En route to the airport my taxi driver starts talking about his twin children who are 17 years old and choosing their life paths. “My son is so clever. He’s so good in maths and science! He will do fine. But my daughter is not so clever, she wants to study psychology. She will not do so well.” my taxi driver declares.
Surely this man means well, but as I try my best to convince him that perhaps his daughter’s talent is simply different and if she is encouraged to pursue her passion she too can become successful, I’m left thinking how women are still disrespected for what they want to do, what they stand for and for the way they show up in the world.
It’s all the micro actions of our parents, the media, our teachers, first boss and society as a whole that keep convincing women and girls that they are somehow not ‘as worthy’. Yet, in the same breath we are told that it’s up to us to go after our dreams and we can make it if we are as good as men.
Having listened to the personal stories of over a thousand women since starting DrivenWoman in 2013 I’m convinced that the confusion, anxiety and even depression women feel right now is down to one thing:
Women want something other than what’s been offered, but believe they don’t deserve a bigger life - unless we play by the masculine rules.
All humans are born with desires and dreams that need fulfilling. The Universe didn’t give us those dreams so that we could bury and forget them. How long have you been running away from your dreams? How many to-do lists have you created so you could forget your true heart's calling?
Women’s dreams often take a different shape, but nothing makes them less valuable. We are told we are not realistic, what we want is not worth pursuing. Our ideas don't make sense or they don't make enough money. We are kept small by the pressure to play the game the masculine way, to worship shiny objects or conform and put our own needs last.
For centuries women have been bullied and ridiculed out of their own self worth, forced to put aside our creative ideas and passions, and made to serve without asking for anything back. It has been so dangerous to be a woman who shows up fully with her feminine power that we have internalised this physical and emotional threat. Our collective consciousness and societal patterns keep holding this fear in place and for some women it shows up as an internal truth.
But it isn't!
It’s up to us to see the value in the feminine and start celebrating our own dreams and make sure those desires and goals will not be forgotten. Women are now letting go of that fear, we know we can live our lives differently, we will not be held back anymore. We will take action to make things happen the feminine way.
At DrivenWoman we celebrate the value in the feminine and this is our manifesto:
It’s OK to want a bigger life!
We boldly announce our dreams to the world. We may be incomplete and not ready, and we may fail in our quest to reach our goals, but unless we say out loud what we really want we stand no chance of creating a life with meaning. We share our desires and wait for nobody's permission to dream big. We come together as a sisterhood and support each other on this forever evolving journey to a bigger life.
Everyone has their own definition of success.
‘A bigger life’ means different things to everyone. We take the time to listen to our hearts and write down what it is that we have been called to do, what we are passionate about and what makes up a purposeful life. For some it may be about financial freedom or a career success, but for another it may be about personal freedom and inner peace. You may strive to create a life where there’s room for family and business, wellbeing and creativity; or your success may be entirely centred around making an impact and helping others.
You choose, it’s your bigger life and you can make it happen. Don’t let others define you!
There’s no such thing as failure.
Every journey is filled with triumphs and set backs, with darkness and light. Anyone who’s created a life full of meaning can agree that the greatest breakthroughs have come from getting through obstacles, not from plain sailing. When we are connected to our purpose we are able to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off. Every obstacle is an opportunity to adjust our course and become even better at what we do.
We are getting comfortable with the uncomfortable.
Women have been told to play safe, be nice and not upset the apple cart. We are entering a new era where we seek new experiences, open up our mindset and are ready to take more personal risks. By stepping out of our comfort zone we are getting comfortable with the unknown. It’s like exercising a muscle and by taking small steps we learn that we don’t have to know the end outcome before our journey will begin.
We are honest about where we are.
Only by accepting our present moment circumstances - the good and the bad about it - we can move forward with truth and become who we want to be. We accept our imperfections without judgment and celebrate everything there is to celebrate about life. We trust that we have exactly what we need to take the next step in the present moment.
We get excited about life’s opportunities.
We are ready to accept the work we have to do on ourselves so that we can raise our awareness to see more of life’s opportunities. We feed ourselves with new influences and are eager to seek an adventure to broaden our minds. We open our minds to growth and realise that when we start showing up with positive attitude the world opens up its treasures and our luck starts changing. We are not limited by what is available to us as we are ready to go out there and start creating our own opportunities.
We surround ourselves with people who cheer for us.
We were never meant to do it alone! Women need their tribe and we are much stronger when we surround ourselves with our sisterhood. We look for safe and non-judgmental spaces where transformation can happen. We support and help each other unconditionally and find collaboration a much greater force than competition.
We never blame the circumstances.
We accept that the starting point will never be ideal. We will never have enough resources, time or money to pursue our goals. Therefore we are ready to start ‘now’ and do what we can. We do not compare ourselves to others but feel compassion as we know everyone is facing their own struggles and disappointments.
We take small steps to big goals.
Even a step in the wrong direction is better than no steps at all! As we let go of fear of failure we understand that our desire to stay perfect is simply a protection mechanism trying to keep us safe. But by staying safe we can never realise our dreams or create the life we want and we’ll remain victims of our collective past. We learn to take smaller steps and soon realise that progress comes faster than we ever thought possible.
We see the value in the feminine.
We celebrate doing things in a way that is natural and authentic for us women. We make no apology for being emotional, intuitive or caring. We are proud to be who we are and what we stand for. We seek supportive environments and understand our role in changing company cultures. We step out of the shadows and become visible. When we see the value of our feminine power the world will see it too.
At DrivenWoman we devote time to living and cultivating these values. This is our manifesto and we invite you to join the journey to a bigger life, a life that has a deep meaning for you, a life you share rather than a life that's been crafted by someone else. We invite you to reflect on the principles in our manifesto and welcome you to our community of thousands of women already taking these steps to define what success means for them, women who have committed to finding their 'inner drive'.
DOWNLOAD the DrivenWoman Manifesto here.
DrivenWoman is a female only empowerment platform and accountability network, that helps ambitious women to achieve their goals and dreams by creating positive habits one step at a time. Thousands of women around the world have joined our program and are achieving their life goals, which range from entrepreneurial dreams to career change or simply being more confident in their own skin and enjoying life in the present moment.
Join us in DrivenWoman's FREE community the Doers Tribe.