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We often carry thoughts about ourselves that are really just ghosts from our pasts. We accept what parents, teachers, or ex-bosses may have thought of us to be true. Are we really free if we are listening to this negative mind-talk? The answer is no.
When we take on these false beliefs, we can't live fully and step out in new ways. We are unable to be in our power. But today, with awareness, we can see ourselves differently. With courage, we can think bigger about our lives and what it is possible for us to accomplish. It may not feel comfortable, but growth rarely does.
Here's to your independence! I wish you the best in all areas of your life.
Why don't we feel more fulfilled?
Why aren't our relationships more satisfying?
Why haven't we achieved our dreams?
I have come to realize that the "outside world" (i.e. the projects I haven't been awarded or the money that didn't come through) is rarely the cause for my unhappiness. My unhappiness is created by limiting thoughts I have about myself. This applies to relationships—when someone annoys me, it's because their "flaws" point out what I don't like about myself. These instances also tend to be times when I'm feeling out of sorts and self-care is required.
Knowing this, I can question my beliefs and take the next right action towards getting something better for myself. It all boils down to loving ourselves more—to having compassion for our weaknesses and appreciation for our strengths.
Celebrating Independence Day presents the perfect opportunity to consider what independence means for women today. Is it the freedom to build our lives as we see fit? The right to choose between being a stay-at-home mom or a careerwoman? The ability to travel abroad or finally take that dream vacation? Maybe today’s “independence” is the freedom to make choices—to fashion our lives in a way that reflects our dreams and aspirations. But these choices often come with “but”s, “maybe”s, and “if only”s that severely limit our options when money enters the picture.
As you watch the dazzling fireworks on July 4th, perhaps your thoughts will drift to the retirement account you still haven't opened. As you nibble on a hotdog, you might worry how charging that weekend beach trip will affect the credit card bill you’ll have to pay at the end of the month. As you wipe ice cream from your daughter’s laughing face, you may wonder how you'll save up enough money to put her through college. Now that we've secured the right to vote, to work, and to go to college, the final frontier is in many ways a financial one. After all, isn't a woman only truly independent when she’s financially free? Owning a house in your name isn’t so sweet when you're a slave to a monthly mortgage rate. The glow of obtaining a college degree dims when student debt saddles you with regular payments years later.
Financial independence isn’t only about making your own money. It’s about knowing how to save and spend that money in a way that makes sense for you, your future, and your family (if you choose to start one). If you’re scratching your head at whether to prioritize student loans or credit card debt, know that you are not alone. Just a few days ago, USA Today reported that between to 2011 and 2012, women became “disproportionately less likely than men to pay their credit card balance in full each month, have an emergency savings fund and have a general understanding of stocks, bonds and mutual funds.” These are women like you and me—women who are college-educated, hold steady jobs, and lead ordinary lives.
In Britain, the situation is equally challenging. In a recent survey conducted by the British government, nearly one in three women admitted to being stressed about money, and almost 40 percent of women reported difficulty discussing financial matters. A different kind of gap exists in Australia, where working women lag far behind men when it comes to retirement savings, according to the Australian Human Rights Commission. How can we expect to effect change on ongoing issues such as the pay gap if we can’t get a handle on our own pocketbooks?
Since women have some big financial fish to fry, we can at least do ourselves the service of becoming as financially savvy as men, if not more so. As July 4th approaches, take money matters into your own hands. Improving your knowledge of personal finance can be as simple as browsing the ABCs of money management on MyMoney.gov, the U.S. government’s resource for basic financial education—or maybe start with this quiz from Smith College’s Center for Women and Financial Independence to gauge how much you know about your money. Enjoy the holiday, but rest assured that hot dog will taste much better when you know what's in store after the fireworks end. Promise.
—Linda A. Thompson
Have you ever fantasized about a magical place where balancing after-work mixers with school play rehearsals always magically worked out? Where morning commutes were easy breezy, and you never stayed later than 6pm? Unfortunately, that place may only exist in your dreams—but in some places around the world, working women really do have it easier than they do in the USA.
Iceland comes the closest to being a working woman's paradise, inasmuch as Icelanders have more or less settled the battle of the sexes. For the past three years, the Scandinavian country has held the number one spot in the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report. This means that Iceland boasts the greatest equality between men and women in terms of politics, education, employment, and health. The women of Burundi are also particularly active when compared with their male counterparts. The sub-Saharan nation is the only country in the world where a greater percentage of women (92%) than men (88%) are part of the workforce, according to a recent article by British newspaper The Independent.
In recent years, the lack of women on executive boards has become a subject of public debate. In 2003, Norway decided to put its money where its mouth was by introducing a female quota (40%) in boardrooms of publicly traded companies. Nine years later, the country has the highest representation of female directors in the world, according to a recent article in Time. Several other European countries have since followed Norway's lead. Belgium, on the other hand, is the trailblazer when it comes to wage gaps. According to a 2010 report by the European Commission, Belgian women earned just 9% less than their male counterparts that year. To put that number in perspective, the wage gap is double that at 18% in the States, according to a U.S. Congress report recently released in preparation for the Paycheck Fairness Act.
No one country has all of the solutions, however, and even the smallest wage gap is still unacceptable. Similarly, no one woman holds all the answers to balancing a job, family, and friends. You might be tempted to think that if you just work a little harder, or make do with a little less sleep, everything would be different—but some issues really do go over our heads. Let this be a reminder that while women have made phenomenal strides all over the world, there remains a great deal of room for improvement when it comes to empowering women in the workplace—both here and across the border.
—Linda A. Thompson
"It's like riding a roller coaster. It goes up and down," explains Ruthie Davis of her whirlwind life designing shoes and accessories for the likes of Lady Gaga and Beyoncé Knowles. "And if you do it long enough, you don't get too freaked out about the downs, because you know the up is coming." While Ruthie's signature edgy glamour has been embraced by the glitterati, you don't have to headed for a red carpet to embody the confident woman for whom Ruthie designs. "My shoes are for women who feel good about themselves—who want to express themselves," Ruthie clarifies. "Women who feel good about standing tall."
So what advice does the design maven offer women dying to walk a mile in her heels? "Have that mindset of a challenge, and love it, and say, 'Bring it on," encourages Ruthie. Guess your heels are never too high for you to keep on growing.
—Video by Amy Stringer
My cat, CK (which stands for Cute Kitten), is about 12 "people years" old. People say that in order to get the true age of the cat, you multiply that number by seven. So although CK looks like a young cat, he is really a wise old creature. I originally brought him home for my son, Heath. At the time, he was a young boy. Now, Heath is 22.
This week, CK became sluggish and lethargic, so I took him to the vet. Many of you probably know what it is like to give medicine to an animal—they don't like it much, but I am doing it anyway. This wonderful feline has given us so much unconditional love over the years, but unfortunately, he is still sluggish, and it may just be his time. I am praying for his recovery, but I don't really have much control, do I?
To Mr. CK...may he have more good years, but if not, I so appreciate our time with him.
P.S. When Heath was about 10, he had one of those toy basketball setups. We taught CK how to slam dunk a basketball into a hoop. I can still hear all of us laughing now.
“Do they celebrate Father’s Day in your country?”
“Do you do something for Valentine’s over there?”
“Do people know Halloween?”
Yes, yes, and yes. As an international resident living in the States, I'm often asked questions such as these. People are always surprised and happy to learn that despite being oceans and cultures apart, we can all agree that some things in life merit a special celebration—fathers, for instance.
I will give props where props are due—the idea that fathers should have their own special day is as native to the States as Trader Joe's, American Idol, and Covergirl. It all started in 1910 with Sonora Smart Dodd, an enterprising young lady from Washington who petitioned a group of clergymen to honor her father, a widower and Civil War veteran who singlehandedly raised his six children. By that point, Mother's Day had already taken root in 45 states, and Sonora felt inspired to create a paternal equivalent. Father's Day has been celebrated in the States since Sonora's campaign, and President Nixon signed the national holiday into law in 1972.
Around that time, Father's Day began spreading to Europe and other parts of the world. Today, the holiday is celebrated on the third Sunday in June in more than 50 countries. Countries where the Catholic Church has previously played a big part in local culture celebrate Father's Day on March 19, St. Joseph's Day—in these countries, some people also honor their priests, who they consider their "spiritual fathers." Fathers have the longest wait in Thailand, where Father's Day is always celebrated on the ruling king's birthday. Currently, this falls on December 5.
The date isn't the only aspect of Father's Day that varies from place to place. In Germany, Father's Day isn't just for fathers. Instead, the celebration is known as “Men's Day” or “Gentlemen's Day,” and in some parts of the country, it is essentially one big boozefest. Groups of men head out in small wagons packed with beer, wine, and regional food with one simple aim: get drunk. On the more innocent end of the spectrum, Taiwanese Father's Day goes by the sweetest of monikers—in the local language, “daddy” is pronounced "Bà," so Father's Day in Taiwan is known as “Bābā Holiday.”
But perhaps the most unusual distinction goes to Romania, which, for the longest time, remained the only country in the European Union not to celebrate Father's Day. In 2010, the Alliance Fighting Discrimination Against Fathers asked the government to introduce a holiday honoring the nation's fathers. The reason Romania remained an outlier for so long remains unclear. In any case, the Senate approved the request.
No matter the date or the traditions being observed, Father's Day remains a truly global phenomenon that has become as much a calendar staple as New Year's Day. And yet despite its universal nature, Father's Day centers on something profoundly specific and individual—our unique fathers, and our very personal appreciation for them. With this internal and external resonance, it's no wonder people across the globe tip their hats to good ol' Dad once a year.
—Linda A. Thompson
A professional modeling career might sound like a cushy existence, but for self-proclaimed sports fanatic Jenny Fletcher, years in the biz couldn't shake the sense that something was missing. Upon nabbing a steady stream of jobs as a fitness model, it dawned on Jenny that perhaps her athletic ambitions needn’t be sidelined by her pretty face. “I thought, ‘I can take this to a whole other level,’” Jenny recalls. “I didn’t want to get jobs because I was a model. I wanted to work for it, and earn it, and get the respect of the athletes I was competing against.” After independently completing her first triathlon, Jenny became hooked—so she took a leap of faith, dramatically scaled back her modeling commitments, and began training for a career as a professional athlete.
Breaking into the triathlon circuit brought its own set of challenges. While Jenny was convinced that she could have it all, it took time for her body to catch up with her mind. “The constant thing I heard from people was, ‘Give yourself time to let your strength build,’” she recalls. “I’m so hard on myself, and for a while, I was really struggling.” Though athletic prowess wasn’t instantaneous, Jenny found a satisfaction in training that her time spent in front of the camera had never been able to provide. “In modeling, so much of your success is based on what other people tell you or give you,” Jenny explains. “This was something I worked hard for on my own, and it didn’t matter what anyone else thought. As much as I wanted to prove it to other people, I wanted to prove it to myself.”
Though Jenny has continued to secure modeling jobs through her sponsors, she sees herself as an athlete first, a model second. “I’m not just a face on the wall,” she declares proudly. “I’m not just a model running. I’m a professional athlete.” Any career change is bound to require a degree of soul-searching, however, and for Jenny, the layover between posing and pedaling brought about a considerable amount of introspection. “It is a weird thing to give up your whole career to pursue another one,” Jenny admits. “You’re like, What am I going to do? How am I going to survive? I just never gave up, whether things were going well or not.” Ultimately, the satisfaction of going after a dream far outweighed the stress of switching gears. “I lost a lot, but I gained so much more. I’m not just pursuing one thing—it’s kind of a multi-career, in a way.”
A multi-career means a multi-wardrobe, and Jenny’s packed schedule of training sessions and modeling gigs has made her a master in the art of the quick change. Though most of are more likely to find ourselves dashing from the spin bike to the staff meeting, we had to ask: How can we make a model-caliber transformation from the gym to civilized society? “Twist your hair up in a little messy bun, put on a little mascara and your sunglasses, and you’re in business,” Jenny answers easily. “I try to keep things very simple. If you take care of yourself, it usually shows.” Translation: good health equals good looks. Now that’s a beauty regime we can get behind.
—Emma Aubry Roberts
"Style is how you eat, sleep, drink, walk, listen to music, travel—style has nothing to do with what you wear and everything to do with who you are," says Jay Kos, owner of the New York City fashion and lifestyle boutique of the same name. "Everywhere I go, I find something that inspires me." Jay's teenage daughter, Sophie, has inherited his entrepreneurial spirit as well as his love of life. Together, the two of them prove that you're never too old (or too young!) to style a life you love.
When you surround yourself with people, places, and things that bring you joy, success is sure to follow. Draw inspiration from the world around you—and no matter your style, remember that passion is always your best accessory.
—Video by Amy Stringer
If you're anything like me, you’re all about structure. You swoon over schedules. You’re ruled by routines. The thought of a fresh to-do list makes your heart beat faster, and a Google calendar synced across multiple devices? Well, now you’re just talking dirty. You schedule yourself to within an inch of your life, thriving on a distinctly fast-paced neutral, and you wouldn’t have it any other way.
But what about the sacred hour before your Outlook alerts jangle and your Blackberry springs to life? Even if your days are packed to the brim, there’s a window before your calendar officially opens for business. “Oh, I see where you’re going with this,” you say, shaking your head in disdain. “No, thanks. I’m not a Morning Person. I’d rather sleep.” As a Morning Evangelist, I’d like to make a case for how partaking in a little "sun salute" (with or without the yoga) can serve even the busiest of bees.
Scenario One. You spend an hour beating the “Snooze” button into submission, reaping no benefits in the way of actual rest. When you can no longer convince yourself that “five more minutes” is a viable option, you spring from your bed in a panic akin to discovering that your house is on fire—every morning. Jabbing your contact lenses into your eyes with one hand while snatching a piece of toast with the other, you race out the door, sloshing the stale remains of yesterday’s coffee down your blouse into the process. After a harried commute, you slide into your office with the smug self-consciousness of a high school pinch runner. You feel frazzled. Sloppy. But hey, you’re on time! Victory is yours, even if sanity eludes your grasp.
Scenario Two. Okay, full disclosure—you consciously forfeit an hour of sleep. But instead of faking yourself out by spending that time in a guilty half-repose, you use it to engage in a different kind of relaxation. You read the newspaper. You take slow sips of your caffeinated beverage of choice. You prepare a balanced breakfast, and you savor every bite. You take stock of your goals for the day, either mentally or on paper, and slip gracefully into the most high-powered version of you. By the time you stroll through your office door, you feel alert—and not just because you squeezed in some unintentional cardio on your way to work. Your mind is calm. Your day has direction. And your dry-cleaning bill? Significantly more manageable without all those coffee stains.
So much of stress is a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s easy to blame a packed schedule for a lack of "me time," but you can be busy without existing in a constant state of mental and emotional turmoil—you just have to fit self-care in where you can. For me, establishing a morning ritual is a way to cultivate a sense of calm in an otherwise crazy day. When you come at your agenda from a centered place, you’re likely to see an improvement in your output as well as your mood.
If your mornings have historically unfolded in a cartoonish cloud of debris, see if taking a more leisurely AM approach changes your state of mind. See if you really miss that hour of sleep. Take note of what you accomplish over the course of your day, and more importantly, take note of how you feel. Even as a Morning Evangelist, I can cede that not everyone will share my radical beliefs. But my morning routine has changed my life for the better—and that’s the gospel truth.
—Emma Aubry Roberts
Saturday night, upon my arrival in Dallas, TX, I received an offer to take a quick tour of the city's sights before dinner. The lovely woman who picked me up from their airport took me to see these amazing sculptures of wild mustangs. They brought out the child in me—I wanted to run with them. (Actually, there were some young children delighting in doing just that!).
On Sunday, I spoke at the Unity Church of Dallas. The people were very receptive to my message: Step up your game. Step out in a new way. The world is a turbulent place, and we need every individual to be courageous and take an action outside of their comfort zone. After my talk, I conducted a workshop based on my book, In Her Power: Reclaiming Your Authentic Self.
I was struck by the openness of the women involved in the workshop—by their desire to change the behaviors holding them back from fully expressing their power. They were so supportive of one other, and I hope that they continue to meet on their own on a regular basis. Just like the mustangs above, running free doesn't have to mean running solo. Even wild horses travel in packs.
Recall the last time you thought to yourself, “Man, I was so good at life today.” Are you there yet? Are you feeling the good-at-life glow? Now recall how you spent that time. More likely than not, your concept of “good at life” is roughly aligned with the standard definition of “productive.” And more likely than not, getting there involved working your tail off—at the office, in the gym, or around the house.
Furthermore, the proverbial “good at life” is usually accompanied by some sort of tangible output at the end of the day—a productivity souvenir, if you will. A completed report. A balanced checkbook. Throbbing quads. A home-cooked meal. A tattered to-do list with no items remaining. Something you can point to and triumphantly crow, “See! Look what I did today! So good at life!”
Days like this are satisfying and necessary. They bolster our confidence, drive our efforts, and foster our growth. But barreling through life at warp speed is hardly the only means of being productive. In order to be good at life, you also have to be good at living. That means learning to honor your intangible needs as you do your more traditional ones—not as a necessary evil to which attention must be paid, but as an equally fruitful use of your time and energy.
Just as we produce our incomes and our grocery lists, we also produce our relationships, our surroundings, and our states of mind. If we don’t respect the genuine importance of the latter group, the benefits of the former are rendered moot. Whiling away the hours at a café with an old friend? Productive. Hanging new curtains that enliven and individualize your space? Productive. Spending a lazy Sunday watching an entire season of Mad Men on Netflix Instant? Yeah, we’re going there—productive (in moderation).
No one is recommending that you adopt any one of these activities as your sole purpose in life. The point is not to celebrate unchecked idle behavior. But hobbies – things you do for no reason other than because they bring you joy – aren’t a break from productivity. They’re an active part of it. You can’t know happy unless you know sad. You can’t recognize flavor unless you’ve experienced bland. And you can’t know when you’re truly in the zone unless you develop the capacity to go to another place entirely.
Work long hours. Pay your bills. Cook from scratch. But understand that being "good at life" does not hinge on having something to show for yourself, and let go of the anxiety associated with wasting (read: spending) your time. Rest is not a necessary evil. There is such a thing as productive relaxation, and it stems from mindful enjoyment of the moment you are experiencing. And the sooner you can widen your understanding of productivity, the easier it will become to produce a life you love.
—Emma Aubry Roberts
Getting close to other people is a complex process. We want to experience close relationships, but when we let others know our innermost thoughts, we become vulnerable to them as well. While this can be exhilarating, it also opens us up to being hurt by their intended or unintended slights.
What's helped me in working through this dilemma is to remember that when another person says or does something that triggers me to feel less than my powerful self, the offending comment says more about the other person's state of mind than it says about me. At a later time, when things cool down, I can share how the offending action made me feel in a more appropriate manner.
The concept of detachment is important. Not taking everything personally is easier said than done, but it really is the way to go. During the holiday weekend, if someone close to you seems "off," detach and practice compassion. Doing this not only serves them, but also results in a calmer you.
If you're waiting for everything in your life to line up perfectly before going after what you want, you'll be waiting a long time. Get comfortable with the uncomfortable. Trust yourself to handle temporary unease in pursuit of long-term glory. This and more in our video, below. Follow us on Twitter to receive tips and encouragement all day, every day.
Kick off summer with a smart risk. We can't wait to hear all about it after the long weekend. Happy Memorial Day!
Carmelita Jeter wakes up at six, eats her Wheaties, puts on her clothes, and heads to the office—just like you. The difference? Her office is a gymnasium, her to-do list is a five-hour training session, and her upcoming business trip just happens to be the 2012 Olympics. As the current world champion in the 100-meter dash, Carmelita is coming down the home stretch in the race to this summer’s games. “I try to remind myself that no one’s going to give this to me,” she says of her physically demanding training schedule, which consists of two hours in the weight room followed by three on the track. “Nobody’s going to stop the race and say, ‘Oh, okay, you can win!’ I have to put in the work.”
Training like an Olympian means some workout conditions are non-negotiable—the soundtrack, for instance. “Music is very important to me,” Carmelita explains. “I can’t just hear anything. I’ve got to feel it. It’s more of an attitude.” So what’s been getting her in the zone lately? “The last meet that I ran in, I warmed up to Best of Aaliyah. But there could be a particular day when someone puts on Jay-Z, and I say, ‘No, I want to listen to Maroon 5!’” she exclaims. Once the music stops, the “Fastest Woman in the World” is equally at home in the express checkout of a department store as she is in the speed lane of a race track. “I have a bit of a shopping problem,” the self-professed girly-girl cheerfully confesses, naming fashion and beauty among her chief interests outside the gym.
Even being an international track star has its dark moments, however—a lesson Carmelita learned the hard way in 2008, when a combination of overconfidence and under-training kept her off of the United States Olympic team. Instead of allowing the setback to derail her, Carmelita threw herself into her training, determined to make a comeback through good old-fashioned sweat and tenacity. Sure enough, her hard work paid off—Carmelita shattered her personal bests the following year, taking multiple gold medals at international athletic competitions and running the second-fastest 100-meter race in history. Carmelita hopes to continue her winning streak in London this summer, and accredits her stick-to-itiveness to her father’s influence. “I push myself to the limit,” she says simply, “and I do not allow anyone to limit me.”
—Emma Aubry Roberts
From our office windows in New York City, we can see small tugboats traveling the waters of the East River. They have always amazed me. When I was a little girl, I remember reading stories about their power. They are tiny compared to the barges they move.
Tugboats remind me of the power we all have. One person has the ability to make a big difference in the world. All we need is intent, passion, and the courage to act.
What big changes will you make in your life and in the lives of others? Be a part of the change we need to see in the world.
We're all familiar with the deceptively simple adage, "Do what you love; love what you do," but when was the last time you spent your Saturday night writing performance reviews just for kicks? For Michelle Raimo Kouyate, the President of Production for Sony Pictures Animation, the line between “work” and “play” is about as blurry as they come. “I still see movies for pleasure all the time!” enthuses the production powerhouse, who has made a career of workshopping films from Chocolat to The Smurfs 2. “I actually pride myself on the fact that I can turn off the hyperanalyzing executive switch and let myself be enveloped by the experience.”
Michelle is no one-note wonder, however: “I am so lucky that I love what I do, but family life is incredibly important to me. In fact, I’m a little bit of a soccer mom,” she shares conspiratorially, citing her seven-year-old son as her primary hobby outside of work. And don’t even try to tell Michelle that her rich home life - part of which unfolds at her family’s vacation home in West Africa - needs come at the expense of her career. “I think spending time with my family actually makes me better at my job,” she muses. “There’s no need for me to be working to the exclusion of all else.” Just goes to show that a woman successfully juggling work and life doesn't only exist in the movies.
—Emma Aubry Roberts
I think the greatest gift we can give ourselves is self-love. We often nurture others, both at work and at home—but do we regularly put ourselves top of the list?
Isn't it time we mother ourselves? Do this by asking yourself the following questions:
How am I special? What makes me unique?
How do I show up for my life daily?
How can I practice self-appreciation?
Now, take a look in the mirror. Look deeply into your eyes. Experience the soul of a magnificent woman: YOU.
Happy Mother's Day!
Powerful moms make for powerful daughters. In a time when women were discouraged from entering math- and science-related fields, Mary Lou DeHaas (left) had the gumption to blaze her own trail. In honor of Mother's Day, Deborah DeHaas (of Deloitte LLP) reflects on what her mother's influence has meant for her own life and career. How has your mother's story shaped your own?
My mom, Mary Lou DeHaas, was the only female accounting major at the University of Pittsburgh when she graduated in 1951. This was not an easy time for women in business, and one of her accounting professors used to hold up a "drop card" when she came into class each day, suggesting that she transfer out of the accounting program. She stuck it out, though—and after graduation, she worked for several years at a large company in Pittsburgh, supporting my father as he worked his way through medical school.
Later in her adult life, Mom turned her efforts toward being a leader in our community of Washington, PA. She was truly a force—she initiated our community's Head Start program and became the first female elder and trustee of our church, as well as the first woman to serve on our village council. Mom taught us the importance of appreciating all that we have been given, as well as the importance of giving back to our communities. "To whom much is given, much is expected” was her motto, and I hope to pass the same lesson along to my three sons.
Mom always encouraged my two siblings and me to be the best that we could be, and I am confident that I would not have been so successful in both my personal and professional lives without having had such a wonderful role model. She was truly an inspiration, as well as a leader in so many respects. Happy Mother's Day, Mom!
Attention, women everywhere: We need to step up our game. The world is a turbulent place - especially right now - and I believe that the connective power of women will make all the difference in creating the change that is needed. One woman coming into her power more fully can have an enormous effect—just imagine the difference we could make if we all came to this realization at the same time! Big changes would take place.
Looking to create change? Awareness is the first step. Ask yourself the following questions:
Where have I been holding back? Is there an idea or insight I am keeping to myself that could make a difference?
What skills, talents, and abilities do I have that I haven't been using? How can I begin to do that?
In general, do I feel a sense of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with myself?
Once you’ve nailed down the answers to these questions, take action. Share your observations with a trusted friend. Create a plan to turn your courageous ideas into realities. Remind yourself that your desire to create change is greater than any fear you might have. Then act, and see your dreams of change come to life.
Go to it, ladies. The world needs your insights, talent, and courage!