Wishing you all a wonderful International Women’s Day!
This year’s theme is #choose to challenge.
I believe that the tide is turning. There are the glimmers of change for women in society. We have to support each other to ensure we all rise up on the tide together. As each woman becomes empowered, so she can help to empower another woman.
However, whilst progress is being made, there is still one more obstacles to women acheiving their dreams – their own perceived barriers.
My challenge to you today, is to choose to challenge the way you perceive your own limiting beliefs.
Now, I know that many of the obstacles women face have been entrenched in our society for hundreds of years. It is no wonder that we hold limiting beliefs in our own minds as to what we can achieve. When you are constantly told a story about your abilities, you begin to believe it. Yes, we need to smash obstacles from society but we also need to do the inner work of changing our mindsets and beliefs.
Women have been given labels and tags foisted on us from a society based on patriarchy. We sometimes allow these labels to disempower us and limit us from moving forward. We keep playing small, hiding our light and true selves. It’s time to rip these labels off and ditch all the negative beliefs we hold inside ourselves.
The opportunities for women are growing everyday if we look and focus on them. The more positive examples we see of women being successful, the more likely we can envisage our own success. We need to shout about each other’s successes to keep the tide moving forward.
Women today are closer to choosing any career they dream of. When I was at school I was basically offered the choice by the careers department of teacher, nurse or secretary. There are so many more opportunities for young women now.
More importantly and excitingly, is the fact more women than ever are setting up their own businesses.
36% of small businesses are female owned (source: https://whattobecome.com/blog/women-entrepreneurs-statistics/) with 62% of those female business owners aged 40-59 years old. By setting up our own businesses we begin to determine how our working lives evolve. More flexible work hours, working from home around a family, work strategies that incorporate female values. Female businesses have the opportunity to change the way commerce is organised.
Women are now more financially independent. In my mother’s generation, women couldn’t open a bank account or get a mortgage without their husband being present.
Women can now independently own property, compared to Victorian times when fathers, brothers and husbands controlled women’s assets.
Yes, there is still so much more to achieve for women:
- The gap in women’s health treatments and research,
- The salary gaps,
- The continued sexism,
- Domestic abuse and violence against women
- The expectation that women should be responsible for running the household in addition to working.
- The huge gaps and injustices that minority women still suffer
- The disparity of treatment of women in other countries
Of course we have to vehemently challenge these obstacles.
But we also need to take inspiration and hope that change is evolving. We need to believe in ourselves fully.
There are hundreds of wonderful female mentors who have lead the way before. A few examples:-
- the women leading resistance groups during war time (i.e. Odette Abadi, Simone Sagouin)
- the female spies during WWII (such as Vera Atkins, Krystyna Skarbek, Nancy Wake)
- Female survivors of adversity – Dr Edith Eger (survived the concentration camps), Taria Pitt (survived bush fire injuries), Katie Piper (survived an acid attack).
- Female solo pilots like Emelia Earhart, Amy Johnson.
- Female explorers of the Victorian era (Mary Kingsley, Isabella Bird)
- Prolific female authors such as Agatha Christie, Enid Blyton, J K Rowling, Jane Austin, the Bronte Sisters, Virginia Woolfe
- Females leading the way in science such as Marie Curie, Florence Nightingale and computers through Ada Lovelace in the 1700’s.
When we stop and think (and do a google) there are thousands of women who have been leading the way for years. They faced huge obstacles but they didn’t allow their limiting beliefs to stop them from achieving their goals, even when they had fewer opportunities than we have now.
If women focus their attention on the achievements that have been made to date, we can break down our inner limiting beliefs to make even more amazing, ground breaking changes to our lives. In the words of the coach Amanda Jane Daley “if she can do it, so can I!”.
By building our self worth and esteem from within we can define a new world with a much greater feminine energy.
Let’s link hands to challenge the obstacles in society, but let’s also challenge the limiting beliefs we hold inside us that our holding us back.
Share in the comments below a female, past or present, who most inspires you.
Sending love and inspiration to you all xxT