If you’re anything like me you’ve had more than one occasion in your life when you’ve looked in the mirror and not recognised the woman staring back. You don’t know who you are anymore? You’ve lost touch with the person you used to be. You’ve lost your mojo. You feel like a nobody. Pretty insignificant. You’re not alone. There are many more women feeling like this than you’d imagine but nobody dares say it out loud.

This has happened to me a few times. Most recently as I turned 40 a couple of years back. However, the most significant time was when I was just 27. I had settled down with my boyfriend that I’d been with since we were 15 at school. We’d had two children, girls aged 3 and 1. We got married as that was what was expected of us. Then 7 months later I woke up one day, literally one day, looked in the mirror and thought “What am I doing?” “Who am I?” It filled me with panic. Long story short, I chose to walk away from my marriage. I got a lot of stick for that but I was never going to be that woman who “stayed for the kids”. Here’s why – kids aren’t stupid. They can sense if they have a happy mum or not and I knew I could be a better mum if I made choices for myself. Plus, these children grow up and move out and leave you behind with a husband you can’t stand. Then not only have you lived your life for your kids, they’ve left you behind and then your marriage falls apart. Result – you’re a sad and lonely woman with only a cat for company (I know there are many single women who live alone with a cat quite happily – they choose to, that’s what makes it ok)

I’m on a mission to help as many women as possible to avoid having that experience. I want to help women live their own lives by being confident and full of self-worth and self-esteem. And for me, there just one simple, sure fire way to make that happen – to reconnect with their true, authentic identity. Remember I said simple, not easy.

So, you want to hear how I did it? Then I shall begin….

I was visiting my parents one afternoon and we were looking at old photos. I came across this one picture of me aged 4 and I couldn’t take my eyes of it. I was so unbelievably drawn into it. It was mesmerising. It reflected back to me the real me, the person who I was born to be. I knew her. I felt deeply connected to her. I could feel how she felt in that picture. And I wanted her back.

She was the pure and best version of me. She was the me without any fear, any limiting beliefs, any cares in the world. She could be and do anything she set her mind to, anything was possible and she had a wild imagination.

You see, here’s what happens in reality. As we grow up were laden with expectations, societal norms, biases, prejudices, other people’s beliefs and it weighs us down. We’re taught to conform, be quiet, be a good girl, act a certain way. All of that bullshit strips us of our inner beauty and dims our light so that by the time we’re a young adult we’ve lost all of that good stuff. We’re conditioned to work hard, get a good job, settle down, get a mortgage, blah, blah, blah. We wear so many other ‘badges’ as I call them – we spend more time being ‘wife’, ‘mum’, ‘HR manager’, ‘cleaner’, ‘carer’ – you get the picture? We very rarely wear our own badge with our name on it. That’s how we lose touch with our own self and why we end up not recognising the woman staring back.

So, these days when I feel like this, I ask myself one simple but powerful question….

“What would Violet do?”

Oh, Yes! I must explain. You see, in 1983 it really wasn’t cool to be called Jodie, there wasn’t many of us around so I used to tell people different names. I have been known to call myself Madonna and Charlotte amongst many, but my favourite of all time was Violet. And so, that picture you see is one of Violet. I go back to her and ask what she would do. That’s always a very different answer than I would get from 41-year-old Jodie who has been tainted by society.  When I step back into being Violet, I immediately become flooded with all of the confidence, self-worth, self-esteem, joy, imagination, excitement, belief that she had and it helps me to choose to behave differently, to break the mould, to do what I want not what’s expected of me. To put my desires, wants and needs front and centre.

So that’s it. It’s the one simple, sure fire way to confidence, self-worth and self esteem. Got back to the purest and best version of yourself. Find a picture of her and pin her up so that when you’re stuck on the hamster wheel of life with the wrong badge on and you don’t recognise the woman staring back at you in the mirror you go to her and you ask her – what would she do?

Identity will form one of eight modules on my 8-week group coaching programme, Woman Up, that will launch this coming autumn. If you’d like to know more about what it entails closer to the time, then please add your details to the waitlist on this link – https://www.subscribepage.com/womanup