“A wonderful day to spend among women in leadership” said Rashmi Karthik an attendee of Women #BreakingBarriers Bangalore. Breaking Barriers is now coming to Pune, Panjim, Kolkata, Coimbatore, Chennai. Register now to attend!
From setbacks to stepping stones – that should be every woman’s mantra. Whether at the workplace, or in personal life. Why waste your precious time?
If you ask anyone around you if they are fine, chances are people automatically say yes even without taking a moment to reflect if they actually are. It is a reflex most of the times. It’s interesting how the eyes see something and convince the brain that things are fine, and how the brain directs the eyes to take a closer look to find out if things are really the way they seem. For a third person, it might seem like all is well. But apparently, it might not be.
The problem is we aren’t sure if certain things can be shared with others. We assume we’re the only ones in that situation and do not approach anyone for help, for the fear of being judged. It ends up affecting us to such an extent that it interferes with our routine and keeps us anxious all the time. When we keep all these thoughts to ourselves without venting them, it affects us in a multitude of ways and impacts our well-being.
As women, we face a lot more hardships than men normally face. For instance, at work when a man is considered for promotion only his performance would be considered. But when a woman is considered for promotion, they wonder if the promotion is worth it because of the risks involved. If you are single, the risk is that you might get married and might have to quit your job. Even if you don’t have to quit people assume that new responsibilities will definitely take more priority than the existing ones (yes, they seem to know a lot about how we would lead our lives than ourselves). If you are married, the risk is that you might decide to have your own family and you will have other responsibilities to prioritize.
Most of them don’t want to give women the credit they deserve, if they see a ‘risk’ involved. When it comes to issues at home, there is still a bias regarding the way men and women are treated. So, it’s only natural that women have a lot going on in their mind at any point of time that might upset their emotional well-being.
For quite some time now I have been witnessing many women around me open up about the problems they’ve been going through – be it at their workplace or at their homes. Though it’s good to know that people are opening up, I was surprised about how I had failed to notice that they weren’t doing well emotionally. For someone who boasts of being able to find if someone was happy or sad, I felt bad. I had failed to notice things beyond their smiles.
I asked Google a lot of questions regarding this and it promptly (and patiently) answered all of my queries. I remembered all those pep-talks and inspiring conversations and articles that I had read and I thought I should probably put them down here. Who knows who else might end up benefiting from this?
As much as we’d like to hold on to certain people and incidents, things are best dealt with when we learn to move on. Next time your colleagues treat you badly, either give it back to them or just ignore them and move on.
We might not be able to forget everything, but we do have the luxury of putting all of them in a box and storing them away as memories. This way we don’t lose track of the present while dealing with the past.
This might probably sound clichéd, but it is definitely a good way of helping one analyze whether all the drama and action is really worth it. In all it serves like a litmus test to decide whether it really matters.
If it is not going to matter in a few years, should you really care? So you might as well stop feeling guilty for a choice that you made. Even if it was a bad decision, stop blaming yourself, learn what you could have done better and put it behind you and move on.
I read about this technique some time back and I can personally vouch that this is a wonderful way to decide whether to worry about something. Whatever comes my way, I categorize them as ‘My Problem’ or ‘Others’ Problem’ and it has helped me prioritize and deal with people. I can only worry about things that are under my control. If there is nothing I can do about something which is someone else’s problem, I can empathize and help them to an extent, as long as it doesn’t start affecting me in any way.
For instance, what I say is my problem. How others interpret it is definitely not my problem.
People (including women) are always going to be judging women for each and every thing that we do. But wait, that’s not your problem. It’s their problem.
Karma. Just wait for karma to do its duty and don’t be on a hurry to teach someone a lesson. You have a life, and you’d have your own set of goals and aspirations. Why waste time on someone who troubled you? Why give someone your time and a place in your thoughts when they clearly don’t deserve it? Sooner or later all those who gave you a tough time will have a taste of their own medicine. Until then, just keep calm.
I hate it when people call others selfish for putting themselves first. As long as my decisions aren’t impacting others, I don’t see any reason why I would have to be called selfish for considering my needs ahead of others.
We need to let go of the image that women have to mandatorily care for others and live for others even when it comes at the cost of their own health. Yes, we need to care for others but that doesn’t mean we should always put others before us. The way I see it – I’m the only person who is going to be around myself for a long time. So unless I take care of myself and make peace with my past so that it doesn’t affect my present, I wouldn’t be able to live my life peacefully. All I’d say is don’t be too hard on yourself, forgive yourself, pamper yourself a little now and then and just keep going.
Some things take their own sweet time and we have to go with it at its pace rather than forcing things to work at the pace we want to. Just like how we might not get the best results immediately, the immediate results might also not be the best. We need to re-learn to be patient, have faith and wait. Someone did rightly say ‘Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.’
So don’t take life way too seriously, give it a mix of the seriousness and the fun it deserves. Yes women have a lot of responsibilities but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun and spend time doing what you are passionate about. And of course there are bound to be obstacles to test your abilities. What’s fun if everything is perfect and you don’t have a problem to solve? Remember that you’ve been given all those problems because someone up there knew you would have the courage to tackle them. And what’s life without a few ups and downs anyway? In fact it’s the ups and downs that indicate there is life. So keep smiling and try the best to live your life your way.
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I’m a blogger from Chennai. I believe that anything worth talking is worth writing,
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