Knowing your power is what creates humility, not knowing your power is what creates insecurity – ego.
– Nayyirah Waheed –
Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.
(A friend of mine, always says this)
Before being a woman, I am first a human being. I have desires, I have dreams and I have a right to chase them. Being a woman is a beautiful bonus; my strength, my soft skin and my ability to nurture life is more of a super power and I find it beautiful. Femininity is not something to hide or try to blend in, in a “man’s world”.
In this life, we meet people who want to define us only by our femininity. I say ‘only’ because I do not find it offensive being called a woman, neither do I try to lose my femininity to fit into a world where there is a lot of masculine energy. I would not want to ever lose that side of me, but I am also more than just the physical form I took. I often feel sorry for the man who cannot perceive more than one idea of me.
Men also have their own kind of super power and those who know and understand it, know that a woman showing her strength does not strip them off their strength. They feel secure enough to encourage and nurture not only their own dreams, but another person’s, a woman’s.
For a woman it is very easy to shy away from or feel very intimidated by being in a male dominated field or be afraid to be bold because we are afraid we might come off as ‘a bit much’, but there two things that come into play if you find yourself in such a situation.
The first is your thoughts.
Your thoughts about you are what you exude. You tell people how to treat you by what you exude or how you allow yourself to be treated. You can either think of yourself as the victim, the poor woman in man’s world or you can think of yourself as just another person trying to make a mark on the world doing what you love and getting what you want. If you feel you cannot or should not be so audacious because you are a woman, people respond to those unspoken thoughts proving you are not worth everything you could possibly dream of. I feel what it comes down to at the end of the day is that you are a human being with desires and dreams and what you are doing from day to day is trying to achieve them. Period. It is all you should concern yourself with when you wake up in the morning because life at the end of the day responds to you and your thoughts.
The second is other people’s thoughts about you.
As I mentioned, this is often people responding to your thoughts about you because there is something you have put forth. If you take a chance on yourself and be bold, some will respect it, while others cannot and will not see past your femininity no matter what dreams you accomplish, how exceptionally well you do it or how fool proof and elaborate your plan is. This is where you need to understand, you were not put on this earth to please everyone, but to fulfill your purpose and get past what is standing in your way to achieve it.
“I don’t think I’ve ever worked for a man in charge who spent time contemplating what angle he should use to have his voice heard. It’s just heard. Jeremy Renner, Christian Bale, and Bradley Cooper all fought and succeeded in negotiating powerful deals for themselves. If anything, I’m sure they were commended for being fierce and tactical, while I was busy worrying about coming across as a brat and not getting my fair share.” Jennifer Lawrence on an Open Letter about Sexism in Hollywood.1
Another thing, don’t ever think you are alone or it is just your problem or your fault. Do not apologise for being who you are. It is a learning curve for me too because of that ‘being much’ fear which I need to slowly break away from by standing up for myself every now and then.
This naturally brings us to battles vs. the war.
The type of war I am referring to in this case is what you ultimately want out of this life or what you want to achieve in this lifetime. The type of battles I am talking about are when someone overlooks you for a task at work for being a woman or when someone blatantly says they will not work under a female boss among other outrageous statements or actions. It is good to stand up for yourself every once in a while. I would say though, don’t get so caught up in winning battles that you lose sight of the bigger picture which is pushing yourself, being the best you can be and growing to be better in your life. Let the choice of which battles you pick be wise because you need to remember what your war is about. If it is challenging yourself to be a great engineer or a great accountant and this is what you heart beats for, then the rest are just obstacles to overcome on your way there. This should not be confused with other people’s wars to empower women in communities where they seem to have no voice or rights or even a meager say in their own lives. Even in such cases, the women standing up to fight for others, believe in themselves and their dreams which extends to others achieving their dreams too. Therefore, let the choice of picking your battles be wise. Otherwise, you will spend all your time battling and saying “I am more” rather than doing and growing which will back you up the moment you speak up to say “I am more”.
It is definitely not your job to make people believe in you, but it is your job to believe in yourself and be bold to go after what you want in this life. If you succeed, you will be an inspiration to other little girls who aspire to be just like you.
At the end of the day, when all is said and done, you are a human being with desires, dreams and a right to chase them. In that journey, there are always adversities in all shapes and sizes. Looking at the world right now, if it is not gender, it is race, religion, social stature, even tribe. If you view it all as chains holding you back, you will never grow wings. If you do not grow wings, how will you ever touch the sky? You will end up blaming others for your failure for what they used to define you; and sadly you took it, swallowed it and believed it about yourself too. Instead, view them as a part of what makes you beautiful, your super power. This way, you give yourself wings to fly and you will get to be all you can in this life, and it is more than most have achieved in a thousand lifetimes. Do not be afraid to be feminine, do not dumb it down for anyone and let your super power shine; you have dreams to achieve, so be bold, believe in yourself and go get them.
About the author:
A writer and creative director, she runs her own blog, Beck and Bara, besides working a day job as a sales girl at a timber factory. Every chance she gets to write and express herself creatively, she takes it. She loves stretching ideas, churning and breaking them down until she finds a way to share what she discovers and what she learns. The world is her canvas and this is her painting.
Lilian Kageni, Personal Growth Blogger and founder of www.beckandbara.com