By Deniel Floria
It has been quite a journey for you, and last year made you uncertain about a lot of things, your passions, and aspirations for one. However, what matters is if you continue, despite it all. And now that you are here, that just proves that you are not yet letting go. Right off the bat, you are amazing, and your willpower is admirable!
Women have always been underrepresented legally, socially, and politically. There is this satirical poster about a man and a woman at the start of a racing track field, where the man is put in a clear lane while the woman has laundry work, pans, and dishes, and a child in her arms. This shows how there are so many expectations put on women with little to no recognition at all. Historically and particularly, Biblically, women have been seen as a subordinate, caretaker of babies and her husband in the family. There is also the satirical joke that says, "Women deserve to stay in the kitchen."
However, these circumstances did not stop many women from reaching their goals and making a difference. Now, we acknowledge women in STEM, women in academia, women in the military, trans women, and so many more! Women have reclaimed status and empowerment in staying in the house and caring for their children. With all that said, we are going to go through some of the most prominent women in the world and what advice they have to give for the pursuit-driven you!
"If you're always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be." - Maya Angelou
We are all bombarded with expectations. May it be from our families to our society, there is the normalcy we must conform to. For Maya Angelou, however, the fear that drives us to fit what is normal is the greatest threat to understanding and embracing who we are.
Of course, we cannot change the "playing field" or context of our lives, much more those around us. But we can change ourselves. In a world that lacks empathy, be that person who strives to add something positive to the lives of others. In a world where you are taught to stay in the kitchen, look outside from the window and try playing there.
“I have some courage to be what I am, and I don’t see my faults as faults...I see them as characteristics; strengths too. Why not, if you realize that you are only a human being.” - Kamala Das
It is liberating to be accepting towards the things we cannot control, and being content and productive with the things we can control. It takes time but once you learn acceptance and contentment, you start thinking about how to make the box you think in bigger.
Alongside, perspective is key to success! If you look at your weak points as inevitable destruction to your success, you box yourself up and start putting down your aspirations to those you believe to be only "comfortable" for you. Talent and innate qualities are a gift, but what matters more is hard work and knowing how much work you need to put in to achieve your goals.
Do not fall into the trap of wanting to do everything! Make your situation part of your strength, improve your weaknesses, and always be on the lookout for opportunities while negotiating the risks.
“If you can’t change your fate, change your attitude.” - Amy Tan
Faced with tons of school responsibilities, personal problems, and feeling so limited? Learn to drown out voices of negative people, and look at each of these as opportunities to progress yourself. Again, other people's opinions are not your problem, and you are the one to carve out your future. Make sure that it turns out beautifully!
“I’m intimidated by the fear of being average.” - Taylor Swift
Being average is never on the list of Taylor Swift. Releasing two albums in a year, she does not settle for the bare minimum and tries to find avenues to go beyond her work. Sometimes, what is keeping us from being the best is not signing up to be the host of a conference or for a program, but it’s what we project ourselves to be bad at. Maybe today will be the day we try to go beyond our comfort zones and do better!
A saute and forward to these amazing women! I hope they inspired you to think twice about whether you should let uncertainty eat up your dreams, or if you will champion it by standing up, working on yourself, and starting to make progress towards your goals!