An Empowered Voice
International Women’s Day
By: Ayla Khosroshahi, MA, ACC
On International Women’s Day, we are focusing on learning and evolution. How can we support each other, and value ourselves, as human to human? While gender is the segue, equality is the goal — the world community coming together, supporting, and embracing each other to empower growth, evolution and a global MINDSHIFT.
Today is a day for celebrating all that we are and all that we can be. It is also a day when we are reminded to strive for rights and equality for all. The challenges are vast, complex, and diverse and must be acknowledged as so. While in no way do I wish to ignore or dismiss the deeper conversations, my goal today is to talk about perspective change through celebrating our value and sharing lessons learned.
One seemingly simple yet profound hope we have at MINDSHIFT Ninja is that we learn to be more comfortable in our own skin, and to empower our own voice — as our best self. My wish is for us to be gentler on ourselves, but also wiser. We should hold ourselves to standards that inspire us and bring us closer together. I am well aware there are many things I may not know, things I may not fix, but I also know there are things I can make better.
In hopes of empowering each other through the sharing of lessons learned, for today’s post I answer this question: What have I learned that has made me more comfortable in my own skin and has empowered my voice?
- My ideal self.
My ideal self is my best self. This is my personal superhero, and the part of myself that inspires me mosts. I strive to connect to my ideal self daily. She is a collection of values that I aspire to embody, and those values guide my thinking and decision making.
- Embrace my paradoxes.
I never really fit nicely in one box. I find my balance in my paradoxes. I am spontaneous and on time. I can daydream all day and yet I am extremely realistic. I am usually not this or that, but both, and for that I am grateful. For years I tried to fit the pre-set categories, but they never worked. Now, I’m interested in authenticity and balance.
- I can do anything, but I can’t do everything.
Choices are my friend. The superwoman image is overwhelming, and unrealistic. I believe we can do anything, but I also know we can’t do everything all at once. For me I go back to balance, and choices. I appreciate the time and space each thing, skill, endeavour, etc, needs, and I acknowledge that this might mean other things are put on hold — and that is okay.
- I am who I am today…
And tomorrow I might change, and that’s okay. If the dreams of yesterday no longer serve me, then I give myself the permission to let them go. It’s not failure; it’s evolution. Being honest and present with myself is more important than holding on to an ideal that no longer holds value.
- My formula is not for everyone, and their life formula is not for me.
From my career, to my marriage, to how I do friendships, or how i eat, I have (finally) learned that what works for me doesn’t need to work for everyone, and other people’s needs may not be mine.
- Quality vs. quantity.
From what I buy, to my friendships. Less is more, and quality is important. I have learned that my things, and the people in my life should grow with me, support me, make me better versions of myself – supporting my ideal self. The rest is a waste, of time, money, space, and especially energy.
- My opinion does not need an apology.
At times, I have felt the need to quiet my thoughts, and therefore dim my light for others to shine. This is a dangerous space. Learning not to apologise for my opinions was step one. Step two is learning to communicate my ideas to inspire growth.
- Waiting for perfect means I miss out.
Being in a holding pattern for perfection, for tomorrow, for something better, means I miss out on today. I am here now, and progress is better than perfection.
Now I ask you:
- How can you show yourself flexibility and forgiveness, to feel more comfortable and empowered in your own skin
- What are some lessons you have learned that allow you to be your best self?
- How can you empower those around you to do the same?
Striving for equality and justice goes beyond gender – it is about humanity. These are lifelong commitments that require daily steps. Our mindset must balance acknowledging the journey ahead, while appreciating how far we have come, and what we have learned so far. Leading with empathy and love, for ourselves and each other, is an essential component to this journey,and to empower a MINDSHIFT for positive change.
We would love to hear your insights, share with us!
International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.