As I am sure you are all aware (and hopefully were able to celebrate in some way), March 8th was International Women's Day and March denotes Women's History Month. If you're not familiar with International Women's Day, it's an annual marker that aims to celebrate women's accomplishments and obstacles. In my mind, it's an opportunity to call attention to the acts of courage and determination by everyday women like you and me achieve in our own lives and communities. Just as us women, acts of courage come in all shapes and sizes and are just as important no matter how big or small.
As I sit and reflect on my own personal progress I am quite proud of where I am now. I feel free to be myself now more than ever. But it's been quite the road to get here I think.
My Self Doubt
Growing up, as I am sure is the same with most young girls, I wasn't quite yet sure of who I was, where I wanted to be or what I wanted to do. In college I declared my major as Political Science because, well, I wasn't sure what else I wanted to do. I had always considered going to law school (I always wanted to be like my Dad and envisioned myself in the boardroom kicking ass and taking names) and I thought poli-sci was the logical move. Despite working my butt off, taking all the hard courses, graduating early and landing a job at the Massachusetts State House (while I was still finishing up the last of my online courses), I still didn't really believe in myself or my achievements. There was this underlying sense of self doubt.
It's not that I wasn't taught how capable and smart and strong I was, because my parents both instilled in me a confidence that I could achieve anything... but I just didn't yet feel secure in my own skin. People I'd meet would find out I worked in politics and suddenly wanted to spar with me over every little issue. And instead of holding my own ground or speaking up for myself, I'd find myself agreeing with them a lot of the time simply because I didn't feel free enough to be myself. I wasn't confident in my own opinions despite my education and knowledge working within the political realm. And why is that? I have always been a strong, confident girl, but when it came to my smarts there was this lack of courage and a little self doubt. Eventually I think, this somewhat turned me away from politics as I decided it wasn't for me. I was just plain old sick of having to talk about it with everyone and feel beaten down with the stick of their opinions constantly.
So I moved onto law school. I met my husband, convinced him to take the LSAT with me and suddenly we were living in San Diego together with our noses deeply wedged into the biggest legal textbooks you can think of. And despite achieving the high grade in several courses, making honor roll and receiving the CALI Award for Academic Excellence, I was still petrified to speak up in class and share my thoughts and opinions. So much so that I would actually skip class on the days it would be my turn to be called on.
And before you go on thinking this post is all about tooting my own horn, it's not. It's about the unfortunate lack of self confidence us women have in ourselves and our capabilities and achievements despite the incredible accomplishments we have made throughout our lives.
Find the Courage to Be Yourself
Now that I am a bit older I feel like I have finally come into my own skin. I have a successful business that I have created all on my own (with the help and support of my husband along the way, of course), and I was brave enough to leave my legal career path to pursue my own passions and dreams. And don't get my wrong, it's been scary embarking into the unknown. Will I make money doing this? Will people take me and my career seriously? Am I brave enough to share the real me and all my struggles with the world? Will the world hate me / judge me for the things I say or share? But you know what? I have finally come to the point in my life where I think to myself, 'who gives AF?!' I am a strong, independent, bright woman and it's exhilarating forging my own path and following my dreams and being my own boss babe! Just like I had always envisioned for myself when I was young.
And that's the really cool thing about today's world. All over I am seeing women just like you and me who are leaving behind traditional roles to fulfill their dreams and start their own ventures. And how cool is that?! The future is female, my friends, and we can achieve absolutely anything we put our minds to. We just need to be confident in our own skin and have faith in ourselves.
So my advice to you is to kick that self doubt in the arse. Kiss that nasty habit of devaluing yourself, your strengths and opinions goodbye.
Embrace who you are and have the courage to be your true self. Redefine power. Live the life you truly want and deserve. Don't sell yourself short. And above all, know that you can accomplish anything you put your mind to.
And that's what I love about Carefree's "free to be you" campaign. It's all abut being successful because you have the freedom to be yourself. Carefree.
So go start your own business if you want to. Go to law school if you want to. Start a blog if you want to. Just be you.
As I am sure you are all aware (and hopefully were able to celebrate in some way), March 8th was International Women's Day and March denotes Women's History Month. If you're not familiar with International Women's Day, it's an annual marker that aims to celebrate women's accomplishments and obstacles. In my mind, it's an opportunity to call attention to the acts of courage and determination by everyday women like you...