Happy New Year! I hope you’ve been able to close out 2018 and move into 2019 with a renewed spirit and optimism. On that note, this morning I sat through an amazing two hours with a group of 11 female physicians in the Dallas area. Everyone was so supportive and obviously had a lot to give to the group in the terms of stories and empowerment. There were a lot of things I took away from this short but sweet coffee date.
- Women are outstanding motivational speakers. We all have stories of perseverance, determination, and bravery that we tell in different ways. Therefore, each one of us deserves to be heard–maybe there’s someone out there that has been “hearing” the same message over and over again, but maybe it’s YOUR voice that will actually change something for them.
- Tribes of women are powerful. After attending Brave Enough 2018, I recognized this first-hand while spending 3 days with 350 amazing female physicians. Today reminded me a lot of that weekend and the same kind of energy permeated the room.
- Women need community. Not only do we create great tribes, but we NEED the community that only we can provide. We are great listeners and make great friends because of this. We need to be able to vent and gain support from people “like us”.
- We need to continue to mentor others. We are succeeding–even when we often see that we have failed many times. In some way, we are blazing a trail for someone else behind us. We need to grab their hands and lead them in the same positive directions.
- Creating opportunities for connection should be a high priority for us. It had been about a month since I had last had such an opportunity myself. Prior to that, I feel like it had been months, maybe even years. I’m hoping this becomes a more common occurrence for me (and others) in 2019.
- We are constantly growing, in different, but similar ways. We have been through bad jobs, schmucks for bosses, hateful staff, and had to cut back in one way or another. We all understand the personal sacrifices many of us have made in order to have professional success. We may not be able to personally empathize with your exact situation, but we can definitely connect on some level.
- We should also be thankful to the good men that have supported us along the way–husbands, fathers, and even male mentors. Sure, we’ve encountered our fair share of jerks, sexual harassment, gender/racial/sexual inequality, but we also have some pretty fantastic men in our lives that are nudging (if not pushing) us forward. We need to continue to identify and promote these #HeForShe men just as we promote other women.
- Self care takes a lot of time, and trying to make time for self care can just be an additional stressor. Take small steps, one can benefit from 30 minutes of exercise, one minute of gratitude, and 5 minutes of meditation a day. It doesn’t have to be an eight hour day of caring for yourself, an 8 hour day at work, and another 8 hour day of caring for your family–you can make an hour for yourself and still benefit.
- Many of us feel very alone and isolated–especially in our struggles. But the beauty is that we aren’t. I’ve mentioned it before–someone can say “you are not alone” until they are blue in the face, but its extremely hard to believe it until you finally find the right connection. Reaching out is important.
- We drastically underestimate ourselves as women. Whether its in the workplace where we are judged as “bitchy” for being ambitious or unrelenting. Or maybe its at home where we feel like we aren’t “super mom” when everyone around seems to have it all together. Or maybe its among our friends–we don’t feel like we can measure up the idea of someone else. Just because you’re not a trauma surgeon doesn’t mean that you aren’t doing amazing things in people’s lives every damn day. And I bet those are things I’m probably not capable of doing myself.
- We can learn a lot from our children. One woman told a story about her three-year-old daughter that acts like she owns the world. We laughed that she probably wakes up every morning thinking she is the most powerful person in the world. And guess what? If she wakes up and thinks that every morning, then that’s exactly who she is. We all need to wake up every morning and remind ourselves just how powerful we actually are.
What can you add to this list? Where do you think women already excel? What do you want to encourage your female friends to do MORE?
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