Focus & Dedication
Modern society, as with most societies, asks an incredible amount from women. Not only are ‘traditional’ gender roles still under constant scrutiny, a pressure pushing women down the path of marriage and motherhood—but there is now the added pressure of pursuing a career and maintaining financial independence. And, all the while, still navigating the scattered minefields of toxic workplace environments—not to mention, the rapidly increasing cost of living, post-Covid world, etc.
These forces create a mix of expectations where women are pressured to take on the full-time role of maintaining a household or taking on the brunt of childcare—while also managing the added expectation of working a full-time job and maintaining a career. Faced with these obstacles, feelings of discouragement are understandable, but there is always a path forward. Mindset is everything and consciously overcoming the doubts, fears and challenges will help continue the strength and courage to push forward.
“I have learned that as long as I hold fast to my beliefs and values – and follow my own moral compass – then the only expectations I need to live up to are my own.” – Michelle Obama
There will always be obstacles to overcome in the pursuit of dreams—but as mentioned, maintaining focus and inspiring dedication will be the key to getting through. Waking in the morning is a blessing in itself and giving yourself an extra 20 minutes before the craziness of the day starts can set the tone for the feelings and expectations of the day to come. Be intentional with the early morning, keep a gratitude journal, sit in the quietness of your own home and get purposeful on your daily approach.
This does not mean that there will be no hiccups throughout the day, week or month but it does keep you in the right mindset to take any obstacle head-on with a clear mind.
Failure may knock you down, but you can’t let it keep you down.
“I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.” – Amelia Earhart
“We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.” – Marie Curie
Focus and dedication are two traits that can be difficult to foster, but once encouraged they can provide an immense reservoir of power for self-encouragement and self-actualization. While it isn’t as simple as snapping your fingers, they show you where to look on the road ahead of your personal or professional life—and motivate you to put in the effort towards walking that road, tackling the objections and embracing the pressure that comes along with it.
“A strong woman is a woman determined to do something others are determined to not be done.” – Marge Piercy
“A surplus of effort could overcome a deficit of confidence.” – Sonia Sotomayor
Rise Up from Defeat
Setbacks will occur but it’s how you pick yourself up and show the resolve of your determination that will help you to stand apart. Knowing your value, worth and with a clear mindset those setbacks can lead you on a path of something amazing, possibly even something you never thought possible.
I’ll leave you on a personal note. As I watched some friends, peers and family crumble during covid I found myself shifting from my positive go-get-it attitude to a guilty, heartbreaking, pity self. I allowed myself to be in that mindset for much longer than expected and it was not until one day I woke up and decided to take action for myself. To take ownership of my thoughts, feelings and presence. It felt like the worst time in my professional career but ultimately it was the “hiccup” I needed to start my own company in which I dreamed of for so many years. Use the downtimes, the struggles and the challenges to fuel your soul for something better, something you know deep down is meant for you.
Never settle and always know your worth. Reach for the stars!
“We need to accept that we don’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes. Understand that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.” – Arianna Huffington