Yes I can, I am and I will! That’s the mindset of the Millennials, a term usually applied to individuals who reached adulthood around the turn of the 21st Century. However, millennial is not simply a generation; It is an attitude that is transcending age barriers and continents. They are people who see the world as a global village, their lives shaped by technology. Comfortable sharing their entire life online, they are more aware, more tolerant but also narcissistic, leading to overconfidence and the “me” attitude.
Hence, the millennial woman is poles apart from the previous Baby Boomer generation of women and the generation following them. She’s unique, and unlike her female predecessors, possesses a new confidence and skills that may enable her to rise to more positions of power than ever before. Not confined to the limiting and often selfless adult roles of wife, mother, teacher, nurse or few other professions, she finds the world open to vast possibilities. She is educated, better connected, well informed and understands that her loyalty is, first and foremost, to herself. Assertive, she wants control of her own life, expects and wants more from life and isn’t afraid to challenge herself.
These are very empowering times for women. The only thing holding them back is their own limiting beliefs about themselves.
“Everyone is capable of enacting change. The influential power of change which our current generation holds is unlimited. We are the future and therefore are in control of what we want the future to look like. Issues concerning gender and race inequality, discrimination, and terrorism are some of the current problems that are still affecting our world today and it’s time for us to finally bring an end to it all. Don’t underestimate yourself at all and remember, as Amelia Earhart once said, “the most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” (Lee Brown http://www.hercampus.com)
From the third world countries to the most progressive nations, women are showing their worth and influencing societal norms. From Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan, youngest Nobel recipient and an advocate of girls’ education and women’s rights, to Louise Hay who started Hay House in 1984 at the age of 60, which is today a leading publisher of books and products, there’s an endless list of prominent women of this era who have changed the world for the better. They belong to all ages, races and regions.
Nevertheless, as a woman in today’s world surging upward to break the inner glass ceiling, fight the cultural barriers to prove self-worth and live to full potential, it is important to be aware of work life balance for a fulfilled life. Being tuned to your own inner self and needs first and foremost, to use your voice on your own and others’ behalf and live your authentic self even when it may not be well received are the way forward.
Prioritize your self-care as a healthy body and a healthy mind are crucial for creativity and productivity. Build in habits like gratitude, healthy diet and exercise into your daily routine to tap into your physical, mental and spiritual resources. Believe in yourself and accept your strengths and weaknesses as part of you. Use your strengths and reflect on your weaknesses to convert them to strengths. Put aside time for the 3 Fs of a full life: fun, family and friends.
Agnes Heftberger is a millennial who belongs to a new generation of IBM executives. “Over time I have learned to stay in tune with my personal needs. I have developed ways to sense when it’s time to recharge or to focus my mind on something else than a business challenge. Rather than forcing myself to be creative or productive when the moment simply isn’t right, I go for a run and return to my task later on. I also try to spend as much time as possible with people – be it with friends and family outside of work or with colleagues over an extended lunch during the week. I am convinced that it’s the interaction and discussion with others that make stress levels drop and creative juices flow. And I’ll choose a good, hearty laugh over a healthy smoothie any time.”