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Ever since I was a little girl I was afraid that if I spoke up, had an opinion or took charge of a situation that I would be tagged “bossy”. NO ONE liked bossy girls.
Bossy – also described as highhanded, officious, dictational, overbearing, abrasive. But having an opinion or giving people direction doesn’t mean you are these things. You can be a leader and still be a beautiful soul.
Forever I carried this belief in my head that no one like bossy girls and I should close my mouth, smile and nod and so I accepted my place in my world. Of course this belief didn’t give me a horrible life by any means but I do think it gave me a disadvantage.
Now in my thirties I have to ask the question – why is it when a little boy speaks up it gives direction he is going to make a great leader one day or be the next CEO of the biggest company in the world and if a little girl shows these qualities she is “bossy” and overbearing, she won’t have friends or heaven forbid anyone would want to marry her!! (Why marriage was the ultimate goal here is also a concerning thing to be teaching young girls. That their worth and value is determined by a man).
Because of this belief I never really harnessed and refined my leadership skills and my ability to move forward in a career. I accepted that I would never have a seat at the table with the big boys because “who is going to listen to a girl?” I did land myself some management roles but I was so afraid of upsetting people and that I would come across as a tyrant that I would mostly give myself all the tasks that needed doing. My work load increased day by day and so did my stress. I was afraid.
From this wild belief a whole shrew of quirks followed. I was a people pleaser, never wanting to say no, never wanting to disagree with anyone. This whole belief system actually overtook my life without me being aware. It filtered through to not only my work but my personal relationships. I was so afraid that no one would “like me” if I stood up for myself. If I spoke up. If I believed in myself. That I just became subservient. There are so many red flags here and a lot of unhealthy experiences because of it but that’s a whole other story.
It wasn’t until I met Paige almost 10 years ago that I learned you can be a dope ass babe and still be a #girlboss.
Paigey believed in me in a whole new way. She was a woman that was not only powerful and called the shots in her own life but she was sweet and kind. And people LOVED her! Say whaaaat?
It didn’t happen overnight. She mentored me slowly. In bite size lessons. I watched her and I learned from her. I went from a girl who wouldn’t return an item that was damaged and falling apart because I might upset the customer service agent to a woman who can lead a boardroom of executives from one of the most recognized brands in the world.
It’s amazing when we have women we can look up to what we believe is possible. They show us that success can be cultivated. That a woman can have it all. If you just believe. Having someone believe in you is a powerful thing. Believing in yourself is even more powerful. Combine those two things and babe, YOU are unstoppable.
So let me say it here loud and clear. We believe in YOU.
I still have a lot of moments of self-doubt and I am still learning how to direct and use my voice. I still get told to this day that I’m “being bossy” when I take charge of a situation or if I fight for what I believe is right. And I really have to take a deep breath and remind myself that people are experiencing me in a whole new way and that only WE can change the perception that these things don’t equal bossy. They just don’t.
So I ask you, please, next time you overhear a little girl being called bossy, tell her instead that she has leadership skills. Watch how the perception of herself changes and the perception of others. Let’s raise strong, independent, free thinking women that aren’t afraid to fight for a seat at the table and call the shots in their own life. Here’s to all the #girlbosses.