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Imposter Syndrome

On Tuesday evening, on International Women's Day, I went, for the second time, to an 'I Am Woman' networking event. #iamwoman #cherylbass #milkshake.

The first one I went to, was nerve wracking as I had never been to a networking event before.

Cheryl Bass is a warm, giggly, welcoming woman and when I first stepped into the room at the Miskin Manor Hotel six weeks ago, I felt immediately at ease thanks to her.

Beneath Cheryl's glamorous appearance, she is a tough cookie who really knows her stuff and wants to share it with other women in business. (She has been in business a long time and shares a lot of her knowledge.)

After over three hours of cocktails, canapés, talks and networking, I left feeling excited, a bounce in my step, not just a spring, my head was held so high it was touching the stars, I couldn't believe what I had just encountered. A room full of incredible women, there seemed to be endless possibilities for all of us but I was especially excited as to where my journey as an artist could lead.

I felt valued as an artist, I was taken seriously, no body laughed or asked me what I was doing there, instead people listened to me, asked me questions and really wanted to know the answers.

As the weeks passed, I concentrated on all the things I had taken away from that first networking event. I started to ask myself what did I really want from a career as an artist? I visited galleries, I applied to more prestigious markets and fairs, I even applied to be on a television show - (more on that at a later date if/when anything becomes of it.)

However, my second event was completely different. I didn't feel comfortable as soon as I stepped into the room, I felt really nervous, I found it really hard to talk to people, to network. I felt as if I should not have been there. That wasn't because of anything anyone did or didn't do, it was all me.

The array of woman was vast, they all had different careers, different expertises but seemly to me, to have 'prober' jobs! Charity worker, environmentalist, photographer, stylist, dietician, IT consultant, YouTuber, business consultant, estate agent, to name a few and then there was me. Artist!

When I networked and introuduced myself I didn't explain how I had become an artist, nor did I speak about the importance of art, especially colour and texture, I didn't tell anyone the fact and figures and benefits that art has on everyone. It's not just about pretty pictures, it's so much more.

I spent the next morning feeling pants about the whole event but after going for a long windy walk, I began to process what had actually happened.

I now feel how/where I went wrong or maybe it was just my mood that day. Instead of giving myself a hard time I know how to move forward and hopefully next time I will be able to convey more clearly my art and it's meaning to me and the benefit of it for other businesses.

Feeling like you don't belong is normal, but it is how we use that experience and move forward. I could, never go again to a networking event or I could pull my socks up, hold my head up high again and reach for the stars.

That's exactly what I'm going to do!

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