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    The Pursuit of Happiness

    The dark side of being a girl boss

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    Is the buzz word “girl boss” actually hindering us?

    Girl bosses have taken over the world. It’s wonderful, it’s inspiring, it’s everything we’ve fought for for centuries. Killing it with your blog? Girl boss. Freelancing on the side of a full time job? Girl boss. Getting promoted? Girl boss. Went to the gym five days in a row? Girl boss. DOING BACK FLIPS WHILST COMPLETING A PHD, HAVING TEN CHILDREN, TAKING OVER THE WORLD AND FIGHTING FOR FEMINISM WHILST AT HOT YOGA/DRINKING A STARBUCKS SIMULTANEOUSLY? GIRL BOSS. This is about how unrealistic I see it is trying to juggle everything that society expects from a woman. I’m going to be completely transparent here, it’s exhausting.

    I read an article by Billie Piper recently (love her) who spoke about the increasing pressure on females, that we are “supposed to be successful and business-savvy and coquettish and making cash and a slag in the bedroom and well-read and we are supposed to be on top of all of these things. I just feel f*cked by the amount of pressure” and it couldn’t be more truthful and honest.

    This inspired me to write a brutally honest post about the exhausting aspects of (trying) to be a girl boss.

    The glorification of being busy

    Morning coffee mug, empty notebook, pencil and white peony flowers on blue wooden table, cozy summer breakfast, top view, flat lay

    Trying to be a girl boss every day can be emotionally exhausting and overwhelming – where you can feel like nothing is ever enough. There’s always more to do, to complete, to achieve. I wonder if I’ll always feel this way and I wonder often if my massive dreams and expectations that I have for myself are pushing me forward or keeping me feeling inadequate. I also wonder where this fear of me ‘failing’ as a woman if i’m not a girl boss has stemmed from. What happens if i’m not seen as the ‘pretty’ girl anymore? What is my identity then? Or the ambitious girl, or the clever girl? Am I destined for a life of failure if i dare drop the ball? I think the whole of society puts a lot of pressure on woman to not only look flawless but to also have a flawless career, marriage and life. We have the notion drilled into us – if we’re not channeling our inner girl bosses or ‘taking charge’ of our own future then we are failures.

    As women we are so hard on ourselves and sometimes we just need a break. Sometimes taking a step back from the ‘girl boss pedestal’ your gripping so tightly on too is exactly what you need. It’s about not forcing yourself to do something, its about listening to your body when you’re too tired for the gym, its cancelling plans that you never really wanted to do, its about sleeping in, its about not checking your emails as soon as you open your eyes.

    It’s time that we start striving for progress, not perfection.

    Trust me, non-busy life looks great – and I wish that my brain would allow me to rest more, to get up at 10am instead of 6am, to not feel like I always need to be achieving in order to be enough. To not feel like crap when I look bad in pictures or when I receive even the slightest bit of criticism. To not get anxious when I am resting and instead enjoy the moment. I struggle to even have a bath or read a book anymore without checking my emails or social media. I am striving to prefer to take things at a slower pace and be present in the moments I allow myself to rest.

    Some days though, I am ALL IN. I am ALL about my dreams, hopes, and vision for the future. But there are some days my eyes burn from being over tired and juggling so many things and I’m overwhelmed – where my days are just about putting on foot in front of the other. And I need to learn that that’s okay.

    Redefining success for ourselvesgirl boss

    My dream life that I work tirelessly towards is to have my own business, have children, a happy marriage, a dog, lecture part-time, travel the world, meditate every day and work out, eat healthily, have a great social life, become a great boss, mother, wife, best friend and family member. And I set all of these expectations my self. No one has set the bar this high for me, I’ve set it for myself. AND THAT’S A HELL OF A LOT FOR ME TO LIVE UP TOO.

    Admittedly, it’s took me a long time to discover that a job or title does not define who you are – I am still working on this. Your job is simply a way of providing an income so you can do what you want to do; i think its time we stop letting all the titles and zeros in the bank define us – whether that title is boss, wife or mother or none of those mentioned.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s okay to be a Girl Boss, but I also feel like – at least for me in the traditional sense of the word – its almost impossible to sustain. And that’s a brutally honest conversation I’ve had to have with myself. It’s about time we re-define what a girl boss is. It’s about what’s right for you and not feeling under constant pressure to be the ultimate success story – to have it all. Success also looks different for everyone, and I am trying to re-frame my idea of what it is and if by trying to maintain this ‘perfect’ life actually makes me happy at all.

    As much as I admire the girl bosses out there, for the time being I’m doing my best and that’s all I can do. 

    Life Coaching, The Pursuit of Happiness

    Becoming the woman I always wanted to be – Adulting 101

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    You know the type, hair done, nails done, outfit on point. Gym kit on, coffee in hand, Macbook on her lap. The girl on the packed train who completes the on-fleek winged eye liner whilst balancing a Starbucks. I always thought these people were mythical creatures that knew some kind of secret that I didn’t. Although I haven’t quite mastered the wing eyeliner train combo (seriously it’s an art). I’ve come along way in becoming the positive woman I’ve always wanted to be.

    And here’s the secret: there is no secret. It is just working on your self day in day out and showing up as your best self.

    TAKING CARE OF MY MYSELF

    Buying and taking vitamins. Drinking water. Getting my roots done before I look like Wednesday Adams. Getting my nails done, putting on a weekly face mask. Washing my clothes instead of buying more because I can’t be bothered. Exfoliating. Paying my bills on time. Starting a savings account. Getting out of toxic relationships and friendships. These all may seem like simple things but they add up quickly, small steps – giant leaps.

    BECOMING VEGAN AND MEDITATING

    I suffered from anxiety A LOT and I know that I had to make a change. Although I really do believe in taking medication if that’s what you need or your doctor advises. For me, I wanted to try and figure it out with my own body. As balance and happiness starts with you and it ends with you. Veganism and meditation has helped A LOT with my anxiety and overall health. It’s not about being a size 6, eating boatloads of kale and the latest superfoods, deprivation, or hours at the gym. Its about my mental and physical health and I am finally taking it into my own hands.

    TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY OWN LIFE.

    A crazy thing happens when you start to take responsibility for your own life, there’s no one else to blame. This is both a huge relief and suffocating at the same time. As my wise Mom always says “you make your bed and you lie in it, so make sure you make it well”. In a nutshell, your story is in your own hands and you and only you are the author and editor of your book. By accepting personal responsibility, you gain the freedom to create your own life, any way you want it. This is challenging for sure, but it’s helped me a lot.

    WORKING OUT IN THE MORNING (YES EVERY MORNING)

    At university I thought that 6am was a foreign concept, in which I occasionally rolled in drunk. The mere concept of me getting up at this time was quite simply laughable. But I have now managed to get into a routine that sees me up at 6am listening to daily affirmations and then going to a quick gym class. Again this has helped massively with my anxiety and focus at work. I’m going to be real here, I am tired more often, but its worth it.

    BECOMING MY OWN BEST FRIEND.

    This was the most difficult thing of all, but once I got used to the idea that I was worthy of my own love, I began to get the strange and wonderful feeling that I was becoming my own best friendI’m still building this friendship with myself and, like any other relationship, it takes work, care, mindfulness, reflection, practice and patience. I have to remind myself every day that despite all of my shortcomings, I truly am worthy of love and kindness.

    “I was fortunate to become the woman I always wanted to be.”

    Diane von Furstenberg

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    Life Coaching, The Pursuit of Happiness

    5 BRUTAL REALITIES THEY DON’T PREPARE YOU FOR WHEN YOU GRADUATE

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    Recent economic conditions have shaped this generation, making us adaptable, resilient and creative. Basically our generation is SH*T HOT at what we do, in fact we have extremely versatile skills. BUT that doesn’t mean that we can escape the *brick in the face* like reality that comes with the transition from student ‘chill’ life to adult *i’m going to have a mental breakdown* work life. I am not going to beat around the bush here. Real adult life, its hard but its kinda cool too!

    YOU’RE GOING TO NEED A THICK SKIN

    So you’re in your first job and you think the Devil Wears Prada office politics was just an extreme example of fashion for entertainment. It wasn’t, it isn’t and there certainly isn’t Gucci and Prada everywhere to make you feel better about your horror of a boss. Hours are long, your going to be tired like, all the time. Your commute will suck and you will eat more than you ever thought possible. THE GOOD NEWS: Your starting at the bottom. YOU’RE AT THE BOTTOM. So guess what? When your at the bottom the only way is up. Keep your head down and keep going.

    MONEY. (Clue you won’t have any)

    Your going to be broke, yep. That’s right, you thought you were a broke as a student? JOKES ON YOU. At least there was a regular income coming in from student finance, now its all on you. Unless you’re lucky enough to get help from your parents, which unfortunately I wasn’t – chances are your going to be struggling with money – which will in turn cause more stress about getting a job – and so the cycle starts *sigh*. Good news? It’s time to shape your on future and your finances, plus when the money does start coming in its all you! Congrats!

    FAMILY PRESSURES

    The “SO WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO GET A REAL JOB?” questions start pretty much straight away. Grandmas, moms, dads, that great uncle you haven’t seen since you were 12, yep him too. Pressures on, and its on big time. The good news? We’ve all been there, no one escapes this and the bad news? It never really ends, once you’ve got the graduate job they’ve been going on at you to get for years, now its “when are you moving out/getting married/ having children”. Family eh? Who needs um…

    YOU’RE GOING TO GET REJECTED

    You probably will get a lot of job rejections, we all did. Believe me, it probably will happen. You can’t escape rejection, just like failure, unless you literally live under a rock for the rest of your life.  I actually think this should be a good thing for you to realise and the quicker you realise it the better. Even the most talented and incredible people have been rejected, multiple times. And so will you. But do not let that knock you, I promise you keep going, work hard, master your skillset and you will get there.

     

    DREAM JOBS CAN BE A NIGHTMARE

    You might get your dream job only to realise it’s not your dream at all. In fact, its horrendous. Surprise! Not everything about that job you idolised all through University is as it seemed. Not all that glitters is gold is the truest statement here. This will feel like a huge disappointment, but you’ll get over it. You may even want to change your career altogether. It’s fine, relax you are in your twenties now is the best time to start a fresh.

    What have you found to be a brutal reality now you have graduated?

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    Life Coaching

    Instagram has turned into a fake reality show.

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    Don’t compare your real life, to somebody else’s highlight reel.

    You have to remember that people choose/edit/curate the best versions of themselves and their lives on IG, including myself. What you see on a screen is not always what you get in real life. You know the saying, never meet your heroes? WHY? Because they never live up to your expectations. Because we are all flawed. We all have imperfections, whether its a personality flaw or even a physical flaw. Even those IG models with millions of followers, yep they also have flaws.

    It’s easy to fall into the comparison trap online. What you don’t see posted on other’s filtered profiles are the same things you don’t post about yourself on there: fights with your boyfriend/ girlfriend, family drama, insecurities, problems at work. The fact that you’ve spent 4 hours watching Gossip Girl re-runs. Whatever it is, someone would probably have to pay you to make you post any of these mundane realities online.

    So, remember that everyone has their own struggles even though you will rarely see that online. Social media has turned into a bit of a heavily scripted and edited ‘reality show’ that should be seen as that. A SHOW. Not real life. We need to start focusing on ourselves more, and pushing ourselves, instead of feeling as though we’re not good enough just because it seems someone else may be living a shinier, happier life online. Concentrate on what’s going on in your own life, behind the filters.

     So, how do we stop comparing ourselves?
    • For starters, limit the amount of time you spend on social media, don’t let it consume you
    • Don’t compare your Chapter One with someone else’s Chapter Twelve
    • Instead of comparing yourself to others, re-focus your energy on your own life.
    •  Focus the time and energy you spend mindlessly scrolling IG use that on being the very best version of yourself.

    Give up trying to be someone or something that doesn’t even exist. Change the way you consume social media and keep this as a reminder, you are perfect just as you are, unfiltered and unedited.

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    Blogging guide 101, Life Coaching, The Pursuit of Happiness

    So now you’ve graduated, should you follow your passion or money.

    Working from home, laptop, diary and pen, comfort, mobile phone, sitting on the wooden floor with bracing coffee

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    The never ending question of the new wave millennials – If you’re really passionate about what you do – but it’s not going to make you a lot of money – should you still do it?

    First of all, if your lucky enough to have found your passion, ask yourself these questions before you throw the towel in on finding a ‘regular 9 – 5’:

    Can you earn a living doing it? – With the onset of online businesses – you can pretty much make a living on most passions. But this doesn’t mean that it is easy or achievable for all. There is still going to be a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get there. Figure out how you can monotize from your passions and do not give up on your stable job until you generate income.

    Would it still be your passion if you had to do it every day to make money? – Here’s the truth, even the most glamorous looking jobs aren’t all that glamorous, if you have ever been on a photoshoot or TV set you will know this. Being an entrepreneur seems pretty tough, it’s constant, its pressured and its all on you. Make sure you know what your getting into before you quit the day job.

    Is the thing you’re passionate about related to a skill that you have and that’s needed in the market? – This one is simple but often overlooked – make sure you are able to get paid for your passion, a girls gotta eat!

    Not to rain on anyone’s parade, but straight out of university with little experience, you have to do what you have to do. If sticking it out in a less-than-desirable job whilst your hustling part time is what you need to do to move to London (where your dream job is for example) that’s what you do. And you do it well. In fact this is probably your best option right now.

    If you need to find a boring, stable job to survive, make your passions your hobby. If your stable job is ruining your life or making you unhappy, commit to living more simply financially so you can pursue your passions full-time. Stop buying pointless clothes, move back in with your parents, calm down on the social events. You have to stay committed to your goal and sacrifice a lot for your passions, and the brutal truth is not many people are willing to do that.

    The takeaway: The key to occupational happiness is to first figure out what you’re passionate about and then find a job that matches this passion.