Wednesday 18 May 2011

My Big Fat Ego: The Michelle I Was!

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I watched the Apprentice last Tuesday and Wednesday night and I have to say that I am hooked already. I love this programme and had it of been around ten - fifteen years ago when I was at the pinnacle of my career in sales recruitment I would have entered in the blink of an eyelid! Am I pleased to be out of that corporate lion’s den environment nowadays? Yes of course I am!

However, all those slogans you hear the contestants spouting, like ‘average was never good enough for me’, ‘I’ve been the best at everything I’ve ever done!’ and ‘Lord Sugar might think this guy is too good to be true’ could all have easily been said by me in the past. In fact one of my most favoured snippets was ‘I do not tolerate weakness, I crush it’. Gosh that really makes me cringe and I am not proud to have been such a bit*h for quite a number of years.

Recently I have made some references to the Mich of the past and some of the horrid character traits that she displayed and this post is the start of my journey to try and put to rest some of the ways I acted in the past that have left me with a sense of shame and remorse.

Take it back to my teenage years and early twenties and it is embarrassing to say that I really did think I was all that! I now wonder where on earth my inflated sense of self came from. My childhood was great and I was loved very much, I was a bit spoilt but generally a good kid, I knew how to behave myself. So why oh why did this horrid monster who needed to boast her own self-esteem at other people’s expense keep popping up?

The first time I recall being a big-headed cow was when I was 14 years old and I was shopping at the local convenience store/ petrol station in our village and the staff were being a bit rubbish and taking an age in serving those in the store while chatting to each other. You know the kind of service, completely frustrating. So there I am, a 14 year old girl with her Mum and for some reason I decided to ask for the manager and to tell him that he needed some more staff as the store was not being run properly and what he needed was me. Guess what? That audacity paid off, I got a job and started as a supervisor the next weekend. Was I embarrassed to now supervise the older staff member who I had thought was crap, no I do not recall that I was!

For some reason at that age I believed I was invincible and the best there was. I was a very strong character as I still am nowadays to a lesser extent. I tend to refer myself as an armadillo, hard on the outside but with a soft inner. I hate it when I actually hurt people but sometimes the words are just out my mouth (or typed nowadays) before I really think it through.

Whilst at Uni I lived with a girl and I know that I owe her a big apology. My recollection is that sometimes I was awful to her, she was very demure and quiet and I used to walk over her. I never reacted well to people who could not stand up to me and looking back I think I boosted myself at other people’s expense. Like I say this is not something I am proud of, it is very much the past.

Working through my character traits over the last couple of years has been so useful as I now have a much more realistic idea of what I need to do to be happy. Do I need to be the best? Earn the most money? Live in the biggest house? Be everyone’s best friends? No I don’t, none of those will satisfy me. For me relying on God and being with my family are the simple truths that touch and fulfil me.

I found a notebook the other day which I had written in on holiday 7 years ago, just at the start of my Christian journey. I had read one of those life coach in a week type books and it asked me to visualise myself in 10 years as the successful, happy person I wanted to be. The list made me choke when I read it. Here is what I wanted – 4 bed detached house with a U shaped drive, 2 cars, 2 foreign holidays each year, slim enviable body, lots of sex with my husband, fabulous wardrobe, good disposable income…. And it went on in the same vein.

Ask me now to write a list of what makes me successful and happy and it would say my faith, family time, my comfy home I love, seeing my parents, doing voluntary work, writing my blog, giving to help others where we can and so on.

It makes me very happy to see how much I have changed, sometimes I still make mistakes, and we all do. I made a fluff last night but I have done what I can to rectify and now I must let it go and move on.

How about you? Are you still the same person you were 10 years ago? I’d be interested to hear.

If you liked this post, please use the Tweet button on the right! Go on, it's very easy. Cheers Mich x