OVERCOMING SELF-DOUBT TO BECOME UNSTOPPABLE
BY MARCIA LEONE
When Ziera asked me to share my story as part of their Unstoppable Women Campaign, it was a great opportunity to pause and reflect on how far I've come, what I've accomplished and my journey to get here.
To me being "unstoppable" is believing in yourself and being brave enough to create the life you want. Getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks, turning adversity into opportunity while remaining authentic and supporting and celebrating others on the way. I came across this quote the other day and it sums it up perfectly
"The women who I love and admire for their strength and grace did not get that way because shit worked out. They got that way because shit went wrong and they handled it."
Four years ago I had an idea to bridge the gap between "fashion" and "mummy" blogs and along the way have built this amazing community of kick-ass modern mamas from around the world. Women who love and embrace motherhood, but also place importance of retaining a sense of self and style. From the beginning my aim was to build a platform that celebrated and empowered women through shared stories and one that would also allow me to partner with amazing charities that would make a real difference in the lives of mothers and children around the world.
In four years, I have had many pinch me moments. I have created content for the biggest Australian and international brands, travelled the world through partnerships, been featured in and on the cover of magazines and on television, interviewed and been interviewed by some of the most famous and inspirational women on the planet and most recently came third place in Australia's Top 50 influencer Awards; but despite all these accomplishments the most rewarding part of creating NOTSOMUMSY has been connecting with like- minded women- celebrating them and their stories as they kick goals AND face the challenges of motherhood.
"She was never quite ready, but she was brave. And the universe listens to brave."
Although to the outside it looks like my path has been smooth sailing, I've had to do A LOT of work on myself to get to where I am today both personally and professionally. I have suffered from Anxiety since my teenage years, my lack of confidence and self-belief meant I missed many opportunities and by the age of 30 I felt disappointed in myself for not getting out of my comfort zone and leading a safe, comfortable life. I had a good job, a great husband, lived by the beach- and on the outside looked like I had it all, but internally I felt like something was missing, like I hadn't found my purpose- I knew I hadn't reached my potential and felt I had let myself down.
After I had Archie all of that changed. Motherhood gave me purpose and with it came a confidence I never knew I had. A year later I started combining my passions to build NOTSOMUMSY- not to create a successful business (that has been a fabulous side effect), but to create something that excited me, that I loved to work on, that set my soul on fire. Nothing compares to that feeling where you finally know you are dong what you are meant to. The people I have met and the world it opened me up to was where I was meant to be.
But even though I was more confident and the creative, work side was fulfilling, motherhood also came with a new set of anxieties and insecurities- and unknowingly to me, this is what would take NSM to the next level. Being a lifestyle journalist I have always found it cathartic to write down my feelings, but now that I had a platform I wasn't sure I wanted the world to see. So it was with a very nervous hand that I pressed PUBLISH and shared my story around the judgement I felt with extended breastfeeding ( you can read the story HERE ). The story went viral and the response from those that resonated with my story was overwhelming to say the least. It was a light bulb moment for me where I truly realised the power of sharing stories to help others. This openness, vulnerability and realness struck a chord with so many. After thousands of emails and comments I realised that this was where the power was- where I could really make a difference and empower women to trust themselves and others to re-consider their judgements.
So when I found myself struggling with pregnancy loss and secondary infertility I knew I had to continue to share my story- as difficult as it was at the time. Privately, I worked on myself through meditation, exercise and practicing gratitude (which has helped me grow so much as a person); but I found the most healing through sharing my journey.
I also think there is more power in talking about it as happens. It’s nice when people share fertility struggles in retrospect, it of course gives hope to many, but what about the women who don’t get their happy ending? Isn’t their story just as valid? I shared my story when I was in it, when I didn't now what my outcome would be, I wanted women to know the day-to-day reality of infertility, miscarriage and IVF, to offer support to the women going through the same thing and understanding from those who didn't know what it was like.
Again I received thousands of emails and comments from women thanking me for sharing my story. Some still come back to read my blog post after suffering a miscarriage themselves. That’s when I knew my sharing had a purpose- not to just help me , but to help many others.
"You don't need to be perfect to inspire others. Let people get inspired by how you deal with your imperfection."
So I guess what I hope you get out of my story is that it doesn't matter how big or small your dreams are- taking the leap is what makes you unstoppable. Believing in yourself, being authentic and finding your true path is the key to achieving anything you desire. Be brave, be honest, be real and most importantly remember that that raising humans is THE most important job in the world! x
WIN $2500 for the UNSTOPPABLE woman in your life
The UNSTOPPABLE campaign by Ziera aims to discover and celebrate the stories of Unstoppable women from across Australia and New Zealand. Whether they’re successful in business, overcoming hardships, or just putting others before themselves and have an inspiring story – Ziera wants to hear about them all to promote empowerment and support of all women.
So nominate the UNSTOPPABLE woman in you life HERE where 5 winners will receive $2500 to continue their Unstoppable journey. By nominating you will also go into the running to win 1 of 100 pairs of Ziera shoes. #beunstoppable