A few months ago I decided to make a change. It started with a change in my instagram bio, I know groundbreaking stuff right? But seriously, I usually fluffed it out with who I am, what I post about, where I’m going etc etc. Not anymore. Now it just reads “Proud Difficult Woman” and I didn’t realise quite how liberating it would be admitting that to the world.
I recently stumbled across a quote which read “I know what I bring to the table so trust me when I say I’m not afraid to eat alone” and it struck such a cord with me so hard, that I realised things needed to change.
By nature I apologise a lot, if I accidentally bump into you I’ll apologise, heck even if you accidentally knock into me I’ll probably still apologise, I apologise when I disagree with someone, I apologise If I think theres a chance I’m annoying you, I apologise if I suggest something that I know is a great idea, I apologise for being difficult, I’d probably apologise for breathing given half the chance. So yeh, In short, I decided to stop doing that so much. In fact I decided to embrace a side of me which I’ve always been made to feel is a negative.
My name is Lydia Elise Millen, and I am a proud difficult woman. I’m guessing your scratching your head wondering what I mean, but I’m hopeful there are a few of you knodding along thinking “Me too”. Most notably right now, this applies to the work place but I can already feel it extending to my personal life, friendships and beyond. But no matter what industry you work in, we could all do with embracing our inner “difficult woman” a little more.
Because the particular industry that I work in is still in its infancy, theres a lot of grey areas, a lot of people winging it, even more blagging it and a hell of a lot of “big wigs” throwing their weight around. I found myself time and time again in situations that I knew weren’t right for me as a creator, either because I didn’t ask enough questions (because I didn’t want to be difficult) or because I simply didn’t challenge things (because I didn’t want to be difficult) but whilst I wasn’t being difficult, I also wasn’t doing my job to the best of my abilities. I realised I had to learn to assert myself more, be less afraid of losing opportunities, care far more about who I actually am rather that what people think of me and above all else, always prioritise doing an exceptional job because if that makes me difficult, then so be it.
These days I’m trying to use the word ‘sorry’ far less and instead try to use the word ‘no’ a little more. Utilising my confidence and honing my expertise in an industry that I’ve spent more than a decade studying and working in to advise, perfect and innovate. Even saying that out loud and having that belief in myself and my abilities 6 months ago was foreign to me, but the more ‘difficult’ I become, the less I try to fit into the spaces people create for me and instead start demanding my own space, the more I grow and evolve.
So there you have it, I’m Lydia Elise Millen and I am a proud difficult woman.