On a flight to Milan I read some interesting articles on fashion, fame and empowered women. How ironic when off to Milan in fashion week; not to visit the shows but on business. These articles got me thinking about how many amazing women there are in the world creating the life they choose to lead, creating the life of their dreams and encouraging other women to believe in themselves. This is a sign of the times where despite the media giving women the wrong kind of attention at times, there are many more taking courage and well…just getting on with it really!
One article I read was an interview with Selma Hayek who, despite being Mexican and unpopular for US film parts she applied for, fought on regardless to win roles (against the odds) where she has now become recognised for being a great actress and inspiration for other women who encounter discrimination because of their race.
Its not easy being a woman at times and I should know. Working in a male dominated industry for many years makes you hard on yourself and others. The feminine caring side can be well hidden for fear of looking like a push over or softie, and comments like ‘she only thinks like that because she’s a woman’, have not been uncommon when I’ve been in meetings and stood up for someone.
From these experiences (and too many to mention here) you would think I had learned to keep my opinions to myself by now and be less outspoken….quite the opposite. I’m renown for speaking ‘my truth’ and not being one to keep quiet when someone comes out with some utter insult to me or one of my co-workers. However, word of warning; although I often felt better for speaking up and saying what I thought, it doesn’t make one popular and hasn’t always served me well.
I share this because someone once told me that ‘wisdom is learning from other people’s mistakes’ and you may want to learn from mine. Yes, please do speak up and speak your truth, just pick your moment and audience! Timing is everything. Be kind, always be kind. To yourself and others when you speak.
Over time and through much work on myself (my true work!) I am able to use a better way of expressing the thoughts in my head when being challenged in a negative and sometimes very personal attack during a disagreement. That is to put yourself in the others shoes, watch their eye movements and body language and feel for them before you speak. Take a deep breath and speak from the heart. It will serve you well my friend.
Keep speaking your truth…