On Tuesday, I had the wonderful opportunity of hearing Thomas Friedman, Pulitzer Prize winner and internationally acclaimed journalist, speak to my University about the current social and political circumstances in America. Although it was incredibly relevant for all, I found his lecture incredibly important for all women in that it addressed the incredible, and at times, overwhelming nature of the globalized culture in which we live.
It was relevant to women in that he found the solution to our demanding world is persistent creativity and the carefully honed ability to reinvent and reengineer our places in the world as people trying to make a living. Though this may seem to be an insurmountable challenge, it is actually a wonderful opportunity; the constant stress we women often feel in college and onward to be constantly performing our best can be transformed into creative inspiration. If we come to see our lives and all the business and career related challenges that we face as opportunities to reinvent ourselves, don’t we lose the perception of perfect? Doesn’t our ability to constantly change our identities give us freedom from the expectation we put upon ourselves? In this situation, it is the creativity that is key.
The question is, how must one be creative enough to keep up in this fast paced world? Sometimes it seems that our resumes will never be good enough, our internships will never give us enough experience for that one dream job, etc. However, the aforementioned challenged presented to us women gives us the opportunity to recreate the definition of success, to forge our own path in the world.
And this path can only begin with self-care. Though I’m trying not to sound redundant, creativity can only stem from a sense of confidence in the self that we trust the unique inspiration we all have. And truly, what do we not have to be confident about? We are all successful in our own personal ways, and the collective power of women is present everywhere. We have overcome endless gender discrimination, the glass ceiling in the office, and the constant pressure to perform an idealized, overly feminine front that, in fact, does not exist.
So what is one to do? Simply BE YOURSELF. Cheesy, I know – but in the world we live in today, such confidence is hard to come by. But I do dare say my friends, that we women have done an incredible job in embracing ourselves as unique individuals that will not be told that we must buy objects in order to be beautiful or that we must be with men in order to be validated. We are strong.
Embrace your creativity, your unique sense of self, the way in which you are. Because according to Thomas Friedman, it is this very creativity that empowers us to rise above and beyond all expectations.
LeadHer™ Intern, Campus Calm™
Learn more about Lily here.