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  • Amina Aitsi-Selmi

I am no longer available for this [Wise Wednesdays]

I am no longer available for gratuitous shaming.

By gratuitous shaming, I don’t just mean when someone tries to humiliate you for fun.

I mean the subtle invalidation that occurs when you don’t conform to expectations and where conforming to feel a sense of belonging doesn’t serve you or the world.

[n.b. To distinguish guilt from shame and make sure they don’t unduly influence your career choices, see this Wise Wednesdays from the 2016 archive.]

Death by a 1000 Subtle Invalidation cuts

This Subtle Invalidation doesn’t have to be in the form of a direct attack. It can also be an absence of acknowledgement, support or encouragement for your choices (because they don’t fit with expectations). It can also be an internalised form of invalidation which includes self-doubt or self-criticism but also lack of self-appreciation or self-celebration.

Create your self-acceptance manifesto: the path to inner-freedom

If you’re breaking with convention, pushing the boundaries or creating a (R)Evolution in your industry or community, you may want to scan for any form of SI (Subtle Invalidation) and even write a manifesto for yourself.

For example, I am no longer available for Subtle Invalidation for the following:

1. Refusing to build my business based on endless growth and profit (while still creating sufficient prosperity to meet my needs and aspirations for expanded impact).

2. Not conforming to the 2.4 model of family (while still enjoying meaningful relationships with people who are in that model and cultivating a distributed sense of connection, community and care).

3. Not being “productive” and honouring my own rhythms and seasons of creation (while still being purposeful and structured in my energy use and sometimes “looking like I do a lot”).

4. Refusing to ignore or downplay episodes of anxiety or depression (while still experiencing a high level of positive emotion and mental wellbeing overall).

5. Not wanting to rely on a 9-5 job to give me more financial certainty (while still putting in place financial structures for stability in my life).

6. Not having a fancy job title (while still valuing my work and its impact).

7. Not using marketing and selling tactics that exploit vulnerability (while still using my writing skills and authentic experience to encourage and inspire).

8. Refusing to live, work, travel or shop without being mindful of the impacts on the planet and other countries (while still enjoying the good things that life brings and discovering its infinite richness).

Embracing the friction between your truth and external expectations is where self-acceptance begins.

What others may shame or subtly invalidate you for is the seed for authenticity.

Your compass for liberation: intuition

In navigating this terrain, your intuition is your most powerful ally. It can pick up complex patterns and churn out the guidance you need when you’re caught in a dilemma (like needing to choose between two options. Hint: there is always a third.) It will know which direction to go before you’re conscious of it.

I’m committed to providing you with ongoing support, and not just offer food for thought, but elicit the insight you need for action. I’m making a few changes you may or many not notice in my work.

Below are two questions we used at the Deep Dive on Leadership yesterday which participants found helpful in thinking ahead to 2024 and taking immediate steps.

Read below or watch the video if you want me to take you through them when you have 10mins. [It’s the first video in a while, so please be patient with it!]

Video summary:

INTUITION (a mode of knowing) = perspectival knowing + participatory knowing.

QUESTION 1: What is your intuition telling you about the bigger picture of your life even if it sounds crazy?

QUESTION 2: If you trusted your intuition 100% what would you start or stop doing immediately?

One of the top 5 regrets of dying people is "I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me."

Einstein couldn’t get a job when he graduated…

Elvis Presley was criticised for being rebellious and associating with “black music”.

Malala Yousafzai was literally shot for advocating for girls’ education.

Remember who you are. Exercise choice. Co-create the impossible.

Have a great week,


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