I want to talk about a touchy subject.
I know many women who struggle with self-esteem because they feel like they aren't doing enough. Society personifies "the perfect woman" as the go-getter, with a packed calendar and thriving social life, planning to run her own business. I used to look down on people who didn't dream of being an entrepreneur. "What do you mean you want to work a nice job, start a family, and chill out after college? I said one TOO many times holding an overpriced drink in my hand. Honestly, if I could go back in time, I would slap the mess out of myself. Who was I to judge what a woman should be? Who are WE as a culture to do that in 2018?
You see it in hashtags, titles, images, practically anything associated with a female entrepreneur in the 21st century. ( Bless Sophia Amoruso for the bestselling title because it's actually a fantastic book). Personally, I distorted reality of what the word meant. Girlboss is a great term, but it sometimes takes on the shape of an exclusionary gang. Women are awarded that title if we meet the checklist of qualifications. I know firsthand because I started to change myself to try to fit them. Having a packed calendar, social followers, and the latest trends does not make you a Girlboss.
Yes, these things are a common thread with the women we idolize in pop culture, but successful women of all backgrounds say the same thing. It's more than pleasing aesthetics and images. Being a Girlboss is about hustling and busting your butt to cultivate your ideas (ideas both grand and scaled back). Understanding some plans will succeed and others won't. Fighting for concepts when you feel significantly uninspired and weighed down by life. Tuning out the self-loathing thoughts and battling the negative convictions of the comparison game.
Yet, we're conditioned.
To force feed ourselves the recipe society feeds us through media and culture.
We put pressure on ourselves to be things, without understanding why.
Why do we feel like our relationship status speaks about our character?
Why do we feel we need to be 100% aligned with job requirements to apply?
Why do we feel like we're lame if we aren't creating something of our own?
Why do we feel the need to be married by 30 and have kids by 32?
Why do we feel we need to have a beautifully mapped 5-year plan?
These things happen to people, but not at the same time. Honestly, it doesn't happen for everyone and that's okay too. I'm here to celebrate ALL girlbosses. The ones who are chasing entrepreneurial pursuits AND the ones who are happily crushing their 9-5 . The ones who plan on being moms AND the ones who are content being the "cool auntie" for the rest of time. The ones who thrive living in big cities AND the ones who shine equally bright in small towns. There should be no designation of woman's value based on any of these things. There's room for all of us at the table. Whether you want to be a CEO, a mom, an artist, a founder, a supporter, and everything in between. I salute you.
We're all girlbosses in our own right.
Finally letting go of that irrational logic has helped me love myself more.
I am more than my Instagram feed. Personally, I don't want to strike off and be an entrepreneur right now. I want to be a 26-year old living in a cool city. Mainly because I realize my insecurities were driving my passions. I'm still working on my entrepreneurial pursuits, but it doesn't mean I'm worthless because they're not going live tomorrow. For now, it will just be Shelbs, exploring my new life in the city, writing about life stories on this blog, sharing encouragement , and posting creative pictures. Because I just like doing that. I don't need to be doing something EPIC for the sake of having something epic. I'm also currently taking a second to realize "HEY, you live in the city you've always wanted to and worked toward. That's enough for the moment. Stop trying to hatch up the next big plan." And same for you! Just live your life and find joy in being who you are!
Really my true passion is just to help women realize this. I spent so many valuable years hating myself because I didn't feel up to the standard of what "Girlboss" should be. If I kickoff another business in my lifetime, I just hope I can use my story to help other people see they are a light that shines so bright. Just by being who they are naturally. We need to start re-defining what makes a woman phenomenal. The digital age creates the fine line and we have to make sure to not cross it. We are multi-faceted and powerful beings. So, the next time you scroll and feel like you aren't good enough...Remember who you are.
Everyone has a different path and what makes each of us stand out is living in our truth.
Sending love and light always. :)