My Journey Toward Self Belief

My journey toward self belief began as a schoolgirl in the 1970’s. I used to get off the School Bus in Derby & walk up Sadler Gate to get another bus to my home in Breadsall.  It was my quiet time and I used ponder what my future might be….

On Sadler Gate, I’d always pass a sign written on a wall – it said Derby Dye Company. I’d look up at it and laugh to myself as I often felt that 1970’s Derby HAD, indeed, curled up and died!  Still, that sign intrigued me. It certainly wasn’t operating as a Dye Company by then and I wondered how long ago it it was used for that purpose. I adore a bit of social history and wondered what sort of people would own a dye company.

Fish out of Water

Back then, as a pupil at Parkfield Cedars Grammar School for Girls, I was a fish out of water. I wasn’t academic like some of my friends. I was always full of  bright ideas, but had no direction, confidence or self belief. I’d no idea what career I wanted to pursue.

The careers folk suggested teaching or the civil service – again I laughed! Years later, in my late twenties and as a single parent, I needed to work.  So, I began a career in retail management with good old Woolies and a career path in People Management began to emerge.  The opportunity to become CIPD qualified really did help my self belief to grow.  I found my purpose and also a lifetime love of learning at last – it just needed to be in the right subject – people!

I think many young people have this same issue when asked choose their career path at such an early age. Did you?

A Voice from the Past

As I say, I have always loved history and have researched my family history since aged 11.  A few years ago, I found James, an Ancestor, 1820-1872.  Guess what?  He was the owner of the Derby Dye Company at 35 Sadler Gate. I was totally taken aback!

He moved from Macclesfield at the tender age of 19 and went on to set up his own extremely successful silk dyeing business at the age of 29. I love tracing my Ancestors – I can see how their life experience impacts my family’s DNA today

Perhaps every time I walked up Sadler Gate, aged 14, James was shouting to me, ‘Ruth – I made it – you can too!’ I still have my moments where I question if I can do stuff – but I’ve got some techniques that I use now to overcome lack of confidence.  And in those moments, I will often say to myself – what would James say to you Ruth?

What was your journey to self belief?

I am Ruth Gawthorpe is the CEO of The Smart Working Revolution.  My team solve business problems  and help Business Leaders develop Smart Leaders and Smart Teams.

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