Four core principles to remember as you are building inclusive, equal and prosperous environments
Today marks International Women’s Day 2020. A day where many organizations have published strategies and roadmaps filled with promises for better equality. A day where women’s organizations continue to highlight the prevailing gender gaps and fight inequality between men and women. A day where many women still feel undervalued, underpaid, and mistreated in various parts of the world and across societies. A day where social media is flooded with pictures of people showing equality through their posture when, in reality, the world needs much more than photos of an elusive truth once a year.
We entered a new decade where gender debates through shame, blame, and finger-pointing are a daily reality on social media and beyond. Statistics are used to demonstrate the injustice and the long way ahead to achieve a real sense of equality, inclusion, and prosperity for women across the globe.
This article does not touch upon the systemic level changes, which are a must for gender equality to prevail. Nor does it propose a roadmap for organizations to implement gender equality. I believe there are many excellent and valid research papers, policy recommendations, and proposals out there already to help achieve Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
Instead, this piece aspires to help women and young girls empower themselves by accepting, embracing, and shining their own worthiness into every area of their life. Due to many different reasons, women tend to have limited belief systems about their personal worth and feel they need permission, validation, or encouragement to go after what they truly desire and live their fullest potential.
When women embrace their greatness at their core without justification, guilt, or expectations, that is true freedom, inclusion, and equality as nothing will hold them back from living a life above their potential.
Whether you believe in celebrating Women’s Day or not, take a moment and reflect on what it feels like to be a woman in the 21st Century.
Take a moment and examine your own belief systems about yourself and others.
Take a moment and imagine how different life would be if you live your life free from your mask and in complete alignment with your soul.
How do I do that Nadja in an age where judging one another is what we do best even if it feels off to focus our energy on outside conditions? How do I do that when injustice to women and girls continue to prevail? How do I do that when the alpha ego of men dominates many settings and continues to undermine the right and role of women in societies?
Focusing our energy on all the negative aspects that hamper progress to a better, peaceful, and inclusive world does not serve anyone. Instead, concentrate on what we as individual human beings can control will bring real and lasting change. Change doesn’t happen overnight, and it starts with baby steps and within ourselves. It begins with acknowledging, accepting, and believing that the most fabulous creations of all times were created twice: first in the mind and second in physical reality. If we want to build an inclusive, equal, and prosperous global economy where both women and men thrive, it starts with imagining how such a world would look like. It begins with believing how you specifically would contribute to building such a world.
This requires to fully embrace your own worthiness first, and you can jumpstart your journey of personal empowerment by reminding yourself of these four core principles:
Principle One: Stop justifying your worthiness to others
Women, in particular, tend to justify their existence and worthiness over and over again. When they experience a sense of achievement and accomplishment, the usual answers are:
“Oh, I am lucky. It wasn’t me alone. I worked really, really, really hard, you know.”
Emphasizing how much you suffered to get here or to justify why something may have come easy to you is necessary in your mind. Once you accept the premise of feeling whole, complete and enough by birthright, you will experience true freedom and pure bliss. Once you attach more importance to how you perceive yourself in line with your core values, what other people think of you is none of your business.
“But Nadja, what other people think of me is my business. I want to come across as professional, as worthy. I want to be respected and to fit in”.
You can be the juiciest peach in the world, there are still people who don’t eat nor like peaches. The more you succumb to the disease to please, the opposite of what you want happens: you become a doormat who people perhaps like but far from someone who they respect. The most important revelation is that IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE AND ACCEPT YOUR WORTHINESS, other people won’t either. So start from there and see what happens.
And when people start telling you that you are selfish, you can be inspired by my answer: “It feels so good to focus on feeling good myself, you should try it out as well!”
Principle Two: Feel the feelings and flip the script
Emotions are what make us human. Emotions are experienced differently by different people. Our perception of the world, the way we process information, the way we make sense of our environment, is first analyzed through the emotional lens before it goes through the rational lens in our brain. This means that while you are unable to control the triggering process of your emotions, you can manage the transition process of emotional to rational responses. The main reason we continue to perpetuate negative emotions is that we fall to our default mode of negative thinking. We are conditioned as a child with belief systems from other people, from our environment, culture, and society. Over 70% of those are negative thinking patterns, according to leading scientist Dr. Bruce Lipton.
The same way you go about exercising, yoga, running, or any kind of physical movement, start exercising a healthy mindset with healthy thinking patterns. Catch yourself early when reaching for your negative thought and focus on choosing another thought that feels good. Shift your attention and don’t try to fix your negative thinking, it will just grow bigger. Just shift your thinking to a higher frequency, which feels good.
It can be general or specific, depending on the mood you are in. If you really, really, really feel down – then just focus on the furry animals in your life, nature, how good and comfortable your bed feels, the delicious food you eat, and so on. This helps rewire your brain to another thinking pattern while your negative thought will dissolve if you stop giving it attention. I use a lot of visualization exercises with my clients because it helps them feel the positive emotions in every cell of their body and gives them a tool to use for themselves when they experience negative emotions.
Principle Three: Everyone has access to the abundance pie
The abundance pie is not for a limited amount of people, we all have access to it.
“But Nadja, are you listening to yourself? What about the refugees who are stuck in camps with no food nor healthy lifestyle conditions? What about women who live in countries where women’s rights are violated over and over again? How do they access the abundance pie?
This blog is not about saving the world, this blog is helping every single human being regardless of their gender to start recognizing their worthiness without external conditions. You cannot get poor enough to help poor people get rich. You cannot get sick enough to help sick people get better. You cannot get negative enough to help negative people become positive.
Words don’t teach, inspired action does.
If every human being starts focusing on feeling fulfilled and taking care of feeling more positive emotions in themselves, the world would be such a better place. When you are aligned with who you truly are, when you accept your worthiness and stop justifying yourself to the outside world and live your highest and purest potential, that’s when you shine your light and inspire others to do so as well.
Let’s take Oprah Winfrey as an example. She was born in the ’50s in the most racist state of the United States at that time, Mississippi. Slavery and abuse were a daily reality for people who had a different skin colour, and the best dream she was allowed to dream is to work “for some good white folks.” She knew then already at a very young age that it was not going to be her reality, no matter her dire and impossible circumstances. She was going to break through her generational cycle, and she did.
Countless other women were living in impossible circumstances, which changed their lives around from the inside out. The world is at its worst it has ever been, and it is also at its best it has ever been. You choose where you focus on, and your reality shall adapt to your persistent, energetic focus through your mind.
Principle Four: Let go of your labels and embrace your humanity
We live in a world where we love to revel around labels, status, and titles. It is understandable if you grew up feeling incomplete, feeling unworthy, feeling like you have to prove yourself over and over again than titles, status, and labels are effective coping mechanisms to get you through life. But who are we really kidding? Yourself!!
There will not be enough validation, recognition, and pats on the back from the outside world if YOU DON’T EMBRACE your worthiness yourself first. Regardless of your gender, beliefs, culture, backgrounds, and skin color. Once you feel aligned with you truly are, once you embrace the beautiful human being, you are with your infinite potential than everything else is a bonus and not a necessity.
I understand it is difficult as we live in the digital age, where social media is often the toilet of the internet as eloquently said by Lady Gaga. It is easy to fall in the trap of comparing yourself with the pictures of “so-called successful people who feel entitled to feel better than others based on hierarchy, experience, and titles.” And women are guilty of this too, those who suffer from the queen bee syndrome.
A compelling technique to overcome this is to visualize yourself dying (I know sounds dramatic, but keep reading anyway). What will you think about during your last hours of living? Is it about your body image? Is it about impressing people you don’t like anyway? Is it living with your mask, chasing money instead of chasing fulfillment? Is it judging others and treating them like they are beneath you so you can feel better about yourself? Is it about creating division instead of inclusion? Is it about hate rather than love? Is it about leadership from the heart instead of your ego? Is it feeling good and accepting who you are without justification?
Think about this and remind yourself whenever you feel less worthy or the need to prove yourself to others. Once you are aligned with the wholeness of who you are and THEN TAKE INSPIRED ACTIONS to make the world a better, inclusive, and prosperous place to live in … that’s a whole different story. A story which I hope with all my heart will be a reality for many human beings across the planet.