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She Says Girls Should Be Taught About Bravery, But Not Perfection

She Says Girls Should Be Taught About Bravery, But Not Perfection

Girls are often caught up in a web of confusion surrounded by status quo definitions of who and what they should be. Strong women rise above engraved definitions and challenge the status quo.

Some may not reach goals they aspire to, yet this does not fall in the ‘boxed’ definition of failure. It is about being brave enough to counter the challenge. Women tend to focus on positions and careers that they know they will excel in, which limits their vision. That is an avoidance of risk or failure. Smile, play safe and get the straight As. Stay closeted in a safely defined zone.

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Boys are taught to rough it up, climb and jump away. When they become adults men keep taking the risks and rising to challenges, asking for a raise or a date. They get rewarded. So in essence, we raise girls to venture to perfection and boys are taught bravery.

There are many reasons why girls need to be taught bravery. In an  annual Vancouver conference, Reshma Saujani shared a powerful vision in a talk “Teaching Girls Bravery, Not Perfection“. She cited research conducted on fifth graders by Carol Dweck, a psychologist. The findings revealed that intelligent girls gave up quickly on a difficult assignment. Boys with high IQs related to the difficult material as a challenge and increased their effort. Girls who outperformed boys in every subject not because of their ability, but because of their manner in approaching challenges.

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A Hewlett-Packard report indicated that men applied for jobs even if they only met 60% of qualifications. Women would not attempt unless they were fully qualified. This report clearly shows that women lack confidence.

According to Reshma Saujani, it was evidence that women are socialized towards aspiring to perfectionism, making them overcautious. They tend to take fewer risks. There is massive expansion in the technology and computing industries, yet women are being left behind as they have been socialized to reach perfectionism.

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The examples of girls achieving by learning to be brave in supportive networks are massive. Girls who have been socialized to imperfection keep trying. They learn perseverance. They reach their goals.

Here are some ways to help girls and women gain confidence and display bravery:

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  • Girls need to confront the notions engraved of female fragility. The media and societal views must be challenged that represent assertive women as destructive or unfeminine.
  • Celebrate accomplishments of competent women.

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    • Classes for child rearing would promote approaches that are not limited to gender stereotyping.
    • Ask girls what toys they would prefer. They may want a truck instead of a doll, or a chemistry set instead of a jewelry box.
    • Girls need to learn skills defend themselves and make points without apology.
    • Girls have the right to express themselves with originality and enthusiasm.
    • Decision making needs to be shared with girls in a home and at school. Girls need to be shown that their voices impact their lives and the lives of others.
    • Equal participation of girls need to be a requisite in all youth and public forums.
    • Girls reserve the rights to strive freely, take risks and take pride in successes.
    • There should be no acceptance of, “I can’t” or “I won’t.” Help girls with confidence to say they will try.
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      • Girls should be given platforms to speak without being interrupted .
      • Avoid the notion of ‘rescuing’ girls. Encourage them to be imperfect, to pursue goals, to make mistakes, to get disheveled and dirty.
      • Girls must accept and appreciate their bodies.They must be taught beauty comes in all forms, shapes, colors,and sizes. Encourage focus on strength, flexibility and health.
      • Enable them to become critical of the media, taking into account the portrayals of women and girls in commercial songs, movies, and television. Question portrayals of how female characters are judged.
      • Applaud girls for successes, efforts and skills. Keep praising them and showering them with confidence.
      • Girls have the right to have confidence in themselves and to be safe in the world. They should let off steam by punching pillows or yell out or visualizing and relaxing. Offer self-defense training and sports to promote strength.
      • Girls need to be encouraged to join in unison to improve neighborhoods and schools and every setting they feel unsafe in.
      • Girls need  preparation to take ventures of  interesting work towards economic independence.
      • Girls need an introduction to women role models who are able to balance work, volunteering, family and personal life.
      • Provide girls with an opportunity to explore roles reserved primarily for boys, like carpentry, holding snakes or constructing an electrical circuit.
      • The myth of ‘Prince Charming’ coming to the rescue must be debunked.
      • Discuss family financials openly with girls included.

      Spread the word to sisters, nieces, colleagues and employees that girls need to be comfortably imperfect. Teaching girls imperfection will build  a bravery and heal the world, making it a better place for all.

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      Nena Tenacity

      Nena is passionate about writing. She shares her everyday health and lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

      Here Are 30+ Easy High Fibre Breakfast Ideas You Can Try At Home A Wholesome Diet Is What You Need to Gain Happiness: 30 Natural Low-Carb Foods 10 Best Healthy Snacks That Even Gym People Eat When They’re Hungry! Want A Quick Yet Healthy Breakfast? Avocado Toast Is Your New Breakfast Idea Want To Look Younger And Be Healthier? Acai Berry Is Your New Breakfast Idea!

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      Last Updated on September 12, 2019

      12 Things You Should Remember When Feeling Lost in Life

      12 Things You Should Remember When Feeling Lost in Life

      Even the most charismatic people you know, whether in person or celebrities of some sort, experience days where they feel lost in life and isolated from everyone else.

      While it’s good to know we aren’t alone in this feeling, the question still remains:

      What should we do when we feel lost and lonely?

      Here are 12 things to remember:

      1. Recognize That It’s Okay!

      The truth is, there are times you need to be alone. If you’ve always been accustomed to being in contact with people, this may prove difficult.

      However, learning how to be alone and comfortable in your own skin will give you confidence and a sense of self reliance.

      We cheat ourselves out of the opportunity to become self reliant when we look for constant companionship.

      Learn how to embrace your me time: What Your Fear of Being Alone Is Really About and How to Get over It

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      2. Use Your Lost and Loneliness as a Self-Directing Guide

      You’ve most likely heard the expression: “You have to know where you’ve been to know where you’re going.”

      Loneliness also serves as a life signal to indicate you’re in search of something. It’s when we’re in the midst of solitude that answers come from true soul searching.

      Remember, there is more to life than what you’re feeling.

      3. Realize Loneliness Helps You Face the Truth

      Being in the constant company of others, although comforting sometimes, can often serve as a distraction when we need to face the reality of a situation.

      Solitude cuts straight to the chase and forces you to deal with the problem at hand. See it as a blessing that can serve as a catalyst to set things right!

      4. Be Aware That You Have More Control Than You Think

      Typically, when we see ourselves as being lost or lonely, it gives us an excuse to view everything we come in contact with in a negative light. It lends itself to putting ourselves in the victim mode, when the truth of the matter is that you choose your attitude in every situation.

      No one can force a feeling upon you! It is YOU who has the ultimate say as to how you choose to react.

      5. Embrace the Freedom That the Feeling of Being Alone Can Offer

      Instead of wallowing in self pity, which many are prone to do because of loneliness, try looking at your circumstance as a new-found freedom.

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      Most people are in constant need of approval of their viewpoints. Try enjoying the fact that  you don’t need everyone you care about to support your decisions.

      6. Acknowledge the Person You Are Now

      Perhaps you feel a sense of loneliness and confusion because your life circumstances have taken you away from the persona that others know to be you.

      Perhaps the new you differs radically from the old. Realize that life is about change and how we react to that change. It’s okay that you’re not who you used to be.

      Take a look at this article and learn to accept your imperfect self: Accept Yourself (Flaws and All): 7 Benefits of Being Vulnerable

      7. Keep Striving to Do Your Best

      Often those who are feeling isolated and unto themselves will develop a defeatist attitude. They’ll do substandard work because their self esteem is low and they don’t care.

      Never let this feeling take away your sense of worth! Do your best always and when you come through this dark time, others will admire how you stayed determined in spite of the obstacles you had to overcome.

      And to live your best life, you must do this ONE thing: step out of your comfort zone.

      8. Don’t Forget That Time Is Precious

      When we’re lost in a sea of loneliness and depression, it’s all too easy to reflect on regrets of past life events. This does nothing but feed negativity and perpetuate the situation.

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      Instead of falling prey to this common pitfall, put one foot in front of the other and acknowledge every positive step you take. By doing this, you can celebrate the struggles you overcome at the end of the day.

      9. Remember, Things Happen for a Reason

      Every circumstance we encounter in our life is designed to teach us and that lesson is in turn passed on to others.

      Sometimes we’re fortunate enough to figure out the lesson to be learned, while other times, we simply need to have faith that if the lesson wasn’t meant directly for us to learn from, how we handled it was observed by someone who needed to learn.

      Your solitude and feeling of lost, in this instance, although painful possibly, may be teaching someone else.

      10. Journal During This Time

      Record your thoughts when you’re at the height of loneliness and feeling lost. You’ll be amazed when you reflect back at how you viewed things at the time and how far you’ve come later.

      This time (if recorded) can give you a keen insight into who you are and what makes you feel the way you feel.

      11. Remember You Aren’t the First to Feel This Way

      It’s quite common to feel as if we’re alone and no one else has ever felt this way before. We think this because at the time of our distress, we’re silently observing others around us who are seemingly fine in every way.

      The truth is, we can’t possibly know the struggles of those around us unless they elect to share them. We ALL have known this pain!

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      Try confiding in someone you trust and ask them how they deal with these feelings when they experienced it. You may be surprised at what you learn.

      12. Ask for Help If the Problem Persists

      The feeling of being lost and lonely is common to everyone, but typically it will last for a relatively short period of time.

      Most people will confess to, at one time or another, being in a “funk.” But if the problem persists longer than you feel it should, don’t ignore it.

      When your ability to reason and consider things rationally becomes impaired, do not poo poo the problem away and think it isn’t worthy of attention. Seek medical help.

      Afraid to ask for help? Here’s how to change your outlook to aim high!

      Final Thoughts

      Loneliness and a sense of feeling lost can in many ways be extremely painful and difficult to deal with at best. However, these feelings can also serve as a catalyst for change in our lives if we acknowledge them and act.

      Above anything, cherish your mental well being and don’t underestimate its worth. Seek professional guidance if you’re unable to distinguish between a sense of freedom for yourself and a sense of despair.

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      Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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