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Writer and expert /
There’s no doubt about it, living your best life is tiring, and as every day is busier than the last, it’s easy to get caught up in just how hectic the weeks can be. As a woman especially, there seems to be an unwritten pressure to continuously ‘cope’, for fear of otherwise being considered weak, incapable or, god forbid, emotional (eye roll).
Being a strong woman doesn’t have to mean being a CEO of a FTSE 250 company, nor does it have to mean being able to run a marathon, but what it does mean is being true to yourself and living life in a manner that leaves you both fulfilled and empowered.
This can seem often seem difficult, with the variety of challenges we face on a day to day basis piling ever higher, so we’ve put together a little check list that will hopefully help you live your best life, every day.
Did you know that men will apply for a job if they meet only 60% of the criteria, whereas women will only apply if they meet 100%?! This frightening statistic shows just how far we have to go in terms of self-belief and also shows that confidence does indeed pay, however misplaced that confidence may be.
Perception is everything and so if you present the best, most confident version of yourself to the world, that’s the impression they’ll be left with. Remind yourself every morning of the things you’re good at, repeat them to yourself, and channel that energy as you go about your daily tasks. You’re capable and powerful, so remember that and use it to your advantage.
Now we know everyone has ambitions and dreams for their life in general and if you’re super organised you might even have a five or ten year plan, but we’re not talking about that.
When we say set yourself goals, we mean small, achievable goals for the day ahead. Whether it’s finishing a task at work that has been looming for weeks, running an extra 1km at the gym or even sorting that draw in the kitchen where letters and hair grips go to die, giving your day a structure will ensure a sense of purpose and intent, sure to remind you just how much you have actually tackled.
Often as women, especially in professional situations, we avoid saying what we really think as generations of misogyny have led us to believe that offering constructive criticism or simply an idea will be perceived as pushy, difficult or again, fuelled by emotion. Don’t do this!
If you have an opinion on something, offer it. Even if you think you’re perhaps not as qualified as others in the discussion, your opinions are valid and you’re offering a unique, valuable perspective. People will respect your contribution and appreciate that you care about whatever the topic at hand happens to be. You owe it to yourself to be truthful in situations to avoid that niggling regret which will undoubtedly surface just as your head hits the pillow.
Learn to say no. Honestly, it’s fab. In this hectic, modern life, we’re all under the illusion that we have to please everyone all the time in order to be successful. This simply isn’t the case and whilst in an ideal world, you’d be able to do everything anyone asks of you, this just isn’t realistic and will only lead to you burning out.
There’s always going to be that little voice in the back of your head which tells you if you don’t do it, someone else will, but it’s important that you learn to judge when that is and isn’t important. Prioritise, give yourself manageable timeframes within which to operate and set the expectations of others. Trust us, they’ll thank you for it. People would much rather you be honest with your limitations and complete a task to the best of your ability, instead of just rushing it for the sake of getting it done.
You’re great and everything you think, say and do is a result of the life you have lived. There will always be people you clash with but as long as you treat others the way you expect to be treated, you’ll go to bed happy in the knowledge that you are being your authentic self, living your best life the way you choose to live it.
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