WARNING: ‘Women Lead’ Workshop May Cause Confidence

What’s the greatest lesson a women should learn?

“That since day one, she’s already had everything she needs within herself. It’s the world that convinced her she did not.” -Rupi Kaur

Okay, ladies, now let’s get in formation and discuss the mindset of being a boss. Also known as slaying.
The Demureist, a digital media resource for fashion, beauty and celebrating women, hosts a myriad of events geared towards empowering women. One such event, Women Lead, was a conversational style discussion on overcoming fear, doubt and empowering our inner Girl Boss.
Elegantly hosting the event was Mariana Aguilera, Demureist founder, and co-host Eman Idil Bare, Muslim Girl Fashion Editor. With guests Melanie Elturk, CEO of Haute Hijab and Stephanie Huston, President of the United Women in Business, New York.
Now that the table is set, let’s get into the meat of it. Why aren’t there more women leaders/bosses (you know, besides the whole years of sexism and oppression of women)?
It can be argued that doubt has a role to play here. So why do women doubt themselves? I know there is a whole psychological, pseudo- intellectual answer to that question but let’s all meet on the same level for a second.
Your average person is plagued with fear and doubt but somewhere in the socialization of women and girls, the need for approval and acceptance is turned up to the nth degree. This need for approval often leads to the fear of judgement and ultimately the questioning of one’s self and ability or, that dirty word, doubt.
Some of this is rooted in reality. For example, the classic scenario in which a man can express his thoughts, comments and concerns and be heard and taking seriously. However a women in the same position is aggressive, controlling or our favorite derogatory word, a B****.
This reality has seeped into the consciousness of women and somewhere along the way we began to believe this hunk of nonsense.
We believe we are being too aggressive. So we say “sorry” before and after every sentence. We don’t asks for raises because, God forbid, we should know our worth. It’s a vicious cycle in which limiting ourselves feed the process of self-doubt.

The fight against sexist chauvinistic institutions should not be the same as the fight within ourselves. Don’t believe the fear, the doubt. Don’t put acceptance and approval above self-care and perseverance.

Stephanie Huston put it so well, “Be conscious of your thought stream.” Next time your mind says, what if they don’t like me? Go ahead and tell her: Yes, I want them to like me but it’s okay if they don’t.
Raise your hand if you’re a perfectionist. Not in the cute ‘I’m always right and so well put together way’ but in the ‘I can’t start anything because it has to be perfect before I even begin way.’
I volunteer as tribute for this one, because I am guilty, guilty, guilty. Can’t go to the gym because I have to be in shape first. Can’t apply for that job because I have to be an expert first. Can’t start that business because I have to have experience first. Basically, can’t succeed because I have to be successful, first. What even is this sickness!
Women Lead prescription (another Stephanie Huston gem):

Dream so big that it scares you. Don’t be afraid to fail. Forgive yourself.

The big question in regards to entrepreneurship is where do I even start? (Which in itself is a question that is overwhelming.) I mean it’s easy to sit around quoting Nike all day “Just Do It” but what does that look like? What is it? And how do I do it?
My favorite part of the discussion was the real answers from real women and their experiences. With that said, I wish there was more time for in depth discussion on the technical aspects of entrepreneurship (*wink*wink* another Women Lead session please).
Women Lead prescription (with all the finesse and realness of Melanie Elturk):

Find the people who are doing what you want to do. Call them up and say, “Yo…”

The idea that people become successful with no help from anyone is just not true and is a belief too widely accepted. There is so much time, research, collaboration and general work that goes into being an “instant success.” From overcoming the mental inhibitions to actually acting on your dreams.
Women Lead prescription (Zahra Aljabri, CEO and Co-Founder of MODE-STY, dropped this fix):

It took 10 years to become an instant success.

Put in the work and YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE IT — not fake it, but actually make it. The process requires patience, confidence, authenticity and work, work, work, work, work.
Last dosage of Women Lead prescription from Melanie Elturk – How does she do it? With confidence – a customized Melanie Elturk definition of confidence (which I have totally adopted).
Women Lead prescription:

Confidence is knowing your strengths, knowing your weaknesses and knowing how to use those strengths to serve God. Know who you are and purify your intentions.

Written by Maryam Abdul-Kareem