The International Women's Day 2019 campaign theme of #BalanceforBetter is described as “a call-to-action for driving gender balance across the world” … but to achieve balance for better, you must first dare to dream, encourage and support
I am feeling more confident about the concept of the phrase above. Our internal critic always has a view on everything we want to dream about - as do, sometimes, our external critics, but if we dream, and strive to make that dream reality, we can silence the critics and indeed achieve a better gender balance for the young people following us into an increasingly complex and challenging world.
The last 12 months have been a defining year for me personally with regards to daring to dream- and I have been on an exceptional (bumpy) journey both on a personal home front as well as within our business. We have some great news with regards to our business journey which I do hope to be able to share very soon.
But with regards to my personal journey I would like to share some thoughts around this - particularly as it is International Women’s Day today (Friday, March 8).
Everyone needs confidence regardless of gender, race etc and there are lots of way we can deliver this to others and sometimes we just need to be true to ourselves and be ready to dare to dream!
February was a bit of a magical and exceptionally busy month with lots of fabulous events and people and a short trip to Jerusalem squeezed in as well. What I have found is that allowing yourself the space to think, to be mindful, to reboot yourself all creates the circumstances to be confident. Surrounding yourself with the right sort of people too - which has what I have done this month.
A couple of phrases that I have collected - ‘Feedback is a gift - Deliver it That Way’ - great way to work with my children as well as our business team. Another made me chuckle- ‘the only time he uses the words Well Done is when he is ordering a steak!’
It doesn’t take a lot of thought to realise that the people more likely to be the target of the second phrase should be avoided!
I was also informed this week that confidence is a statistic that has been identified as improving female interaction and participation in STEM. Most of us consider that we would try to engender confidence in others and not detract from it. Although, still the numbers of young women are not increasing in relation to the activity being undertaken - by lots of confident people - and whilst there may be pipeline timings - this is not the only reason, in my opinion.
However, after also reading Ruby Wax’s book “Sane New World” and “Utopia for Realists” ( both recommended) this month, we know this is not always what others will feel or pick up from us or be able to segregate!
I have consciously started to share lows and highs and personal thought patterns with those around me at work and home. The confidence to do something is to see the steps and the fear in taking those steps and still Dare to Dream!
By demonstrating vulnerability, doubt but in a positive manner it allows benchmarking and almost ‘gives permission’ to have ‘low days’. What is important is to manage those days and realise that confidence is a feeling and a belief - not a noun or an action - so it does not need to define you like that! Confidence also comes from a Latin word - to trust and as such we should provide that connection in our relationship building as when we can build trust with others it will in turn provide confidence building tools and growth opportunities.
My confidence level varies daily and it is easy to allow my internal critic space - I can avoid external critics - but we cannot escape our friendly internal critic as readily. To have a team around you who have belief in you and support you in a positive growth way is critical to maintaining higher levels of confidence.
Further support this with a wide variety of training, experiences and contact with different people allows confidence levels to naturally increase and become more embedded and harder for the internal critic to sabotage - he then looks more like a cartoon figure!
International Women’s Day means different things for different people and different countries have different agendas with regards to empowering and supporting women.
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