November 14 – International Girls Day

Posted on November 14, 2016

Get ready for #YouCan!  

Today is a day to encourage girls that they can dream big, achieve, and be who they want to be. It's a day to talk about messages in the media and among peer groups about how girls “should” dress and talk and act...with an emphasis on deconstructing all the “should”s and building up individual styles and self-knowledge.

Hillary Clinton's recent concession speech, when she narrowly won the popular vote for President of the United States, but lost the electoral vote, emphasized the message “You can” to women and especially to girls:  
To all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable, and powerful, and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.”

There are resources to be had at the Confidence Coalition's website, including the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

Remember, you can find your interests and talents by trying a variety of activities. When you find an activity you really like, develop it by putting time and effort into that activity. 

Some people feel better when they throw themselves into pretty much just one pursuit (like acting in the community theater or playing basketball), but others prefer to dabble in lots of activities (say, one sport plus one art form plus one musical instrument).

One of my daughters drew and painted a lot, and took art classes, and she also did track and field activities several times a week – but she focused a bit more of her time on learning a variety of dance styles. It was dancing that eventually caught her up as other interests mostly fell by the wayside, and she took dance classes six days a week, for multiple hours a day, plus competed with two dance teams. She moved from being pretty much a dabbler to being a person with a laser focus on one passion.

To boost your self-confidence, remember these important steps:

  • Lower the volume of your inner critic. Be nice to yourself! Rewrite you negative thoughts about yourself into more positive and helpful feedback.
  • Have “I want to do my best” as a goal, rather than having winning, getting a perfect score, or other performance-based goals. Remember to give yourself applause for genuine effort.
  • Look at mistakes as learning opportunities.
  • Look at losses and failures as motivations for more self-discovery, more effort, and greater future achievements.
  • Accept compliments. When appropriate, accept help.
  • Relax...Also, exercise! Be yourself! Have fun!
  • Think about others, and do for others.
  • Keep trying new things.

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