Are you scared of being visible?

In today’s session, I want to dive compassionately into this topic as it’s something I see destroying our community on so many levels.

First, I feel it’s important to say that the fear of being visible for melanated folks is not a personal failing but a protective strategy that has deep roots in our traumatic history of enslavement and oppression. Our ancestors could have been killed for speaking out, so being invisible was the survival pattern that kept them alive. This has been passed down generationally and still keeps many of us ‘safe’ in toxic workplace environments. 

Racial shame can also play a huge role in this conversation where we’ve internalised the oppression and believe we are defective and unworthy, making it harder to be visible at work, particularly in predominantly white spaces. Here’s how shame and the fear of visibility can show up at work :

  1. Self-Doubt: We second-guess our abilities and qualifications, doubting whether we deserve abundance, recognition or promotions. This leads to us undermining our achievements and the avoidance of leadership roles.

 

  1. Hyper-Vigilance: Due to our abusive history and current experiences it’s inevitable that we are hyper-vigilant at work, constantly monitoring our words and actions to avoid giving others a reason to question our competence or professionalism. 

 

  1. Perfectionism: In order to deal with workplace stress, we pressure ourselves to perform flawlessly at work which inevitably increases stress leading to burnout. We may also be reluctant to seek help or delegate tasks for fear of appearing inadequate.

 

  1. Avoidance of the Spotlight: The fear of being negatively targeted means that we actively avoid situations that would bring us attention i.e. speaking up in meetings, leadership opportunities, or advocating for ourselves in performance evaluations. 

 

  1. Imposter Syndrome: Despite our accomplishments and qualifications, we continue to internalise racist lies about our abilities and feel like frauds and don’t believe we deserve success. 

 

  1. Over-Accommodation: In an effort to assimilate and avoid conflict, we may overwork and over-accommodate others or the business needs or expectations. 

 

Many of us spend a lot of time in the workplace so if these characteristics are part of your daily grind it’s going to have a huge impact on your wellbeing. If you identify with any of the above it’s time to be honest about your relationship to work and how to reframe how you express your gifts to the world. 

 

As a trauma therapist and business coach, we can work together to understand your specific workplace culture, coping patterns and the shame reduction tools required to reveal your needs and how to move forward managing your workplace wellness with compassion and confidence to thrive. If you have questions about how we can work together, email me at [email protected] 

 

 


Are you the workplace mammy?

Last week I saw a really cringy interview with Drew Barrymore and Vice President Kamala Harris (USA) where she was asking her to be the county’s ‘Mamula.’ It was clearly giving, ‘be the black mammy’ vibes and there were a lot of us on social media saying how tired they were of having this stereotype projected onto them at work. 

The Black Mammy stereotype is deeply rooted in chattel slavery where we were expected to be nurturing, self-sacrificing, and grateful for having the primary role of caring for their white enslavers. This stereotype continues to be used in the workplace to exploit, dehumanise, and subjugate Black women, recycling harmful stereotypes and reinforcing racist power dynamics. How does this play out at work? 

  1. Expectations of Caretaking: Black women are expected to take on caregiving roles, such as providing emotional support or managing conflicts, often without receiving proper recognition support or appropriate pay for the role.
  2. Devaluation of Skills and Expertise: Black women’s professional skills and expertise are devalued by emphasising their perceived natural inclination towards domestic and caretaking roles. Consequently, we face barriers to advancement and are often overlooked for leadership positions as a result.
  3. Emotional Labour and Burnout: The emotional labour heaped on Black women to cape for everyone else often results in burnout as we codependently deny our own emotions to keep the peace at work. 
  4. Difficulty Setting Boundaries: The Mammy stereotype portrays Black women as selfless and accommodating, making it challenging for us to set boundaries or advocate for our needs in the workplace. This inability to prioritise our wellness at work inevitably feeds a cycle of codependency, exhaustion and resentment.
  5. Enabling Racist Hierarchies: Black women may internalise this stereotype and believe racist messages that their identity and worth is dependent on their ability to meet these caregiving roles for others. Accepting these projections enables the system and keeps the power dynamics firmly in place. 

Challenging this stereotype is essential for dismantling the oppression systems ingrained in so many corporate organisations.  If you identify with these characteristics, recognise yourself as the workplace mammy or struggle with chronic people pleasing, join the email list to get exclusive access to a webinar on understanding and setting racial boundaries at work on 23 May 2024. 


An Emotional Ending.

One of the things I love about being a therapist is the privilege of witnessing the transformation in my clients. Last week, it was humbling to wrap up an emotional ending to my Self Care for Success course where therapists explored their relationship to caring for themselves as the foundation for building a private practice.

What I learned from the Sista students was how important it was for them to be seen and heard in the content that was designed specifically with the black women experience in mind. The result was not only about having the right tools to take care of themselves as business owners, but a shift in how they feel about themselves in the present.

There was tears and pride ignited from the mirroring and conversations around releasing the shame that blocks growth. There was hope in witnessing the collective struggles and wins in the storytelling and excitement around embracing the sacredness of black womanhood as a tool for liberation and healing in themselves and their clients.

If you’re struggling to lean into a project or your business, you are not alone. Remember that community is everything and if you can find the willingness to start, the courage to take the first steps will follow.

If you’re a wellness practitioner or a newly qualified therapist looking for a community to nurture your business, the magic continues in the North Star Business School on Wednesday 29 November 2023. The next offering is Foundational Money Moves where we’ll explore our current and historical relationship with money along with the practical processes and systems required to earn money in private practice.

Being your sacred self.

In a system of toxic expectations and oppression, it can be difficult for us to stay fully grounded inside our true, authentic selves. There is also the fantasy that in order to do this we must reject the parts of us that are hurt, angry and lost, so in today’s live I share how to discover and embrace being your full sacred self.

Should you join my North Star Business School? Q&A

If you’ve been on the fence about joining the North Star Business School this live stream will help you get clarity either way. Join me as I share, what makes this offering different from other program’s? What values will guide the journey? What are the objectives of this coaching program?  What are the program features? Where and when will it start! Who is it for? Let me know if you have any other questions.

 

Happy Black History Month (UK) : Saluting Our Sisters, celebrating ourselves!

Black History Month is more than just a tokenistic event for white folks to acknowledge our existence; it serves as a reminder that black history is an integral part of the broader narrative and deserves recognition throughout the whole year. 

In today’s live stream, I dive into this years Black History Month theme, Saluting Our Sisters. The legacy of black women as leaders, nurturers, and trailblazers is an essential part of history and remembering the greatness of the first black woman who gave birth to civilization serves as a reminder of the strength inherent in black women throughout history and those pushing back against oppression today.

Exploring your relationship with grind culture?

When overworking is a status symbol, many of us can get sucked into the vortex of compulsive productivity, perfectionism and self deprivation in an attempt to prove ourselves worthy as black people in the workplace. In today’s live I explore what exactly is grind culture, it’s internalised characteristics and the impact it has on our lives and in business. If you resonate with this content, the North Star Business School can help you understand these patterns and deal with them as you build your private practice. 

Spiritual Principles for Success.

Including spirituality into your work and business practices can offer a deeper sense of purpose, clarity, and alignment with universal principles. This is not about aligning with any particular religion, it’s more about tapping into the inner sacredness that resides within all of us. In this live, I explore the 7 African spiritual principles of Ma’at and how to apply it to thriving in business. Remember, greatness does not happen in isolation; it thrives in community with a commitment to universal values!

Is your inner child sabotaging your work/ business?

The connection between our past experiences and present-day challenges in the workplace is often underestimated. This live explores the enmeshed relationship between childhood trauma, self-worth, and our professional success, shedding light on how these early experiences can influence our behavior and choices at work and in business. The North Star Business School for wellness professionals provides an intercultural, trauma informed platform to explore these issues as you set up and grow your business.

3 Things I wish I knew before going into private practice.

Hindsite can be gift that allows us to make better choices in the present. When I was a therapy student I was so anxious about what it would mean to be qualified and transition from offering peer support to running my private practice. The North Start Business School is being launched to fill a gap around all the things that kept me up at night about being in business so you don’t have too. In today’s live I share about things I wish I knew before going into private practice. If you have any thoughts or questions, email me at [email protected]