You Are Not Alone!
If you’re a woman, there are certain things that you’re probably not alone in:
1. Worrying about the way your body looks
2. Being excluded from meetings (or other events) at work
3. Fearing that you’ll be seen as too bossy if you speak up
4. Feeling like your intelligence is doubted
5. Having to deal with cat-calling and other forms of harassment
These things happen to women—all women—every day, and it’s okay to feel upset about it. But what matters is what we do next. Use these experiences as fuel for moving forward, fighting for equality, and speaking up for yourself. Because when we do it together, we really can change everything!
Here are 5 things to keep in mind when you’re feeling like you’re all alone:
1) You’re a part of a bigger community. Every single one of us has felt this way at some point in our lives. It’s important to remind yourself that you are part of a global community of women who have all felt this way. When you are struggling with feelings of professional isolation, it’s up to you to reach out. Connect with other women who can support you as you take on the ups and downs of life.
2) It’s okay to ask for help. We all know the saying “no man is an island”, but sometimes it can feel like we have to be islands just because we’re too shy or embarrassed to reach out and ask for help from other people. There’s no reason to be ashamed of the fact that we all need each other sometimes. That’s how we grow! And there’s no reason to hide or be silent about our struggles; talking about them can be incredibly liberating and helpful for everyone involved. Also, it shows great strength and emotional intelligence.
3) There is an endless supply of female leaders whose wisdom we can learn from—including Malala Yousafzai, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Maya Angelou, and Gloria Steinem—and they all support women’s rights and education for girls around the world.
4) Surround yourself with strong women. If you’re feeling down about being a woman in a competitive environment, surround yourself with women who inspire you and lift your spirits! Having a diverse group of female friends with different backgrounds will help you see all of the incredible thing’s women are capable of accomplishing each and every day.
5) You’ve got this. Whatever it is, you can do it. If you have doubt, that’s normal—but don’t let it stop you from moving forward.
As a woman, you have so many strengths—you are creative and intelligent, you have amazing people skills, and you’re the master of juggling tons of different tasks at once. But it can be hard to remember all of this when you’re in a situation where you feel outnumbered or outgunned personally or professionally. That’s why I’m sharing these tips to remind you that you can succeed in any environment.