“She Believed She Could, So She Did” Event: A view from Bloom North Ally, Seb Randle
Updated: Apr 3
Seb summarises the key takeouts, with additional thought starters for improved allyship
I attend Bloom events not only for the great content, but also to think about how the observations can prompt more allyship from men, ie. how as men we can drive gender equity forward and become agents of meaningful change.
In a very uplifting start to the week, I attended Bloom’s first panel event of 2023, entitled “She Believed She Could, So She Did”. The theme of the event was around goal setting, positive mindset and manifestation, so as a development coach myself, these were topics I was familiar with and definitely excited about!
Lucy Thompson, solutions focussed hypnotherapist gave a real sense of confidence to the room that creating new habits is possible. She explained about the primitive mind keeping you safe at times of stress and that we must really train our minds through small shifts to reach a more positive, logical, solutions-based mindset. As the biggest voice in our own lives, we were encouraged to be kind to ourselves and to recognise when our self-talk wasn’t serving us positively.
Takeout: If we hear the women around us being critical of themselves then we must actively find ways to empower and encourage them. We must adopt a curious and empathetic approach to engaging all genders, not just women.
Abigail Irozuru, Team GB Olympian and NLP Coach shared her own story of resilience, overcoming adversity to reach Tokyo after two previous failed attempts. Her powerful learnings were that she must shift the narrative to succeed, to put hard work behind the manifestation and break the bigger goals down into smaller more manageable ones.
She asked the room who had suffered from impostor syndrome or anxiety. After a show of many hands, she retorted “Why are you questioning yourself?! Look where you are! You deserve to be here!”
Takeout: We must recognise and celebrate the different qualities that women can bring and share our commitment to them publicly. We must actively share the successes of all who warrant it, not just those who shout the loudest.
Aleks Certa, previously an Account Director for a big group agency but now a successful coach and creator of retreats gave a very powerful lesson. On learning that her daughter needed a serious spinal operation during Covid, and with only one parent being allowed into the operating theatre, her resilience was tested to its limit. Having never been a naturally positive person, she thought to herself in that moment, “how do I really want my life to reflect back to me?”.
Aleks returned to her intuition, she re-aligned her intentions for a positive outcome, and her daughter’s operation was a success. She even described the experience as “one of the best weeks of my life”.
Takeout: We must breed positivity in the workplace through shared experiences and achievements. We must be more aware of the different challenges that different people face.
Last but by no means least was our token male panellist Simon Calderbank, a successful coach who specifically works with female leaders to improve confidence and build resilience. He explained that “coaching helps to unlock what exists within you already” and to stay open to all possibilities.
He recommended daily affirmations, ensuring they are in the present tense e.g. “I am”, to make them more purposeful. He ended with a helpful quote which was “change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change”. This really hammered home the idea that we each have the power to control our own thinking.
Takeout: As men we should try to do less silo’d in our thinking and be more open to new ideas and ways of doing things. We should actively find ways to be more empathetic, to breed fresh ideas from different perspectives.
Too many highlights to mention, but a really fantastic event that made me question not only how I engage with myself, but how I respond to the people around me. Thank you to all the terrific committee members involved in bringing it to life, as well as the excellent panellists who kindly offered their time.
In conclusion, we must remember that wanting to grow, learn and succeed is a human need, it is not gender specific. We have a duty to ensure every individual within our network has the tools and support to flourish, and I feel privileged to be part of a committee who is striving to make this happen for our fantastic women. Allyship is something I take very seriously, and I hope the men reading this take a moment to consider its importance within their own lives too.