1. Allow yourself to fail and relish it.
Oftentimes, we are too fearful of getting something wrong or being judged harshly when we don’t succeed. If we don’t take the risks necessary as women, then how do we expect to advance and break down walls? These failures are important to gain exposure and learn. Not only that, we should be enthusiastic about these failures! You are already ahead of all those people who were also too scared to try, but you did it. You pushed yourself in a way that others weren’t and now you have an experience and knowledge far greater than contentedness could ever provide.
2. Accept that something may never give you closure.
This point ties especially into relationships of any kind. Many times I watched and fumed seeing my friends struggle through heartbreaks with asinine individuals, fearful to move on because they were frozen by some hope that the person would give, do, or say what they wanted to hear. It’s a human flaw of the need to control the situation in a way we think is right in the way we so earnestly desire. The frustratingly beautiful thing about humans though, is that we are all built differently, sculpted by different parenting, experiences, and inner moral compass. No one is owed an explanation; no matter how right you think you are. This idea of debt by some type of apology or practical reasoning cripples us with the inability to forgive. And from this inability to forgive, we hurt ourselves more. If you’ve done everything in your own power to make it right and it still doesn’t work, then search hard within yourself to find peace in acceptance.
3. Express five minutes every day with thoughts of gratitude.
While struggling for equality, it can be a fine line between appearing to complain and fighting for what’s actually right. As you work towards the goal of achieving that equal status, be sure to be thankful to the big guy in the sky or at least to the people who have supported you. Research has backed that physical and mental ailments can be influenced by perception and experience. So, if you are an individual who drinks deep in thankfulness every day, you will be that much more prepared for the days that are hard.
4. Stop apologizing for asking questions that require you to get a job done.
In my opinion, I think that this is a huge obstacle because for some reason, women are always so quick to say sorry for just about anything. Bosses at the top, particularly men, don’t apologize for doing what needs to get done. Imagine if you apologized every time you had to make a decision or ask about multiple, minute details. There’s wasted energy expended and it get’s exhausting having to send an email with apprehension, worrying if you’re somehow making the recipient’s life that much harder. Everybody goes through hard things. How are you supposed to perform the job that someone has tasked you with if it’s an inconvenience to him or her? Be polite, but saying sorry is unnecessary and often detrimental. It subtly suggests a lack of confidence, which may make you appear weak (even though we know you aren’t) and therefore hurt your chances of making those promotions you dream about.
5. Keep going.
Many very successful people will tell you that they wanted to give up so many times because they had been working at their craft for what felt like forever and saw no fruit. Then, all of a sudden they got their big break. It can happen to anyone. A lot of us don’t see all the hours and hard work people put in behind the scenes and start to develop negative thoughts about our own endeavors. This is toxic. Someone may have rose quickly, but even they still have to put out consistent, good work to maintain their job. If it is your passion and you work hard at it and care about people, all you need to do is keep going in the forward direction. It will come. The key is to find joy in the journey and to ensure that your intentions for your goal are authentic.
6. Be gracefully forthright.
This goes back to my point of not being apologetic for getting stuff done. Being blunt in American society seems rude a lot of times, but in many other cultures being direct is the norm and it can cut out a lot of confusion and/or miscommunication. I believe that there is a way to be forward, but doing so with grace in which the recipient ultimately understands what needs to be said without damage to the relationship. There is a certain skill in the art of tactfulness that bolsters the humanity side of communication.
7. Having lots of money doesn’t solve problems, managing it does.
As women, oftentimes either spouses or fathers handle the finances within a household. This typically comes from a good place and the desire for a male to provide and accept responsibility. However, you also see a trend of a lack of women in high financial businesses or speaking on the topic. While young or busy, having it handled by them is nice for the time being, but long-term ignorance can be detrimental to your own financial health. Take the time to learn the foundational basics of how to manage your money, so that you learn to be independent should the need ever arise. The earlier, the better. Obviously, the exception for the handling your money would be if you seek professional counsel. Even then, it helps if your advisor can walk you through certain aspects of your finances for you to gain a better understanding. A lot of simple things I do to manage my money is simply living below my means, knowing where my money is coming and going, being intentional with my savings, ridding my debt, and making sure to understand how taxes work. Remember, money doesn’t buy happiness and knowledge is power.
8. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Lastly, I say this over and over again because as simple as it is to say it, doing it is another thing. Pushing yourself is how you find out what you’re capable of. When you come across challenges or tough situations, you are able to adapt to it and address the issue next time. It makes things later on seem less intimidating and a lot more feasible. You may not be comfortable with change and you can get away with it for a certain amount of time, but life happens and the world still turns, so you have no choice but to face change. Meeting new people or picking up new skills requires being uncomfortable at times, but can be such a valuable tool. You grow as a human and learn how to handle conflict. This in turn, reduces your stress and overall makes you a happier and more grateful person.
Meeja Kinsey is just your average, American girl who grew up in the suburbia of Indiana. On the other hand, she was raised by Deaf parents, which compelled her to be fluent in American Sign Language. Her mother was a South Korean orphan adopted by a Southern Baptist family, making her a proud member of the Hapa community and a Christian. Meeja’s brothers are twins that both enlisted in the military, so they know a thing or two about the importance of the challenge of staying connected. Married to the kindest soul and mother to a black lab fur baby named Maple. She’s a certified athletic trainer by education, enthusiast raconteur by hobby. Meeja loves to see people succeed and share their stories.