So you've probably caught on to this by now, but I'm about to become a first time parent. Not only am I going to be a mom, but I’m having a baby girl, and the more I think about it, the more excited I get. But I'm also really scared...like REALLY SCARED! No, not about the bags under my eyes and the saggy boobs, although those are quite frightening. What I'm really scared about is the impact that my insecurities are going to have on her. I want her to be a strong, independent woman from the get go. It took me a really long time to get to where I am today. I'm far from where I want to be, but there are a few things I've learned along the way that I want to instill in her from day one.
1) Focus on emotional health rather than physical beauty: I spent so much time in high school worried about my weight, my clothing, my hair, everything related to my physical appearance. I wanted to fit in so badly. When I look back, I realize that none of it mattered. Was I happy? No, not really. It wasn't until I got to college, saw a therapist, and started to focus on my emotional health that I actually became happy. That's not to say I don't still like to dress up every once in a while, and I may have an obsession with beauty blogs, but I've realized that how I feel on the inside and how I look on the outside aren't 100% correlated.
2) Have confidence and don't be afraid to be different: I'm totally weird. Ask any of my friends, and they will say that I have some quirks. I am super frugal (like I actually shop at Goodwill Outlet where you can buy clothing by the pound), I don't listen to pop music (except Britney Spears), and I have zero interest in sports. Do people sometimes tell me that I'm strange? Yes. Does it hurt my feelings? Sometimes. But in all honesty, I'm proud of the way that I am. If everyone was the same, it would be a very boring world.
3) Be kind: One thing that I've read in a ton of leadership books is that women are inherently too apologetic and kind. The consensus seems to be that we need to adapt more masculine traits in order to succeed in the business world. Frankly, I think that's a load of B.S., and if being kind is too "feminine" for the business realm, that's a bigger societal problem that needs to be addressed. Because I hope my daughter is kind. I hope that she apologizes when she needs to. It's called being a decent human being. I've definitely got the feedback in annual reviews that I don't have enough backbone, and that I'm a pushover. Well guess what? I don't really care. If being nice is something that is going to hold me back from success in my career, then so be it. I would rather be a nice person with moderate success than a terrible person with wild success. Of course, I have days where I'm really feisty too, and I'm not always as nice as I should be; however, by the end of the week, my goal is to have always said significantly more kind things than mean things. I think that's a pretty solid goal, and I would encourage my daughter to strive for the same balance.
So what does all this have to do with Persist? Persist is a game that allows you to share and laugh about things like our physical insecurities, our quirks, and our emotional wellbeing. It brings these topics to the forefront instead of hiding them, and the best part is that it often does that through humor. If a game like this existed when I was younger, then maybe I wouldn't have struggled as much. Maybe I would have learned to be confident at an earlier age. One thing's for sure, I'm going to do everything in my power to raise a caring, independent, strong daughter. PERSIST!