Photo of myself at three years of age in Chile
Surely you’re familiar with those discussions on men and women. Those conversations in which the behaviour and characteristics of men and women are stereotyped. I don’t know what they mean to you but in my case, my hairs stand on end. Because those taking the lead in such conversations, will unknowingly define how others should behave as men or women, whatever the case may be. And before you know it people actually believe this and it becomes one of their restrictive beliefs.
Which is a pity. I love helping people to empower themselves, and in this I am aided by a flexible attitude and a broadminded approach. So, I have never understood why cleaning the house, caring for the children and cooking are typified as women’s chores, and why carrying out repairs, washing the car and playing football with your son are typical activities for men. Of course, I understand that it is partially defined by hormones and genetics, yet in my experience, for the greater part your behaviour depends on what you think of yourself.
Over the years, I too have been had many beliefs placed on my shoulders and for a long time many of these have affected my way of thinking about myself. I said ‘affected’ past tense, for I shrugged off all the restrictive beliefs that I became aware of. Anyway, at an early age I was told about all the things that I was or could not do. Including that I am stubborn and wilful. Yes ‘am’, because this one fits me like a glove and has helped me to lay all negative judgment aside and do my own thing.
And so it happened that, even as a young boy, I did the things I wanted to do. When I was sixteen, for instance, I not only mowed the lawn for my dad and helped him with odd jobs; I also did the ironing for my mum and made the beds. By distancing myself from all sorts of imaginary restrictions, I adopted a flexible way of thinking. This helped me to set about doing what my heart whispered to me. It made me independent.
Now I realize that we all have an extremely wide range of opportunities at our disposal, all of which only need grasping. Whether and how you grasp your opportunities depends on how you think. As you think, so you shall become. And once you realize each of us has both male and female power at our disposal, you may grasp the magnitude of your empowerment through thinking and acting differently. It’s up to you whether you fully empower yourself. Every morning I say this affirmation: ‘I now reclaim all of my male and female power and exercise this to the full in every aspect of my life’.
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