Girl power = the idea that women and girls should be confident, make decisions, and achieve things independently of men, or the social and political movement that is based on this idea (Cambridge Dictionary). This blog post is designed to inspire fellow females to reflect on the culture we live in, some ideas to boost self-confidence, feel empowered and be your own BAD-ASS-BOSS in all areas of life.
Stop seeking approval
First-things-first -stop seeking approval! It is only natural as a way to boost our self-esteem, however, obsessing on social media and dating apps - (which now seems to have captured all 20 somethings - myself included) - seems to both socially and emotionally negatively impact our lives. (Side note: reflect on the fact that spending hours on TikTok is affecting both our attention spans and our productivity.) Craving the need for a certain number of likes on Instagram on your new post or patiently waiting for your new tinder match to message you - may leave you on an unhealthy emotional rollercoaster, only filling you with anxiety. The sad reality of our generation is that we seem to not even be able to watch a movie without checking who has posted/liked/commented or Dm’d you! Stop caring so much about what other people are doing and what other people think! Live in the present and stop giving so much of a f***! If you care too much about what others think - you begin to feel insecure! If you care too much about your family’s opinions on your life - you will end up in a job you don’t want and have regrets. If you care too much about your social media - you will waste your life away in a virtual world. ‘Don’t miss out on your life, just because you’re too busy scrolling through someone else’s’ - Mel Robbins. Remember the ‘high’ of approval does not last - whether that’s being given a compliment or that he finally texted you back. If you depend too much on approval you will never feel complete without it. ‘I don’t care what you think about me. I don’t think about you at all’ - Coco Channel
Create the life of your dreams
Although COVID-19 has impacted all our lives, I think it has given us the perfect time to take a real breath and reflect on our busy lives - how do we actually want to live them? Develop the right habits for you - figure out what you like and dislike! Whether that is getting up early and going on a walk or having a break from social media each day - positivity and having a routine has really helped me stay motivated and feel productive. Remember to focus on the present and what is actually in your control. You cannot change the past and by thinking about what might happen in the future will only leave you in an anxious and unhealthy mindset. Your life could drastically change as a result of forces out of all of our control, so living in the moment, taking opportunities when they come up and not having a fixed 5,10,15 year plan allows for you to tackle obstacles as they come. That is not to say that abstract goals are not a great way to keep motivated but keep them realistic. Remember, everyday is an opportunity to change your life! P.s making your bed is the first step.
I am sure you have heard of the term ‘growth mindset’ - the idea of believing that through determination and hard work, anything is achievable (Carol Dweck). This is imperative in my opinion for creating a healthy and empowered lifestyle. It needs effort, positivity and courage to form. This ability to adapt and grow is hugely important in all areas of life and in particular to show off to employers. Whether you are currently applying for internships, placements or grad jobs or thinking about doing so, by showing you have that determination to develop and thrive and be successful is a hugely impressive feat.“I never dreamt of success. I worked for it.” - Estee Lauder.
Develop a growth mindset ! Remember embrace your flaws and mistakes and own them, take on challenges, try to value the experience even if the result is not the intended one (unfortunately for me, I haven’t been able to reach my goal for a summer internship as of yet, but the experience I have with virtual interviews and assessment centres will we worth it). Be you! Accept criticism and learn from it, have high standards for yourself, take risks and remember to keep perspective.By building a life-style you are proud of and one that works for you - no matter what people say about you - you can take comfort in this.
“Always aim high, work hard, and care deeply about what you believe in. And, when you stumble, keep faith. And, when you're knocked down, get right back up and never listen to anyone who says you can't or shouldn't go on.” - Hillary Clinton
Do things that make YOU happy and no one else - be selfish. Remember to take time to yourself, whether that's watching a movie, going on a walk or doing a workout- whatever it is that makes you happy. You do you.‘ You are the love of your own life’ - Florence Given. Remember the power of ‘NO’. The word ‘yes’ so often follows with ‘that’s fine’ but so often it is 100% not fine. So speak up and be completely honest with yourself - is it fine? By practising ‘NO’ more and not being such a people pleaser, you will feel empowered and establish a healthy and respectful boundary while not ruining any relationship. Don’t feel guilty, get your priorities straight, it’s okay to be selfish. “A lot of people are afraid to say what they want. That’s why they don’t get what they want.” - Madonna.
Also, choose carefully the people you spend your precious time with, you deserve the best and don’t waste your energy on toxic people. They’re exhausting and will fill you with negative energy, they’re unreliable and will emotionally drain you and your confidence will improve dramatically when you don’t have someone constantly bringing you down.
Finally, linking to my rant on the problems with our generation and social media above, seriously try to unfollow social media accounts that make you feel bad about yourself. This is a form of self-care. This will vastly improve your mental health and prevent you from comparing yourself with someone else’s body type or their extravagant lifestyle. By spending too much time focusing on someone else's life, we lose the reality of our own and will be bombarded with wishes to live like, look like and be a lesser version of ourselves.
By Izzy Hamlet