way to my inbox with an offer to do a couple of Brene Brown’s online courses. Well as she is one of the reasons I’ve decided to focus on vulnerability – that was a clear message. I was going to sign up and write about it, until…….

An old school friend got in touch to remind me that “It’s been 10yrs since our school reunion and 20yrs since we’d actually left school and did I want to arrange another?” 20yrs and my brain still calculates in school years!! Does this ever stop? 

My blogging clogs we’re going crazy as I was going to write about; having achieved nothing compared to others since leaving school, no children, no husband, no driving licence, no mortgage, no savings in the bank! Ooh this is it – I thought. Time to get vulnerable about life and the uncomfortable feelings that the school reunion has stirred up.  

That was until yesterday when I picked up the book ‘Stupid White Men’. I had come across the book last year in a charity shop and started to read it immediately. A chapter in and for some reason I stopped – even though I was enjoying it. Yesterday, thinking about the next General Election, I was inclined to start reading it again. So I have Theresa May to honestly thank for that. 

Devouring chapters on the train, I was taken aback when my heart joined my mind collaborating to take in the message. And there I was. Sat on a Virgin train from Birmingham to London – and I’m crying. To a Michael Moore book that is almost 16years old! I’m shedding tears on the train and I’m asking for forgiveness. This message is too strong to run from now and I am asking for forgiveness that I haven’t faced the fact that – I am black!

I’m not coloured blind. I know my skin colour but I’ve never embraced it. Preferring to focus on my personality, my soul and everything else but! Not wanting to be judged by my colour and not wanting to add more ammunition to my ‘token black’ crown – it being a more unspeakable topic than saying the word cunt. 

But this book sang out and I got the message that I am hiding my race so much that it’s time the vulnerability spotlight shone on me. Shone on my dark skin – my black features and for once staying at surface level – shining a light on my black casing. 

I was brought up with a white family in the 80’s and we never discussed my colour. I was a part of the family – and that was that. I always laugh when my friend tells me about when she came round to mine for the first time and my dad answered the door. My old white dad. This gave her a surprise as I’d never mentioned it – I didn’t even think to. Yes, I’d experienced small boughts of racism and received ample confused stares but apart from that my life was solid. So I grew up on the privilege tightrope – basically my head was buried in the sand.

As I’m here to be honest, I’m going to admit that when I was younger I gave most black people a wide berth as the media portrayed them us as dangerous, poor, helpless, trouble causers, thieves……(insert stereotypical comment here). I was confused as that didn’t relate to me but I did see it in others. 

I got bullied for my dark skin at school………by a black boy, rejected and put down in front of a group of kids by another. The 2 fights I’ve had in my life were at the wrath of black girls, I hated getting my hair done as all the hairdressers I went to when I was younger were rude. I just couldn’t see myself as ‘one of them’. So I built my bubble and tried to disassociate myself! 

I actually didn’t realise I was doing this at the time and thankfully I grew out of that but as the memories come marching in – it hurts. 

The dots have connected behind me and I’m in pain 

and I’m embarrassed 

and I’m crying 

and I’m asking for forgiveness. 

The many actions that I’ve undertaken to protect myself come flooding back to me:

  • Speaking out loud when I felt uncomfortable in a situation where I’m the only black person so people could hear my accent. My strong, born and bred, Yorkshire tones.
  • In a quest to fit in (outside of my family and close knit friendships) I secretly bought some whitening soap that would lighten my skin. If I was going to be black, I could be a few shades lighter! Thank god that didn’t last unfortunately some women are still scrubbing and bleaching themselves to this day. 
  • Holding in my anger so not to be judged as ‘an angry aggressive black woman’ or ‘diva’. 
  • Being upbeat and smiley in public even if I didn’t feel like it – because it hurt to be labelled ‘a black girl with attitude’ for having a down day. 

I did know I was black though – there were many episodes to remind me of that. Like the time that I met a guy at my local bar and went back to his for a night cap. No sooner had the drink been poured than his mother appeared at the living room door. Taking one look at the situation (boy on sofa – space – girl on sofa) and she left the room – hurtling up the stairs to shout “There’s a black girl in the living room!” This was not in the deep American South in the 50’s – this was 90’s North Leeds! I cursed the twat of a guy that dared to take me into such a toxic place and before slamming the door thanked his cock blocking mum for making me understand the world that little bit better. 

But then I had my white family, my white and asian friends and so many good people surrounding me that the horrific experience became a story and another layer of numb that I didn’t know I was wearing. 

Yesterday’s train journey thawed me out. And I cried as Michael Moore talked about the hidden racism that African-American’s are faced with on a daily basis in America. As statistics jumped off the page into my eyes, I realised that now was the time for me to stand up and fully embrace who I am. Yes I would rather people see me as Emma first and I have been fortunate enough for that to happen on most occasions. But this isn’t about just me. It’s about others that deserve fairness, justice, a chance and better opportunities – and I need to lend my voice to theirs. Not to flash the race card but to actually highlight the hidden racism that snakes through the world and seeps itself unconsciously in to people’s minds. Like it seeped into mine. 

Before reading ‘Stupid White Men’ I read ‘Blink‘ by Malcolm Gladwell. In the book Malcolm states that many people of all races are unconsciously biased to black people and they don’t even realise it. He mentions a test called the IAT (Implicit Association Test) where the majority of people who complete it have an automatic preference to white people – black people included. Malcolm Gladwell himself completed the test on numerous occasions and kept leaning to the white. Despite being born to a black mother and white father. I’m going to do the test myself so will feedback on that. I read page after page of how the unconscious mind even if just for a split second will judge on the appearance and parts of me ached. 

I ached because I know deep down I’ve missed out on jobs because of the way that I looked. I ached because I know that certain guys won’t even take a second look at me because my colour is alien to them – fuck my personality! I ached because I know that every single year without fail someone will call me either Serena or Venus when Wimbledon is on. If I actually looked like one of them I would get called it all year round – like I do with Whoopie Goldberg (which I’ve finally made my peace with)! Whilst I know that these throwaway thoughts, comments and unconscious actions aren’t done with malice or said with racist undertones, they can’t help but create invisible barriers and fractured mindsets. 

For example, when I visit new places (countries – cities) before I can fully relax I scan the streets looking for a black face so that I can let my guard down knowing I’m not the only one. When watching TV shows or films, I am wound up tightly when a black person is on the screen – worrying how they’re going to be portrayed. In the back of my mind I knew I did this but didn’t realise the significance until now. I put it down to me being sensitive or too politically correct. When in all honesty this shit needs to stop and I’m saying now – this is NOT okay.  

Tears stream down my face as I realise what I have to do. I have to finally break free from my protective bubble and play my part in re-painting the stereotype. Unmute myself from the injustices that are happening in the world and confidently stand up tall. 

But before I even get to that, the first stage is to actually love the black lass I see in the mirror. All of her. Not just what’s on the inside but the beautiful ebony skin that I live in!

Love Emma x
Instagram: @emmalouhalliday

The Single Side of Me ❤️

I have nothing that I want to write today and also feel that I don’t have anything worthwhile to share. I made a promise to myself that I would write at least once a week and as I want to love and respect myself and build my self-esteem, I am not going to break that promise. 

So I decided to spend the morning re-reading what I had shared so far in the ‘Make Miracles in 40 Days’ project I’ve been doing and wow – I have a lot to say! A load of shit mainly, repeating myself, silly gripes and moans but nestled beside that shit – I am raw – unfiltered and true. 

So I had basically lied to myself saying that I didn’t have anything to write. 19 emails constructed in 3hrs-10mins proved me wrong. The truth is I have so much to write that it’s actually scaring me. Feeling vulnerable (hey isn’t this the point?) as the more people that tell me they have read my blog – got closer to my soul – the more I:

  • question myself and my reasons for my year of vulnerability 
  • think I’m over sharing 
  • feel I have to perform better each time

Re-reading my daily emails to myself, shuddering through some of my comments and cringing at some of the words. Who is this lost woman that presents herself on this page? I felt like a stranger – prying into someone’s life – tasting their bitter pain. 

The theme that continues to run through each of my daily emails and one of the main reasons that I decided to start my ‘year of vulnerability’ was being tired of standing in my own way of love. 

In other words – bored of still being single! It will formally be 10 years in June. A fucking decade! I vowed to myself a while ago to stop playing the victim and wearing the length of time like a badge that a kid proudly displays on their birthday. I stopped mentioning how long I had been single to people and tried to side step the questions. But I guess there are always questions and if I’m not being asked them – I’m asking myself. 

The standard questions at first: Why me? What’s wrong with me? Am I doing too much? Am I not doing enough? 

BUT……….then I start looking at my physical self, my communication skills, the Comparison Cashier arrives and bit by bit I tear myself apart. I start to believe that I’m not actually capable of finding love and being loved ever again. 

I’ve been on the dating sites and apps, written my list with what I want in a partner, put it on a vision board, asked for it in prayers and meditations, sent out love when I’ve seen happy couples in the street and so much more – seriously I’ve done a lot and then done nothing! And yet……here I am. Alone!

I’m not writing as a victim, for sympathy or to moan about ‘men these days’. I’m not on this post to gather words of encouragement, praise, dating advice or to soften my cries. 

I’m here to proclaim. I am not giving up!

Neither am I going to settle. I don’t want a relationship where I can’t be myself. I don’t want a boyfriend where I immediately want to change the person he is. Nor am I looking for someone to fill a void, complete me or tell me everything is going to be okay. 

I’m here because being open in this format is helping me to piece myself back together. One word and insight at a time. 

So whether it’s a month, a year or another decade for love to make an entrance – I am making my peace with that. 

My door, which I admit was once locked, or seriously jammed shut – is now open. My protective rejection gauze is off and I’m ready to be vulnerable when it comes to love and get out of my own way. 

I shall sign off with a poem which I wrote in January this year:

I want love
The laughs, the cuddles, the secret glances
I want love
The pain, the heartache, the awkward
The comfortable silences
I want love
The aches of missing him
The annoyance when with him
The confused feelings
The electric touch
I want that kind of love

Not to scare any potentials off but yah – I caught the bouquet!

Emma x
Instagram: @emmalouhalliday

 The Way of the Ambivert. 

“The cleaner told me that there’s some staff in this building that eat their lunch in the toilets” proclaimed one of the ladies in my office. 

This prompted shocks and confusion from us all. Someone putting it down to ‘perhaps they had an eating disorder’!

Getting stuck into my book ‘Quiet’ on the way home from work – delving back into the world of the shy, the introverts, the sensitive and highly reactive folk and I was transported back to my teenage days and to one specific phase. 

It was the most solemn time of my life. High school work experience. I may as well have been on a silent retreat in India……………………..

Too shy to eat my breakfast in the canteen – I took it to the ladies toilets. Grabbed myself a cubicle and silently scoffed my toast! 

This developed into a routine over the 2 weeks I was there. My penchant for making toilets into pop up canteens thankfully ended when the work experience finished. And I all but forgot about it until yesterday. Literally flushed away that part of my past. 

You could put that down to me being a 15yr old who hadn’t yet grown in confidence but my painful shyness began to materialise in other ways. 

Fast forward to my early twenties and office life.  Where the thought of doing the tea run gave me palpitations……….interrupting people to ask if they wanted a drink, making said drink to their liking – oh hey there sweats! It was another example of how tea doesn’t cool you down! 

So I lied. “I don’t really drink hot drinks”. If only they knew – I’m sure that my family helped put Yorkshire tea on the map, the amount we drank! My Dad alone in fact! So I stuck to water – all day! I can thank my shyness for developing a healthy habit and my glowing skin – I guess. 

As I get a deeper understanding of the points made in this book ‘Quiet’ author ‘Susan Cain’ has become my new hero for bringing this information to my attention. 

I felt rather smug after answering true or false to 20 questions to see where I was positioned on the introvert-extrovert spectrum. Slap bang in the middle. “Hello my name is Emma and I am indeed an Ambivert!”

I’ve lost count the number of times that I’ve been greeted with eye rolling and laughs of disbelief when I’ve said that I’m shy. And yeah, I suppose I get it. To the outside world, the extrovert part of me leads the dance. My naturally booming voice, my welcoming smile and my adventurous nature makes everyone presume that I’m all confident. 

Many people don’t want to listen to my reasonings why I’m not a full on extrovert. Tying to prove myself right, whilst not only a tiring process, also makes me comes across as defensive and somewhat abrasive. A shy person wouldn’t be like that now would they? Bloody can’t win.

So when I purchased this book, which had been sat on my ‘Amazon wish list’ for sometime, I felt like I had someone on my side for once. Cheers Susan. It also started to answer so many of my ‘Why am I like this?’ questions that I’ve been storing. 

Excitedly underlining line after line of text whilst going all Churchill nodding dog. I wished for my highlighter when I read the following: 

‘Studies have shown that, indeed, introverts are more likely than extroverts to express intimate facts about themselves online that their family and friends would be surprised to read, to say that they can express the “real me” online, and to spend more time in certain kinds of online discussions. They welcome the chance to communicate digitally. The same person who would never raise his hand in a lecture hall of two hundred people might blog to two thousand, or two million, without thinking twice. The same person who finds it difficult to introduce himself to strangers might establish a presence online and then extend these relationships into the real world.’ 

After re-reading the paragraph at least 3 times, I wrote the words ‘ME’ sandwiched in-between two arrows and I knew right then what my next blog post was going to be about. 

This book came to me at the right time as I was starting to feel uneasy as I began to share more about myself on my blog. I find it easier to share my thoughts and feelings to the world not because I’m confident to do so but because I’m not confident enough to share with people in the flesh! 

Fear of feeling awkward, being judged or having to further explain or prove myself would stop me. Then there was an additional fear that the person would try and ‘fix me’ or break my tension with throwaway ‘I’m listening’ comments like: “I know”, “don’t be silly”, “me too” or “it’ll all work out”. Or that absolute stomach churning feeling of speaking to someone who ‘listened‘ with dead eyes!

For the past 8 or so years I’ve been on a path of self improvement, trying to gain more confidence and eradicate the introvert side of me. I got frustrated when the more I moved out of my comfort zone, the stronger my feelings of introversion and anxiety would get. 

Another line in the book, a quote by Dr. Schwartz, states:

“Free will can take us far, but it cannot carry us infinitely beyond our genetic limits”

Reading this was like a big hug. A feeling of comfort washed over me and I fell a little bit more in love with the person that I am. I semi extroverted – semi introverted person. An Ambivert if you will. 

So if you happen to be one of those people that eats your lunch in the toilet. Or doesn’t like to get involved in the tea runs. 

I’ll let you know now for all the personal development I’ve done and the amount I’ve grown over the past few years, I still:

  • Feel anxious when having people visit my house (to stay over/for dinner)
  • Rehearse phone calls in my head before dialling 
  • Sometimes turn the other way when I see people I know 
  • Hover at the side of the room at networking events and workshops waiting for someone to speak to me 
  • Feel really uncomfortable being sat next to someone on a train
  • Feel nauseous at the thought of speaking off the cuff in large groups

That’s the introvert side of me and she’s here to stay. I’m going to pay that side of me as much respect as I do the extrovert side –  as the world without introverts would be chaos. 

Emma x

Instagram: @emmalouhalliday

Bitten by the lonely bug!

 “Today I am alone but I choose not to be lonely”

Those were the words I uttered with gusto………………maybe out loud, with a mini fist pump and a nod of the head. Those words pulled me out of the victim mentality mode I’d been in for the past 20mins or so.

Couples in love, the laughter of friends and happy families all enjoying the sun and soaking up the atmosphere on a busy Brick Lane.

I felt alone!

At that moment, if time was to pause, I would have happily swapped shoes with many people on that street, not giving a thought to what size and style the shoes were nor where they had been.

It’s not like it was my first time alone in a busy place but this time I felt like I stood out, shining brighter than the sun, wearing a hat that yelled loner!
I recalled the comment a friend had made years earlier.

“As great as London is, it can feel like the loneliest place in the world.”  

The words highly resonated with me today and a quick search on Google brought up a survey conducted by TimeOut on 18 cities, to see which one was the loneliest. London came up top.

That is when I made the decision that I wasn’t going to be lonely. I was going to enjoy the glorious sunny afternoon and right then I made London my friend.

Immediately I looked at London from a different perspective. I sauntered down the street, head held high, free Bud Light in hand, making it look way tastier than it was. I decided to walk home from Shoreditch, looking on this spectacular place with innocent eyes – I saw buildings, shops, trees and graffiti that I’d never seen before.

Walking past 2 guys, I saw in one of their eyes that although he was not alone, he looked really lonely. It hit me that I’d been there before and that type of loneliness hurt me more than the one I had felt mere minutes ago. Loneliness when surrounded by people. I’d been crippled with it numerous times.

I then thought back to a conversation I had with a friend when I moaned yet again about being the ‘eternal singleton’. 

“You’re out all the time and so busy and independent, where would you find time for a relationship?”

Struggling to hold back the flash of emotion that had popped the fuck out of nowhere, I finally replied. “If I wasn’t busy and doing things all the time, I would feel more alone and…………..down”. I had really wanted to use the word depressed but, we didn’t talk like that.

If only I had said “Today I am alone but I choose not to be lonely” at these times.

The saunter continued, I was smiling and genuinely happy. Enjoying the weekend, my new £5 sunglasses – that were already hurting my nose, the fact that I had escaped a hangover and that I had another weak, albeit free, Bud Light in my bag. I was loving the fact that I was owning my day!

Suddenly I was seeing more people that were alone, these people will have been there all along it’s just I was choosing to focus on what I didn’t have before. 

With my new sense of focus I took a pit stop at the first park I saw, kicked my shoes off and got stuck into my book.

Will I feel lonely again? Damn right I will and this could be triggered by a number of things. 

Sometimes choosing not to feel lonely won’t come as easy and at times like these I am fortunate enough to have a really great set of friends and now this blog, which is like a personal diary to me.

Apparently loneliness is an increasing problem in modern life, with some sources saying there’s actually a ‘loneliness epidemic’.

If you don’t feel like you have someone you can open up to, try and change your focus as there’s always someone listening. Maybe I can be that someone?!

Emma x

Instagram: @emmalouhalliday

Feeling all the feelings!

I let my feelings take control this morning and they wanted cheese on toast! Why is it that any time I eat when I am feeling annoyed, pissed off or angry that my food choice doesn’t taste nice? 

So this made me feel even more annoyed. I don’t want to be annoyed at cheese! That stale white bread however – that can go fuck itself!

Okay so now I was really letting my emotions loose, the book I’d just started reading yesterday had already made an impact! A good friend messaged me last week asking if I had heard of the book ‘Making Miracles in Forty Days’ as there was a challenge in it that she thought I may be up for doing, seeing as I was working on being vulnerable. 

I immediately bought the book, even though I’d put myself on a book ban! Okay I bought another book along with it, but now…….now I am on a book ban! In my defence I was being economical! 

The books arrived yesterday and as I had the day off work I got stuck right in. For now I’ll just share a brief overview of the book – as I feel I will be discussing this further in another post. 

For 40 days (in a row) you spend 10mins each day acknowledging {negative} events and feelings that you are the least grateful for. Starting each exercise with ‘Today I am grateful for…………..’ and then writing a list of 5-10 things, whatever comes up.

And write I did! Polite, conscious Emma started off the proceedings – typing with poise about feelings and events I was already aware of. It didn’t take too long to delve deeper and I was surprised with some of the details that appeared on the once blank page. 

I continued to type through the spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. I only stopped when the alarm I’d set rang out loud after my 10 minutes were up! I could have written more but reminded myself that I had another 39 days for that. Triple checking and checking once more the email address for my other account, I hit send! Day 1 done!

It was a release, it was therapeutic, it was me letting go and being vulnerable – dusting away the cobwebs from some of the skeletons in my closet. 10mins clearly wasn’t enough as I appeared to open the negative trap door, my thoughts and feelings playing pinball in my head! I would have to wait until tomorrow morning or so I thought!

As soon as I got to my desk, I pushed my usual greeting aside and instead ‘was grateful’ for being messed about at the fertility clinic. My colleagues taking place of my morning email to myself. I told them that I’d just come from an appointment to become an egg donor where I was told I wasn’t suitable. 

It wasn’t that my eggs were too old – they were still good for a few months – until I turned 36, to be exact! I hadn’t as yet been through the vigorous health checks to be voided at that hurdle! Oh no – I got a big black mark against my name because I couldn’t provide my family’s medical history. For my mother, father and grandparents on both sides. 

I let it spill to my work mates that I was fuming that it took me to interrupt the member of staff to ask if it was important that I didn’t know my birth family from my dad’s side. As she instead chose to start with information on: 

  • my rights as a donor
  • how many children my donation could make
  • that they were crying out for donors, especially from my ethnicity 
  • and yadda yadda yadda! 

She didn’t need to answer my question as her face did it for her. 

I stood up, smiling politely and offering feedback that they should have stated that on the application, like they did with the age thing – 36…………to be exact!! And then I left, supressing my feelings, letting numbness and really bad cheese on toast take over.

Bless my colleagues as I didn’t stop there – now came the hidden emotions. ‘I am grateful for……….. (my negative emotions)

  • The fact that there is a shortage of donors.
  • That couples that are aching to be parents don’t even have the opportunity to choose whether they mind that a donor doesn’t know their family history.
  • That a lot of people who really want to help out may not have an inkling about their family history. 
  • That donor babies are genetically selected or as it is now coined ‘a designer baby’.
  • The fact that I was reminded again that I don’t know my birth father and that he didn’t want to know me.
  • I miss my {foster} parents. 

So I let my vulnerability out and I no longer felt angry, annoyed or upset.  I didn’t let the feelings fester into the crevices of my mind or give them a chance to set up camp in my body to maybe cause illness. It was just an event that happened not to go my way and I gave myself permission to feel all my feelings. 

And for that I am truly grateful.

Emma x

Instagram: @emmalouhalliday

A Life Lesson from a Bouldering Wall

“You can do it, you’re nearly there.” Came the voice from below.

What I really wanted to do was prove myself right and admit defeat – I can’t do this. I don’t have the strength or the skills. I’m not strong enough. Followed by ‘I told you so’! 

My body clearly hadn’t got the memo and continued to climb, grunt and groan and although not graceful I reached the top.

Back at the bottom, I was greeted with a big grin, a high-five and an overwhelming sense of pride. I looked up at the wall and at what I had just achieved and there it was – the light bulb moment – this wasn’t just a climbing wall – this was a life lesson!

In order for me to be my best self, I need…….

  • people
  • support
  • cheering on
  • accountability

Having the belief in myself and determination isn’t always going to be present, or in fact, enough.

We continued to climb and I continued to surprise myself and I stopped worrying about; how I looked, all the people around me and what they were thinking. At times I struggled and had to retreat but I got back up! 

One time I chose to scale an easier path to the top! This was met with “I’m not going to give you a high-five for that, it was too easy for you”. I knew this and I laughed – it reminded me of a quote I came across on the internet.

Untitled Design

I have spent so much time and money working on myself, finding out who I really am and what makes me shine, so it really made me laugh that a £12.50 bouldering trip finally cemented the fact that I can’t do this thing called life on my own!

My own fears of not wanting to be a burden on others and not wanting to embarrass myself. Coupled with being scared of not succeeding and to actually ask for help – as that would be admitting that I can’t do it! I chose instead the easy path, playing small and playing safe and the reward? Compromising on my goals.

On the journey home I reflected on some of the times that I had accomplished goals that I’d set

  • The job promotions – asking for help/support from colleagues
  • 100 Happy Days – accountability from social media presence
  • Public Speaking achievements – cheered on/ supportive coaches

They all have one thing in common, and that is community. The power of community and more importantly, the power of being able to be vulnerable in that community, is so important! Having the right people around you is what can make all the difference. 

Before I sign off I want to tell you about another community that I have recently become a part of. This is an online group on Facebook lead by the amazing Sammy Blindell, who is a branding expert, helping entrepreneurs to build their own brand. I joined the group after a recommendation from a friend and was soon involved in a 30 day challenge.

A challenge is an understatement! Day 2 and I wanted to throw in the towel but peer support kept me going and I continued on. I still had massive resistance and a week in I plucked up the courage to share that I had Imposter Syndrome.  That I struggled with cooperating in groups as I believed nothing I said would be of any value. Put simply I was comparing myself with these entrepreneurs and felt like a small fish in the ocean! 

My vulnerability led to messages of support and others also admitting that they often felt this way……and just like that – that community became my community – and I continued.

Fast forward to the end of the challenge and there were some prizes to be won for the people who had played full out, showed up and supported others. I came 2nd which meant I won a place on a 3-day course in France worth £1997! 

I really couldn’t and wouldn’t have done it without the amazing support of the community and for that I am truly grateful. Plus the challenge gave me a foundation for my business, a new supportive community and the chance to be vulnerable many times over!

Bouldering affirmed to me that I need people around me, I need to take advice from others and be open to admit when I’m scared, feeling low or on the verge of quitting. 

It also made me ache like fuck – I did it on Tues and 3 days later it still hurts every time I move! I didn’t sign up for that! My aches have been the constant reminder that if I am going to really go for what I want in this world – I have to let other people in on my journey.

Some people have the ability, motivation, and determination to get shit done on their own. I have finally admitted that I am NOT that type of person.

So pass me the personal trainer, life coach, cleaner, public speaking coach, brand expert, bouldering friend and more……

Emma x

Instagram: @emmalouhalliday

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