International Women’s Day, a day of recognition each year on 8th March, is a chance to recognise our place in the world. So much has changed in our gender’s history: within a relatively short time, we’ve seen, to a certain degree, emancipation and appreciation for our value as serious contributors and leaders within this ever-changing world. However, we’re still not experiencing the equality we so obviously deserve in many countries, industries and even at home. When will we see the day?
A girl should be two things: who and what she wants – Coco Chanel
It can be easy to fixate on society’s pillar women – those who have publicly achieved so much – but International Women’s Day isn’t just a political or a social cause, it’s a lifestyle statement personal to each and every one of us. So how can we, in our own lives, uphold the ethos of this day?
So often for women, the “norm” is often about compromise and keeping relationships and family units afloat and operational. That doesn’t sound so empowering… It’s easy to see that a woman’s sense of self can be diluted in the process. As women, we often feel guilty for putting ourselves first but let’s reset and think of ways to change that! Make time today, stop, let your mind focus on your uniqueness, separated from others. Go deep and think about who you want to be and what you want to do. Make a list of things you can change quite easily and start from there…
You do, YOU
Have an image in your head of how a new You might look? Maybe with an aesthetic makeover to express a quirkier side of yourself? The only person that has to approve of your adult choices is the one gazing back in the mirror so whether it’s dyeing your hair pink, or making a statement with a bold tattoo – dare yourself to be different.
Fly solo, baby
Always wanted to take that holiday adventure that’s been scripted in your imagination for years… but no one else is interested? By going solo, you’ll witness a pure joy at having no other agenda but yours from start to finish. If you’re being super adventurous, try scripting a trip with an individual itinerary rather than going the package route. It’s so easy these days with Airbnb options to stay in homes but to feel truly pampered and cared for – book a hotel! I’ve got a long bucket list of places I want to explore. The sheer idea of one day ticking some of those places off is surprisingly liberating in itself.
Sometimes we need to kick limiting habits to the curb, why not start by conquering the act of people-pleasing those we interact with?! The workplace is often a situation in which we adapt our identities to suit those we deem are more powerful than us. Remember that work colleagues might have very different motivations than you. As with most things, try to practice being more in touch with your natural instinct. If somebody comes across as being passive-aggressive or manipulating, don’t suck it up. Finding diplomatic but firm ways of not being a go-to doormat will free you from feeling diminished.
Own our own destiny
We, women, have resourcefulness within to forge an exceptional life in whatever form we desire. What you choose it to be, sometimes means finding the courage to step into that role. I have a friend who was shy as a young girl, with a beautiful model for mother. After spending childhood years observing her mother being the most charming social butterfly, with a seemingly natural ability to work any room, she asked her mother how she did it. “I just pretended to be the person who lights up the room until one day I realised it was really me”. And so say all of us.