The Future is Female

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Not Good Enough?

Why do we always think we are not good enough?  Why do we find it really difficult to accept a good spirited compliment?  WhyEveryday I come in to contact with the most amazing, capable, creative thinking women (both friends and colleagues), who care about what they do, their families and the world around them.  So why do they sometimes think they are not good enough and undeserving?

I have to say, I put myself in the above category too, not celebrating my achievements, but brushing them off as – ‘We’ll, I’m ok, I’m not the worst!’  We always seem to play down our achievements and almost be embarrassed by our successes.  Why?

I used to think it was a British thing, we don’t like to come across as over confident or cocky, but this is clearly not true, because the majority of men that I come across, have no problem in accepting compliments and being confident in their achievements.  I did consider some of this to be arrogance, but I have realised that most of the time it isn’t – they are just comfortable in their self worth, they can see the hard work they have put in, and they are happy to pat themselves on the back.

And why shouldn’t they?  If someone has worked hard and achieved something special – then fair play, you should be proud of yourself! Women do not do this and as a result, we are underrepresented in pretty much every field.

We always have something important to bring to the table, we just don’t sit down.

Yes We Can!

I love this strapline championed by Obama, and when he delivered his speech he was talking about everyone – not just men.  Women need to believe this too – YES WE CAN!

I have found things challenging in my personal and professional life and the one thing that has pushed me forward is the belief that there is always light at the end of the tunnel – you’ve just got to keep on moving towards it.

I think I owe a lot of this to my parents, my mother especially. She has always instilled in me that you have to work hard for something you want. Even from an early age, she encouraged me to be fiercely independent, assuring me that it was ‘ok’ to want more and to dream big. She has been an amazing role model, showing me that it is important for a woman to be fulfilled in her life at home as well as being well respected through their knowledge and skills in their chosen field.  This has taught me a huge lesson – women have the skills and determination to be leaders and innovators too!

My family are the centre of my world, I love my children and my husband and they are the most important thing to me.  That said, it doesn’t mean that I have to sacrifice everything That is important to me to facilitate their happiness.  Long before I had my children or met my husband I was an individual, with my own ideas, passions and goals.

We Are All Individuals

Having a family hasn’t made me forget those things, because they have always been a part of me.  There have been times, when I have compromised these for the sake of my family, and I have found that during these times I have not felt like myself.  I felt lost, I was losing confidence and felt unsure of myself.  Outwardly I had a smile on my face and was generally the ‘same old me’, but inwardly I was struggling.

By recognising this in myself, and deciding to do something about it, I have now set myself along a path where I am now more determined and definitely more fulfilled.  I have prioritiesed my life and scheduled in time for me to explore my passions.  None of these decisions have affected my family negatively, in fact they have seen the benefit because I am much happier and have a greater appreciation of time and quality time. The happier I am, the happier they are – who knew!

Do you make time for yourself?

Guilty

Everyone understands this concept, particularly those with children.  We feel guilty about the things we do or don’t do and are always worried about being judged by others.

We need to stop feeling guilty about our life choices because they are unique to us.  No-one can understand what it is like to live our lives or walk our path because everyone is different.  We make choices sometimes hard ones, that to others might seem to be the wrong ones.  We have to be comfortable that we have made those decisions because we want the best for our family and ourselves and sometimes they will not be understood by anyone else – and that’s ok.

Sometimes that guilt feeling can be exhausting and draining because we are constantly worrying.  What if we stopped feeling guilty and put our energy into following our passions and doing what makes us feel happy?

Some of the women I know are the hardest working and most dedicated people you could meet.  Determination and grit are second nature to them.  Imagine if they had a greater sense of self belief and made their passions a priority!

If women can feel more empowered to follow their dreams and believe that anything is possible with hard work – I think the future truly is female!

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