advice for my daughters ON INTERNATIONAL women’s day 2022

8 Pieces of advice I would like to give my daughters this Women’s Day – 8th March 2022

  1. Learn to drive when you’re young – I’m starting things off with a very practical piece of advice. I really struggled with learning to drive – I got my first provisional license around 24 but didn’t pass my test until I was 34 and pregnant with my first baby. I just had a mental block about it. I was so nervous and terrified of cutting out or stalling or holding up people behind me. When I had one bad experience during a lesson, I gave up for another 6 months. But driving gives you great independence, so the earlier you can learn, the better in my opinion. I must owe my friends and family millions of lifts at this stage.
  2. Embrace you voice – I’ve spoken before of how terrified I was of the sound of my own voice – I didn’t scream during childbirth (and no I’m not a scientologist) or when I jumped off a cliff in New Zealand. I never spoke up in class even when I knew the answer and have been told to speak up more times than I can remember throughout my lifetime. So what I would like to tell my daughters is to embrace their own voices! Do not be afraid of it. It is the main instrument of communication and of getting heard so don’t be afraid to use it and use it proudly.
  3. Confidence is an inside job – this piece of advice took me a long time to wrap my head around and I’m still learning. You don’t “have” or “not have” confidence, but rather you can learn to create it.  That’s right – create it – it’s a mindset and like any other mindset you choose to adopt it. You can learn to stand taller, take up the space you deserve, and chose to be confident in that moment, (even if you feel afraid). It’s not something you feel 100% of the time and that’s ok. You have to trust that you can do hard things and the funny thing is the more you do them the easier it gets to have a more confident mindset. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. I hope my daughters understand this, so they don’t make the same mistake I did of labelling myself as “not having confidence” and thinking this was a fixed status that I could never change.
  4. Live on your own at least once – I’m a firm believer in this advice. I think every woman should live on her own at least once in her life. There is no better way to get to know yourself and become fully comfortable with yourself and your thoughts. The longest relationship you’ll ever have in your life is with yourself so this is a fantastic way to give that relationship the strongest foundation it can have.
  5. Speak kindly to yourself – following on from advice number 4, it is so important to speak kindly to yourself. The thoughts and words you whisper to yourself are so powerful. Try to isolate and silence the voice of your inner critic by meeting it with compassion and love. The inner critic is trying to protect you from some rational or irrational thought you internalised during your childhood/teenage years. Try to meet that inner critic with the inner mentor you also possess. The inner mentor is the voice of your mature, adult self who communicates the wisdom of your intuition.
  6. Develop a relationship with nature – we are part of nature and as women are pure reflections of Mother Nature. Make time to go outside each day and unplug from technology and plug back into nature. We are miraculous – we know how to grow and unfold, we follow a cycle just like the moon, we know how to breathe and regulate our bodies without ever having to consciously do it and even more awe-inspiring than that, we know how to grow a whole human being without any direction at all. Our bodies are amazing, nature is amazing – take the time everyday to appreciate it and truly feel that we are a beautiful part of nature too.
  7. Seek out female friends of all ages, religions, races & backgrounds – this is really important advice. We support each other and learn from each other all the time so I think having more diverse perspectives on things, really helps you to become a more rounded person.  With social media, it is easier than ever before to meet a huge variety of different women that you might never get the chance to meet in real life, so I’d like my daughters to embrace this and seek it out for themselves.
  8. Share your vulnerabilities – some really great advice in life is don’t be afraid to be honest and share your true feelings and experiences. This is how you connect with other human beings – by being your authentic, flawed self. The ego can often lead us to believe that we have to put up a front or act a certain way for prides sake but it’s not true. Try to recognise when you are acting from ego and find a more authentic and vulnerable way to relate to people.  Brene Brown has some excellent books on embracing our vulnerability
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