In celebration of International Women’s day, I wanted to dedicate today’s blog to talking about women.
I am so very passionate about women achieving their own financial security, for a variety of reasons, but mostly for two big reasons. Firstly, women need more in life than just being a housewife and mother.
We, modern women, need and deserve to follow our dreams and passions and stand alone, in our own ray of sunshine. We owe it to all the women who have gone before us, who probably didn’t have the chance to fulfil their dreams and live their best life. We owe it to ourselves and the world to share our uniqueness, our skills, knowledge, experience and special gifts and talents. Not hide them away.
I personally feel the need to make a contribution to the world and create my own legacy, not just as “Sidney’s Mum” or “Graham’s wife”, but as someone who taught, coached and inspired many women to get unstuck, overcome their fears, step out of the shadows of others, grab life with both hands and truly shine.
Because we are born to shine, like the diamonds that we are!
Secondly, we cannot and should not rely wholly and solely on our husband’s or partners to support us financially, because shit happens and they may not be here next week and who’s going to pay your bills then? I learned this first hand when my husband got very sick almost two years ago and almost lost both his legs. Most frightening time of my life was the drawn out moments in between hearing the doctors mention the word double-amputation and getting the good news a few days later that he’d be okay. I was thankful to every single person for every single thing in that moment.
Other than my husband coming out of that healthy and whole, I also took away something else that I’ll be forever grateful for and that was that I need to create a business of my own, a completely separate income source from the trade business that I run with my hubby, because you just can’t place all your eggs in one basket.
That lead me down a rabbit hole of research, where I found there’s a growing epidemic of homelessness amongst women over the age of 45 in Australia. Women are getting to that age, after having raised families and do not have anything to fall back on in the case of divorce or the death of their partner. They have little to no superannuation, they mostly work in unskilled, low paying jobs, if they can physically work at all and women are generally left behind financially in all aspects of life.
It is widely reported that the gender paygap in Australia still exists and despite women making major advances towards equality over the last fifty or so years, the gender gap when it comes to home duties, parenting, careers, superannuation and retirement is far too wide.
But all that aside, I want to talk about why many women aren’t taking action and, grabbing life by it’s horns and screaming “watch out world, I’m coming for you!”.
I recently conducted a survey of about 100 women and spoke with many more. It was overwhelming to see how many women said they have goals, but not enough time or energy to achieve them and/or fear and anxiety were holding them back.
They also said they felt a little lost because even though they had a dream, they either didn’t know where to start or didn’t have the confidence to start.
The majority of their lives is spent in that whirlwind of the daily family, work and household grind aka Groundhog Day!
Based on my research and other psychology and coaching articles I’ve read, many of these women won’t pursue their dream, because they put their family’s needs ahead of their own.
Many of them believe that self-care is selfish and that there just wasn’t the time to prioritise it.
Sad really, when you consider that if Mum is ‘out’ with any sort of illness, the whole family tends to fall apart. So it is exactly the oxygen mask scenario – look after yourself first and the rest will take care of itself.
Time management and prioritising the things that matter, like our self-care and following our dreams, I believe is an easy fix, because we can all prioritise and find time for the things that matter.
What concerns me more though, is so many women (and I’m sure men, but this isn’t about them today) are letting fear and anxiety rule their life. They are not pursuing their dreams, their passions, their life’s work, their civic duty, etc, out of fear and anxiety.
I want to put this as simply as I can.
Fear, is just a feeling. It will not hurt or kill you.
All feelings, be they negative or positive feelings, are just vibrations in our body. When we can learn to recognise and accept them for exactly what they are and learn to feel them without reacting to them or letting them rule our lives, then we can be, do and have anything we want in life.
What? Feelings can’t hurt me? Nope!
Feelings are simply a vibration in our bodies and yet, we try so very hard to cover up our negative emotions to the detriment of our lives.
It is inevitable that we are going to feel negative emotions 50% of the time, because like everything in this world; balance.
So we may as well get used to the fact that we are going to feel these negative emotions and just sit with them. Feel them. Experience them. The more you can do that, the easier it will get and you’ll find that after a while, negative emotions just don’t bother you.
So what sort of negative emotions am I talking about? Well there are the typical sadness, fear, anxiousness, anger, frustration, but there are lots of other subtle emotions that we don’t even think about, but just try to cover up with food, alcohol, sex, drugs, exercise, anything that will give us a dopamine hit and make us feel momentarily better. Until that dopamine hit wears off and we got back for more of the food, alcohol, etc.
I will write a more in-depth article next week, including how to control our feelings through our thoughts, but for now, and in honour of International Women’s Day, I just want my main message to be this.
Stop letting fear and anxiety rule your life.
Stop putting yourself last.
Recognise that fear, and all other negative emotions, are just vibrations in our body and they will not hurt us. Period. We can feel them and allow them and do the thing anyway!
Start putting yourself first and prioritising your self-care.
Prioritise your own financial security for your future.
And lastly, do your grandmothers and great-grandmothers proud, by showing the world what is special about you. The world needs you and your unique qualities. Don’t hide them.
Step up, step out and shine like the diamond you are. Watch out word!