This time last year – right in the midst of the first month of writing Power in Your Pocket: Detox from Good Girl Syndrome, I found myself apologising for the message of the book. Deep down though I could hear inside of me – Jeanette, don’t let anyone steal your legacy!
At that time my co-author Laura and I had no idea what the title would be. We were going to write a book – there was no doubt about that. The question was, what would we write about and how would we deliver a message we somehow knew could rock the societal boat? Both of us had our own experiences of domestic violence, and even as I write this now I find myself almost apologising for writing these words. I mean, haven’t we heard enough of them and isn’t it a little bit dark writing about this?
Throughout the early phases of the project, I could see I was finding it difficult to reconcile the dangerously blurred lines of something so complex and largely misunderstood. I felt the heavy weight of putting myself, and Laura too, in a position where we could quite possibly be heavily criticised. What would men and even some women say about us? That we’re acting like victims, or that we have no basis for our message?
After many long conversations, we finally found a way to stop apologising… and with the weight still on our shoulders, we pushed on into the murky world of what we believe is the basis of domestic violence against women: inequality. We believed and still do, that is an important first chapter. This inequality is the basis upon which women believe they are not enough. Still, a couple of months and one entire draft in, we realised the message did not reflect our legacy. We decided to go back to the drawing board and get very clear about our intention. What did we want for each and every woman who read our book?
We wanted to create a book that was uplifting. It needed to be well researched; it needed to be clear; and easy to read. And above all, it needed to put the power back into women’s pockets.
It needed to send a clear message to each woman that they are enough. It needed to show women that in spite of past experiences, and the Good Girl messages we all receive growing up, we can give ourselves permission to be the leader we are born to be. Our book needed to ooze the truth – that each of us is valuable, and there are ways to believe in ourselves.
To be unwavering in our message we had to give ourselves a voice because being hypocritical was off the table.
Don’t Let Anyone Steal Your Legacy
Through the process, we learned a very important thing. No one can take your legacy away from you. Because whatever stops you from the legacy you’ve decided to leave, is coming from within you. Through writing this book together, we saw and felt how history triggers each of us. The days we felt the weight on our shoulders or were triggered by something someone said, and even each other, we had to push through. If we didn’t, we’d still be sitting here now wondering – what if we’d written that book?
Since writing it we’ve received a growing wave of amazing feedback. And if this one comment was all we got, it was worth it… ‘It’s empowered my soul’.
That’s what we wanted. We wanted readers to discover the power within them that they couldn’t see. We wanted them to know we were standing with them on this journey of overcoming hardships and old history – and find strength and joy at the destiny and unique legacy in front of them.
It’s Not the Critic That Counts
How did I do it? I said this to myself every day – It’s not the critic that counts. And Jeanette, when you are being your worst critic, you are at your most selfish. When I was gentle with myself, trusted my gut (without judging myself) and put what women and what they were telling me at the forefront, I was able to step out and follow the legacy that was burning inside me. And our book, your book, was born.
Listen to that voice inside you prompting you to believe in yourself. No matter how quiet it is.
And don’t let anyone steal your legacy.