Am I preaching to the choir here? Does a modern, independent, urban woman have anything holding her back anymore? Indeed, for all our independence and moving forward, there are unfortunately many of us who are still bound by reservations that we are not even fully aware of ourselves. It is a good time to sit down and take count of the ways that we are holding ourselves back and take the first steps to break out of all reservations - be it real or imagined.
Let us look at a few of the ways that women are getting used to holding themselves back:
The Superwoman Act
Super educated and career-driven, we are the generation of women best equipped to blow up the glass ceiling to smithereens. However, with every stride that we take forward, there seems to be guilt associated with each decision that we take. Especially after becoming mothers. Women make sacrifices everyday, be at home or at work. A working woman feels guilty about her missed obligations as a parent and a stay at home mother is always made to feel like she has wasted her good education. It is time for us to stop doing that. Stop second guessing every decision that you make. Stand up for it and leave the guilt behind.
Not Putting 'Me First'
One of the most important areas that women let themselves fall below in the priority list is: Health. As the main caregivers in any family, women are responsible for the nutrition and overall well-being of each family member. The woman is usually the de-facto nutritionist for everyone from the child to the ageing grandparent. Vaccination schedules, nutrition charts, health check ups, medical shopping - these are a few of the things that most women manage without ever being asked. Yet, how many of us do a regular breast self-examination or go for cancer screening or health check ups?
'Me First' is not just a cool sounding motto - it actually makes a lot of sense. Putting yourself first is not a selfish act - but an altruistic one for all those around you. So leave that sense of selfishness behind and put yourself and your health first!
This is a taboo topic - right? Women from good families do not have to put up with things like domestic violence. Whoever heard of a battered woman from the privileged classes? And one of the privileges seems to be that one has to keep one's mouth shut and keep smiling. This is exactly the sort of subservience that has to stop - has got to be left behind. Walk away from any kind of violence, be it physical or mental. One has to say no to relationships that ask you to be someone who you are not. Be true to yourself.
These are but three examples of the ways in which we are stopping ourselves from moving ahead in our lives. As this video from the Humans of Bombay demonstrates, we are yet to unshackle ourselves from our fears, beliefs and societal expectations:
I am delighted to see that a large corporate like Bajaj Electricals has espoused the cause of #LeaveItBehind for the Pinkathon this year. The very fact that people are thinking about the challenges that women face and are trying to give them a helping hand is very encouraging. Truth be told, as mothers, we owe it to our children to stop shackling ourselves. We are setting an example for our little ones. How we treat ourselves is the way that they will not only treat themselves but also others in their lives. We need to be the right inspiration to our kids.
It is thus important for all of us to take that first step - as difficult as it may seem - to move ahead and Leave IT Behind.
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