International Women’s Day: The Number ONE Struggle Faced by Women Today

Today, March 8th, is International Women’s Day.

This is a day where the world celebrates  the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. The first International Women’s Day was in 1911, so today marks the 100 year anniversary. International Women’s Day honours the work of the women who won the right to vote, celebrates women’s success, and reminds of inequities still to be redressed.

But what is the Number ONE struggle that women face in 2011?

“With realization of one’s own potential & self confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.” ~Dalai Lama

The Main Thing Holding Women Back from Achieving More… is ourselves. Society has created such a structured rigid cut out of what the “Perfect Woman” should be, which has put incredible powerful filters on our own self image as a woman.

So many women struggle with fitting into this mold and therefore they struggle with their self image and their confidence. Of the many women that I have coached and trained, the number one DREAM STEALER (as I call it) is that voice inside their head telling them they aren’t good enough or they can’t do it.

Watch This Heartfelt Video That I Shot for YOU this Morning.

8 Ways to Be More Confident:

1.Tap Into the Confidence You Were Born With.

You didn’t come out of the womb unsure of your cry or insecure about your large umbilical cord. You came out blissfully unaware of external judgment, concerned only with your own experience and needs. That’s not to say you should be oblivious to other people. It’s just that it may help to remember confidence was your original nature before time started chiseling away at it. When you start feeling unsure of yourself remember: we were all born with confidence, and we can all get it back if we learn to silence the thoughts that threaten it.

2. Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Learning who you are doesn’t happen overnight. For one thing, it can be hard to know which parts of you are you, and which parts are who you think you should be. It might help to list five things you do well that you enjoy, and five things you’d like to do well. Make an effort to utilize some of the first list and work on some of the second every day. As you use your strengths and improve where there’s room to grow, you’ll develop both confidence and fulfillment simultaneously.

3. Expect Success

It might seem strange to say expect success since you can’t predict the future, but don’t we do the alternative all the time? Have you ever gone into a stressful situation assuming the worst—that something would go wrong? Conventional wisdom suggests it’s smart to expect the worst because you won’t be disappointed if you fail and you’ll be pleasantly surprised if you succeed. But research suggests this isn’t universally true. Pessimism can undermine your performance creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.

4.Trust Your Capabilities

No one in the world knows everything. Everyone is good at some things and not so good at others. Don’t weight your security against what you know or can do; weigh it against your willingness and capacity to learn. If someone criticizes you, take it is an opportunity to improve. If someone does better than you, see it as an opportunity to learn from them. If you fall short at something, realize you can get closer next time. Don’t be merely confident in what you can do—be confident in what you can do when you try.

5.Embrace The Unknown

People often think confidence means knowing you can create the outcome you desire. To some extent it does, but this idea isn’t universally true for anyone. No matter how talented, smart, or capable you are, you cannot predict or control everything that happens in your life. Even confident people lose jobs, relationships, and even their health. Confidence comes from knowing your competence but acknowledging it’s not solely responsible for creating your world. When you take that weight off your shoulders and realize that sometimes the twists and turns have nothing to do with what you did or should have done, it’s easier to feel confident in what you bring to the table.

6.Take Risks

If you always do things as you’ve always done them of course you won’t feel confident. By constantly expanding your comfort zone and stepping outside of it daily, facing the unknown will improve your inner belief that you can achieve success no matter what!

7.Learn to Receive Praise

It’s amazing how easy it is to believe all the negative things people say and yet discredit the positive. Taking a compliment is an art. Sometimes, it’s instinctive to assume they’re just being nice or that maybe you aren’t really skilled—you just got lucky. Don’t talk yourself out of believing it. Instead, recycle it into confidence. You did a fantastic job on your project at work—that means you can do it again. You had an amazing performance—that means you can trust you’re talented.

8.Practice Confidence

Like anything else in life, your confidence will improve with practice. A great opportunity to do this is when you meet new people. Just like if you were the new kid in school, they have no idea who you are—meaning you have an opportunity to show them. As you shake their hand, introduce yourself, and listen to them speak, watch your internal monologue. If you start doubting yourself in your head, replace your thoughts with more confident ones. Ask yourself what a confident person would do, and then try to emulate that.

Above all, remember you are capable and worthy—just as much as anyone else, regardless of what you’ve achieved. Regardless of what mistakes you’ve made. Knowing that intellectually is the first step to believing it in your heart. Believing it is the key to living it. And living it is the key to reaching your potential.

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3 Comments

  • Kimberly Flores

    Layla, like expected, very well presented and explained how we women are the pins that hold the world together!

  • Uma

    Absolutely true Layla!! Women always feel pressurized to be what someone else wants them to be. Everyone expects women to be like this or that. We gotta accept ourselves as we are first- for we deserve to be who we truly are. Once we begin to discover ourselves, we need to stand up for ourselves. That’s the only way to go!!!

    Happy Women’s Day ( I suddenly hear Bob Marley in the background ” get Up! stand Up, stand u for your rights!!Don’t give up the fight)

  • Vibha

    aaww.. I love this post.. I felt so warm as I was watching your video!!..

    WOMAN has strengths, she can handle trouble and carry heavy burdens,she holds happines,love and opinions. SHE SOMETIMES FORGETS HER WORTH.

    So lets continue inspiring and encouraging other woman realize their TRUE worth. Happy Womens Day to all the wonderful Ladies.. I am so glad that I have connected with all of you!

    Thank you Layla for creating this Group and This amazing Video !!
    I love you.. You are truly amazing 🙂

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