From internationalwomensday.com - A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day.
We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.
From challenge comes change, so let's all #choosetochallenge.
I'm so happy to share some ways you can start today by working on your Girl Power skills so when you are faced with inequality or gender bias as a woman in the workplace, raising children, at home or in school, you'll have the courage to rise up and use your voice for good!
First, let's define challenge. Here's what Merriam Webster says.
:to arouse or stimulate especially by presenting with difficulties
// she wants a job that will challenge her
We all know that girls face some pretty tough pressures. Looking a certain way, acting a certain way, being the best, being the smartest, peer pressures, girl drama, and the list goes on and on. There's a lot of discussion about pressures and how girls are shaped by the media but I think there's a huge missing link about challenges in our conversations. How can challenges benefit today's girls? How do we really see challenges? Good vs Terrible? Let's dive a little deeper because going forward I think you just might change your mindset the next time you're confronted with a challenge!
Example A: You want to be popular so you try to hang out with the girls who are already popular. Problem 1: You don't really feel like you're having fun and the girls don't have much in common with you but you go along with the crowd. Problem 2: You have to decide if being popular rates higher than being genuine with BFF's who don't rank high in popularity.
Example B: No one in your family has big goals except yourself. Problem 1: Your family loves you but they just don't understand the support you need to reach higher. Problem 2: You feel life is easier if you just give up and go along with those you're surrounded with.
Example C: You're 100% geeked out on science and super smart in all classes. Problem 1: You struggle finding genuine/like minded friendships. Problem 2: You tend to overthink everything to the point that you don't get out much anymore.
Example D: You struggle in school and taking exams gives you anxiety. Problem 1: Failing grades on a regular basis makes you feel overwhelmed to the point you stop trying. Problem 2: You feel embarrassed to reach out for help.
ALL OF THE ABOVE SOLUTIONS ARE CHALLENGES! Inner challenges come with a hefty price tag and believe it or not, confidence will help you meet the challenge. Here's where we need to use our "Girl Power" to defeat the challenge once and for all. YOU have to decide to take that very first baby step towards empowerment when we are faced with difficulties. Defeat can seem like it hovers over us, especially when we're in a dark place BUT if you give yourself a chance, you will find the root of your tree has a million branches. Pressures????? Consider it a challenge and nix the negative "noise".
OK so you're wondering HOW right? Here's my authentic approach. I have spent over a decade listening to girls just like yourself. I created a GIRL TALK CURRICULUM that basically gives girls all the tools they need to navigate challenges and pressures. The curriculums are super fun and engaging. The BEST part was the conversations. Conversations create a spark and ignite ideas, support and encouragement. Girls realized (many for the 1st time) that they were not alone and they walked away with some new confidence they had never experienced. One of my challenges is to have GIRL TALK in every school for every girl regardless of race or economic impact. Until then, it's up to all of us to have those important convos.
CHALLENGE: Find someone (family, teacher, neighbor, counselor) or gather some BFF's, and be brave enough to TALK about challenges and pressures. This is so important! And before you even think it, you are never alone! I'm always up for emails and at the bottom of my home page there's a way to connect with me, so no excuses!
Individually, we are all responsible for our own thoughts and actions, all day every day.
Happy IWD to ALL the girls out there! We are the future so let's rise to the challenges together.