Do you always find yourself wondering, “How do I get the confidence to do what I want? To ask for what I want?” Well, I was in your shoes until a few years ago. An obedient daughter, always trying to be the good girl, prioritizing everyone else's needs over mine. But, I changed. I realised my family is happier when I am happy and the change has been so liberating, that I want every woman to feel this way.
Here are a few takeaways from my experiences. Things I did to get #MoreFromLife –
1) Build A Support System:
Get the right support around you. Your spouse, children, parents, in-laws, friends, neighbours, maids, activity classes for your kids - they all contribute to being your support system. They are the ones that can make things happen for you. So, create the system that works for you, rather than you working for the system.
2) Ask For Help
Don’t hesitate to ask for help. We, as Indian women, have been brought up with very strong influences. We've been moulded to think a particular way, “My kids are my responsibility.” – No! Our kids are our responsibility.
There is an old saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Well, find and use that village!
3) Find A Champion
Identify a champion in your life. It’s very easy for men to find champions because they’re usually working for other men. Find a woman who will look at you and say, “You remind me of myself when I was younger.”
Women don’t get that enough. You need to find other women (and men) who will see your potential and help you realize it.
4) Baby Steps
Do one thing every day that helps you get closer to your dream. Just do small, simple things to get where you want to be.
5) Be Unapologetic
Be unapologetic about being ambitious. Don’t hesitate to ask for a salary hike, negotiate hard. Because if you don’t, who will?
Women are not brought up to think about money the way men are. Negotiate and argue for money, like all the men around you do.
6) Financial Independence
Be financially independent. I ran 2 businesses for over 7 years, but it was my husband who took care of banking and finances, until recently. Trust me, it’s not as intimidating as it might sound. I urge every woman to know the basics of finance and keep a track of where you are investing.
7) Create A Sisterhood
Share your learnings, your experiences, your challenges with other women. We need to get into the mindset of women helping other women. Enough of ‘bro culture’. Let’s build a sisterhood that helps each one of us grow – personally, professionally and emotionally.
8) Manage Stress
Manage your own mind. Pick one thing every day that stresses you out. Address only that particular issue for a day. Just say no to anything else. Pretty simple eh?
There is always a way over, around, under or through every obstacle. You just need to be creative about it. Take micro-actions.
9) Let Go
Let go of the fear of what other people will think of you. The only thing that matters is what you think of yourself. Collaborate, contribute, give back to the society. Just be a good human being. You will never own the future, if you care what other people think.
The only person who can make things happen for you, is you. People can help you, but you need to make it happen. #TakeCharge of your life now!
Slowly and steadily, you’ll get there. Change is inevitable and good. It’s necessary too at some point. Go chase those dreams girl! What’s stopping you?
If you think these tips are useful or have some of your own to share, tell us in the comments below! If you’re returning to work after a break, join our Women Restart Community, to meet like minded women and get the conversation going there!