Last week at the Leaderex conference a question was posed to the audience about that hurdles they experience as women. One of the ladies said for her it’s people’s expectations, especially expectations set on her as a woman. I could relate to what she was saying and so could men, since societal expectations are not limited to just women.
From a young age the expectations my parents, family and society had for my brother and I were worlds apart. As a female, it was always assumed that I wanted or needed to learn how to cook and clean, especially when elders felt my playtime was over. Meantime my brother was free to explore until he was tired. Or that I had to bath by a certain time because girls need to be clean before 12. And that submission is the highest form of being a lady. All these senseless and often not questioned practices that are passed down without considering the needs of the child.
Look I’m no parent nor will I speak on any assumptions of what parenthood is like. However, from the constant reinforced thinking of my parents, family and society I grew to learn that it’s ok to doubt myself. Not question and find answers to my curiosities instead doubt and belittle myself. I also learnt that it’s ok to listen and trust certain elders without question because that’s what a good child does when told who to trust. Till I finally learnt that it’s a bullshit system that never teaches anything, instead, it dictates from outdated thinking. It lacks the essences of teaching thinking, self-reliance and love. More than ever it creates that rebellious nature in you to fight for attention to be seen for who you are.
For the longest time, I built my existence around various people’s expectations so I could fit in. I wasn’t always brave enough to be my true self since it felt like I’d be seen to be different and not fitting in. It was my technique of managing expectations. The thing about trying to be everything to everyone is no one eventually trusts you. It’s hard to trust or know who someone is when they don’t even know their own boundaries.
Thankfully, I discovered the beauty and power of “no”. “No” is the single greatest word in anyone’s vocabulary because it lets people and the world know your boundaries. It’s the backbone of who you are. I love “no” because it freed me to finding inner-peace, inner-love and inner-happiness. I was no longer competing to be noticed for fitting in; I am simply doing me.
Find and use your “no”; more than that live your “no” so that you are in constant harmony with yourself.
Love and Happiness,