With March 8th being International Women’s Day and the whole of March being Women’s History Month- it poses a great opportunity and time for reflection on all things fierce and feminine!
A quote that I am used to seeing all over my social media feed, particularly on International Women’s Day is:
“Here’s to great women
May we know them
May we be them
May we raise them”.
Whilst I feel that this quote is truly representative of the spirit of the day, I feel that- more often than not- I have typically placed more emphasis on the importance of using it as a platform for edifying the great women that I know/know of (both past and present) and future generations. What I (and, from my observations, others are) not always good at is using the day as an opportunity to toast the “great women” that we are and have become.
Musing upon this brought me back to an conversation that I had with, leadership coach, Jennifer Spaulding (of Jenniferspaulding.com) during a recent interview. In it we discussed the importance of confidence and self-care. For, as Spaulding so eloquently put it:
“When we…are confident we take action [on our goals] and we can serve people more”
In short when we, as women, feel more confident- we are better able to add value to those around us and, therefore, society as a whole.
Intrigued by this, I asked her the question that you are probably wondering right now:
“What if you don’t always feel confident? How can we improve this?”
Here’s what she shared:
“One of the things that I learned; that I love to share [with the women I coach] is a simple exercise to do. Some people don’t find it very simple and, I have to admit, it was not simple the first time I heard it either. I have people write down 25 reasons why they’re so awesome”
She also went on to emphasise:
#1 The importance of not being intimidated or put off by the process
“The number 25 scares people! It’s funny what I hear back. Some people [say things] like ‘Well, don’t you think that’s self-serving? A little narcissistic?'”
However, as the saying goes, something “being simple is not the same as being easy”. It’s therefore important to not be intimidated or put off by this process, especially as it could yield such positive results.
“Also what I’ve found is the act of writing 25 things really makes you have to get creative and really deep dive into all areas of your life. Because one thing I’ve found, too, is that some people will say ‘Oh, here are 25 things that relate to work or my artistry’. But when you ask them, ‘How are you as a daughter? A girlfriend? A partner? A friend?’ It gets them to expand and [say to themselves]: ‘Oh, in all areas of my life I can be awesome. I am awesome!'”
It is important that the celebration of ourselves becomes a daily habit- taking Jennifer’s exercise from being a “one hit wonder” to a way of life. To ensure this, Jennifer typically has:
“people read their lists of 25 [once written], several times a week so that at least 3-5 of them sink in that you really believe. Then, when you go to that next meeting or have that difficult conversation, [for example], you can refer back to one of those. Know that these are God-given strengths that you have!”
Whilst celebrating International Women’s Day and awesome examples of womanhood is fantastic, we shouldn’t forget to include ourselves!
I hope you will join me in carrying out Jennifer’s amazing process as well so that we would not just “know and raise great women,” but develop the qualities and confidence to be them as well.
Happy International Women’s Day!