“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”

Anne Bradstreet

 The truth is, we can all choose our own time to bloom. Spring simply provides a beautiful backdrop. And if we’re taking a nod from nature, nothing blooms without letting go of the things that hold us back.  

In order to evolve, we must first understand what’s been keeping us from growing in the first place. The heavy things that weigh us down, depress our systems, and make it feel impossible to transform into anything more authentic. Maybe your younger years afforded the time to feel free and unencumbered, and now that the kids are older, you can return to that version of yourself — or rebuild her altogether, knowing what you know now. Maybe you are just starting out in life, and you’re wondering who you will grow into this year and in years to come. Regardless, the time is now. Because if not now, when? 

This is usually when the “yeah buts” come in. Yeah but… I don’t know if I’m ready. Yeah but… I just don’t have the time. Yeah but… that life has passed me by.  

Here’s a reframe. Think about where you are craving growth. It’s usually the first thing that pops into your mind, so go with whatever you are thinking right this moment. List any yeah buts that build a brick wall between you and your future self. Then ask yourself this question: 

What if I stay the course? 

This question is powerful in determining whether you are ready to make a change. If remaining at status quo is less desirable than making the moves necessary to grow, you are ready. 

Below are the ten most popular gender narratives that hold women back along with suggestions for how to actionably challenge these beliefs in your own life. When we challenge false beliefs and receive positive results in return, we are exponentially more likely to face adversity, gain confidence and continue to make healthy changes in the future.  

Be Small

Challenge this: Physically open your body (laying down or standing with arms and legs spread wide) and look to the sky. Speak one truth you’ve been holding back with grace, love and power. 

Be Soft

Challenge this: Do one thing that makes you feel strong or seen today, like advocating for yourself. We rarely recruit strength until life calls for it, but this is also in our control.  

Be Fixed

Challenge this: Choose one physical or mental attribute you’ve spent time and energy on fixing for someone else and find love for it instead. Bonus: research the Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi and use it as a guide.  

Be Dependent

Challenge this: Write down the things you would do if you had a partner (romantic, business or otherwise). Do you truly need to be dependent upon someone else for every one of those dreams, activities, desires? 

Be Chosen 

Challenge this: Enjoy a date with yourself. Plan a museum visit, a lunch or simply a long walk in a new neighborhood. 

Be Stifled

Challenge this: Feel your emotions, out loud! What injustices do you face today? What breaks your heart? Who do you need to set boundaries with out of pure self love? Scream, shake (really) and let it out. 

Be Less

Challenge this: Make a move that sets you exactly where you want to be without entertaining the belief that you are less worthy (than a man or the person next to you). State your reasons for a promotion or divide household chores evenly with your partner.  

Be the Exception

Challenge this: Help yourself or another female change a gender based narrative, fill a role or complete an activity typically reserved for men. Did you know you could pay to race cars?! 

Be Everything

Challenge this: Be nothing. For an hour or a day. Notice your compulsion to serve, support, or check things off your to-do list. Leisure and silence is underrated. As a neuroscience-based meditation teacher I can tell you this will cause a necessary but uncomfortable shift.  

Be Sexy… but Sweet

Challenge this: Update your definition of sexy according to you. Powerful, creative, dominant, submissive, nurturing…

Change is hard, but risk is necessary.

Gianna Biscontini is a behavior scientist, lifestyle design coach and author. 

Disclaimer: For informational purposes only. Third parties are not providing an endorsement of Shop LC goods or services. Shop LC is not providing an endorsement of third-party goods, services, or opinions.

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