(Photo via Unsplash)
“There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.”
– Michelle Obama
This week, women all across the globe, are celebrating the undisputed honor of being a woman. On Wednesday, March 8th the worldwide world of women (the real ‘www’) erupted in supportive unification of an amazing day: International Women’s Day (IWD). Boasting a century-long history of observation, since the early 1900’s, this globally recognized day calls for gender parity and also celebrates “the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women”. International Women’s Day combines the charges for women, both locally and globally, to take action toward anything and everything that warrants true change; to advocate for anything and everything that is fair and just; to collectively celebrate women’s accomplishments, achievements, and victories; to reflect on the past, while fearlessly planning for the future; and to uniformly unite, continuing to destroy barriers that attempt to keep us bound.
This year’s campaign theme is a powerhouse in only four words: Be Bold for Change. It calls on every woman, near and far, to help make the world we live in more, gender inclusive.
“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.” – Gloria Steinem.
What does it mean to be bold? Speaking in terms of an action, an idea, or a person; being bold means to show an ability to take risks and also to be confident and courageous. My definition of bold combines all of the aforementioned, featured terms into one. Imagine a person, with an idea, taking action. Would that description of an individual be exactly the type of influenceher that would unequivocally have the capacity to lead a charge for change? Abso-tota-freakin’-lutely!
Fact time: Did you all know that the World Economic Forum predicts the gender gap will not close entirely until 2186? (Hold up. Wait a minute. [inserts side eye] Ain’t nobody got time for that!)
Let’s continue to take action; let’s continue to be bold; and let’s continue to command change!
You may be asking, ‘Is it possible?’ You also may be thinking, ‘Who, me?’ You are capable; I promise that. I realize that not everyone is born bold nor is everyone carved with confidence. No worries, though. With practice, many attributes can be acquired through learning. These are no exception to that rule. You can literally start boasting boldness and cultivating confidence today! I found seven tips to share with you that will put you right on track. I’m sharing four of my favorites with you:
- Here is the first: Drop those that bring you down.
“7 things negative people will do to you. They will…
1. Demean your value.
2. Destroy your image.
3. Drive you crazy!
4. Dispose your dreams!
5. Discredit your imagination!
6. Deframe your abilities and
7. Disbelieve your opinions!
Stay away from negative people!” – Israelmore Avivor
Seriously, though? You do know that you can literally handpick the people that you desire to be in your life, right? Here’s the thing: I know that we are born into our families and sometimes other circumstances require us to be in the space of some people that we may not particularly care for. I get it; I promise you, I do. However, you are still in control of making the executive decision that dictates exactly who and what you entertain. If you are truly striving to become a better version of the person you are; if you are working hard toward growth and progression; if you are adamant about marinating happiness, positivity, and prosperity in your life, it is completely necessary for you to choose your ‘tribe’ wisely.
- This one is much easier said than done, but you’ve got to love it: Get out of your head.
“It’s important that what thoughts you are feeding into your mind because your thoughts create your belief and experiences. You have positive thoughts and you have negative ones too. Nurture your mind with positive thoughts: kindness, empathy, compassion, peace, love, joy, humility, generosity, etc. The more you feed your mind with positive thoughts, the more you can attract great things into your life.” – Roy T. Bennett
I used to think that only what I spoke aloud mattered. I am much wiser now and can validate just how far from the truth this notion truly is. Coming from a biblical upbringing, I know all too well that both ‘life and mortality lie in the power of the tongue’. As I have become more immersed into the entrepreneurial world, I have learned that my thoughts are just as important (if not more important) as the words I speak. After all, the mind is where it all starts. Therefore, it is my daily practice to strengthen my mind. My morning starts with affirmation and devotion. Throughout my day, I am very mindful and selective of the people that are both in my personal space and of whom are frequently conversational with me. I choose not to engage in unproductive activities or discussions. Lastly, my evening ends with more devotion as well as the verbalization of daily gratitude. Positivism is literally an around-the-clock job and I am always at work.
- I have a lot of fun with this one: Look your best.
“Looking good is a commitment to yourself and to others. Wigs, killer heels, Pilates, even fillers – whatever works for you, honey.” – Iman
Some say that I have a very, old soul. Again, that is wholly a result of my old-fashioned rearing. (See, even the word rearing is old school. Ha!) I was taught that each and every time I stepped foot into the world, and beyond the walls of my family’s home, in those moments I represented not only myself, but my family in its entirety. (Yikes!) Therefore, it was non-negotiable for me to ever compromise my appearance. I always had to look my best, no matter what. Personally, I believe that action is one of the many factors that contribute to my self-confidence, even today. I’m well aware of the fact that I always will only have ‘one chance to make a first impression’, so it better be my best each time. ‘Looking good’ is defined very differently for many people. I don’t believe there is only one standard that governs the demonstration; rather I feel that the act of looking good is relative to the individual. Whatever makes you feel good, do that, and do more of it.
“Being cool is being your own self, not doing something that someone else is telling you to do.” – Vanessa Hudgens
- Last, but certainly never least: Always remember to smile.
“I know it’s not clothes that make women beautiful or otherwise, nor beauty care, nor expensive creams, nor the distinction of costliness of their finery. I know the problem lies elsewhere. I don’t know where. I only know it isn’t where women think.” – Marguerite Duras
In piggybacking my sentiments about ‘looking good’, how many of us have heard things like this before: “What’s the whole point of being pretty on the outside when you’re so ugly on the inside?” – Jess C. Scott
It reminds me of something my grandmother used to say: “God don’t like ugly, and He don’t care too much for pretty either.”
Simply put, your attitude makes a big difference. It’s all about how you interact with others. Sometimes outwardly beautiful people are really ugly on the inside. Their inward actions do not parallel their eye-pleasing physicality. Just the same, you can often come across a person that is not considered attractive, but their heart is pure gold. At the end of the day, no matter what it is (inwardly or outwardly) that makes you feel good, the cherry on top of it all will always be your smile.
“Nothing you wear is more important than your smile.” – Connie Stevens
International Women’s Day lasts only 24 hours. Let us be sure that we do our parts to ensure that the mission continues: “Each one of us – … women … – can be a leader within our own spheres of influence by taking bold pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity. Through purposeful collaboration, we can help women advance and unleash the limitless potential offered to economies the world over.” – IWD 2017