Ever had that feeling that things are out of balance or a misfit? When this happens, you are likely to ask deeper questions and ponder longer. What you may discover during your inquiries are answers that reveal differences between your reality and perception. What I mean by this is, observe what is actually happening vs what your mind creates based on previous experiences, judgments or interpretations. The moment you shift your perception to align with reality is the moment you experience things differently.
By now, you may have seen the quote, “The Future is Female” or “All Lives Matter” across your timelines. We are feeling the impact of marginalized voices being heard from multiple platforms, not just social but also political and economical. With global movements such as #MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter and many others, it’s fair to say that we are in the midst of pivotal shifts toward new beginnings.
Since the start of time, a combination of at least two variables have been required to create existence. There’s yin and yang, fear and love, feminine and masculine, stew and rice for example. When individuals form relationships, then networks group into structures, and eventually structure evolves into interwoven systems. We see how this plays out across the patriarchal system, nature and business.
We are confident that seasons come and go, and we are also certain that business starts and ends at some point. Could a similar pattern resemble confidence within a patriarchal system? Could today’s partnership between men and women, entrepreneurs and executives create a favorable future for us all? Is confidence essential to this shift actually happening?
There are countless ways to be triumphant within today’s existing patriarchal system. Just think of the examples we have within this magazine, and in industries such as art, music, politics, science, engineering, and medicine. When people work together toward a goal, the results from individual contribution are felt, and increases the willingness to remain united, which by the way is the meaning of yoga – to be in union.
A recently discovered quote by Justine Musk summarizes one result from men and women supporting each together: “The enemy of feminism isn’t men. It’s patriarchy, and patriarchy is not men. It is a system, and women can support the system of patriarchy just as men can support the fight for gender equality.” Think about the impact our collective effort could have on how marginalized groups are represented, celebrated and appreciated.
Our future depends on what we do in the present. Here are 3 tips to help you remain confident within a patriarchal system:
1. From Self-awareness to self-determination, that’s how you win!
Move forward faithfully in all situations, especially when you know who you are. James Baldwin aptly describes what I mean by this: “This collision between one’s image of oneself and what one actually is, is always very painful and there are two things you can do about it; you can meet the collision head-on and try and become what you really are or you can retreat and try to remain what you thought you were, which is a fantasy, in which you will certainly perish.”
As you can see, to know who you are deeply ought to be the aim of each person having a human experience. Consider what could happen if you become very intimate with yourself; have an unshakable inner knowing of your habits and rhythmic cycles. Why do you think the thoughts you think, act the way you act, respond the way you do? What triggers you and why? Self-inquiry has a unique way of leading you toward self-awareness.
Self-awareness will inspire self-determination, which then becomes confidence. Once you are confident who you are you can handle anything from the boardroom to your household, and all that lies between.
2. Understand cycles and where you are in the continuum’s flow
Where do you think our confidence levels are within the current phase of the patriarchal system? As we all know, the day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit. There are rhythms and cycles governing every system. If we were to consider nature as a teacher, we will observe that during each phase of every cycle there are functions that contribute to seeding, nourishing, and harvesting. Each function has a unique role that contributes harmoniously. The sun, moon, water, soil, trees, insects, animals all have a role to play in nature’s ecosystem. Our impact will be stronger when we know where we are within a cycle and work together strategically.
To strengthen your confidence, continue to learn and practice; limit how much time you spend feeling sorry for yourself or the temporary circumstance you are in. Strategize with that energy instead of judging. Build partnerships to create problem solving solutions. Utilize your energy on things that you can control, like your attitude. Your greatest test will be how you handle people who mishandled you.
3. Confidence is an inside job
Nobody is born with limitless confidence. If someone seems to have an extraordinary amount of confidence, it’s because he or she worked on building it.
Real confidence is an inside job, but you have to set yourself up to win. You build confidence by visualizing yourself as you want to be, then you affirm yourself with action that aligns with your goal. There will be moments when you will challenge your inner critic and self doubt. This is normal, and typically part of the process of self development. One way to overcome fear during this process is to face it by doing something that scares you daily. You’ll gain confidence from each experience you overcome. Confidence is like a muscle. The more you strengthen it, the more it grows. As you grow closer to your goal, you will become aware of new found personal power.
I trust you will establish a stream of success that helps you feel good about yourself so that your confidence levels contribute toward a collective effort to shift the patriarchy system toward mutual support for everyone.
That’s it for now. Let me know if these tips were helpful for you. I can be reached at [email protected]
With a degree in Human and Organizational Development and two Master’s degrees in Public Health and Business Administration, Chocolako has as many smarts as she does sass and sensitivity. Having spent 15 years in the healthcare sector, Chocolako witnessed first-hand the delicacy of life and death and the enormity of human suffering in the face of dis-ease and trauma, as well as serious stress and burn out from her colleagues. It was during this time Chocolako developed her enormous capacity for radical compassion, a gift for holding space and a deep desire to be the change those around her so needed and believe in.