In the year 2010 I started learning about productivity, success, personal development, finance and all that good stuff. As the years have passed and my understanding grew deeper, one thing really stood out to me. Nearly all the teachers and key speakers in this field were men. Now, I have no problem with that. Absolutely not :)) But here is what I’ve noticed.
Too much of the advice out there over looks the fact that women have different needs and different biological changes that are not taken into consideration. What I found is that by following all the information out there and soaking it like a sponge, my dominant energy became very masculine. I was always on the go. I was all about discipline, sacrifice, being head strong and conquering the world.
Whilst these were great qualities, I lost in touch with the more sensitive part of me. The part of me that would play dress up every morning instead of thinking it’s a waste of time. Or the part of me that would hang around with my family and friends instead of thinking I could be more productive with my time and work on a project.
Here is what I’ve learnt so far about having great ambition as a woman but also maintaining my feminine self :))
1. Rest More.
Look at how Allah has given women in particular exemptions from fasting and praying during menstruation and post natal bleeding. Our natural cycles are such that we NEED rest – much more than our male counterparts. Schedule just 10 minutes a day to unwind, sip on herbal tea, read a magazine or do some light yoga. Just 10 minutes a day. You are bound to see a change in your wellbeing, mood and productivity. A tired woman is an angry woman :)) Use this planner to schedule in small, acts of self care within your timetable. I can’t stress how important it is to give to yourself every single day. It’s the difference between ending up as moody, over stressed, over burdened woman who has absolutely no zest for life or herself versus the woman who embraces life with all it’s challenges and manages to look elegant and well nourished whilst doing it all.
2. Embrace beauty.
All women have this need for beauty. This need for beauty manifests in different ways. For some it’s their love of nature and beautiful scenery. For others it’s their admiration for fashion, makeup and all that good stuff. Yet for others it’s their attention to detail, organising their house and beautifying their environment. What is it for you? Maybe you love to collect pretty cards and stationary pieces. Or maybe you love to organise and stock up your pantry in glass jars and cute storage solutions. Whatever it is, bring that into your life because that will give your this spark and radiant energy from within. Don’t ever get so busy pursuing your dreams, spending all night on your goals that you forget to smell the roses, organise your makeup storage and spend time on those small, seemingly unimportant tasks that contribute very little to your future. Sure, collecting cute stickers may do nothing for your future and albeit a little embarrassing for a grown woman but they do EVERYTHING for your inner wellbeing.
I know because I was that woman who gave up family time, self care practices, ‘useless’ hobbies just to pursue my goals. Whilst I did get further in my goals, I became so rigid, so disciplined that I lost the enjoyment of daily life. That’s not the way to live!
3. Never be afraid to dream too big!
The keystone for every ambitious woman is this desire to live their ideal life. Ideal in every way possible. From their deen, health, wealth, relationships, marriage, career – they really have this desire to consciously create a beautiful life, day by day, moment by moment. Let your dreams guide and never be worried or afraid that it might not happen. Never worry too much about the future either. Make insane amounts of dua and believe that it is coming your way. When you make dua to Allah, say it with certainty and expect it with certainty. If you don’t get exactly what you want, then know you only got better. You win both ways :)) But you have to trust Allah and believe that your dua has a 100% certainty of being accepted.
4. Work on your own rhythm.
As a young teenager I was constantly on the go. I was all about pushing myself, working harder, working longer and it was all quick, fast, hurry. It was a lot of masculine energy. But as I’ve grown up, I’m learning to appreciate working at a slower pace. A more calm yet focused pace. It’s done wonders for my stress levels. Which in turn I believe has improved my health with smoother skin and stronger hair. The key is to find out your working rhythm. Do you need to slow down? Or perhaps you have too much free time and you need more activities to keep you busy? Your working rhythm will change and adapt as you change. Your rhythm after giving birth to a child will be very different to a university student in their final year.
5. Be gentle but firm.
At the heart of a feminine, ambitious woman is her gentleness. She acts with grace and dignity. Yes, she has those moments of making regretful comments it or behaving wrongly out of haste, but they are always followed with an apology and the correct behaviour where possible. Show your standards and you won’t have to say a word. Be firm in what you believe in but do it in a gentle, easy manner. Most people have learnt to tune out from a woman’s moaning and nagging. It doesn’t work. Instead show your standards by pushing back a little, not giving attention to inappropriate behaviour and acting a little less concerned.
6. Stay organised.
There was a time where I tried to rock that laid back, hippie, bohemian kind of girl. You know that kind of girl, who wakes up in the morning with her hair flowing effortlessly, she sips on green juice and goes about her day in a carefree, wanderlust manner. And she manages to do 101 things despite her laid back approach. Let me tell you: it doesn’t work! I was a huge mess, missing deadlines, forgetting important details and whilst I looked so relaxed and free spirited, inside my mind I was all over the place!
7. Have barakah in your dreams.
Put Allah first and fulfil the responsibilities He has placed upon you before pursuing your goals. Even if you only get 10 minutes a day to work on writing a book or studying – those 10 minutes will be filled with so much barakah that not even a whole day of work whilst neglecting your responsibilities could equate to it. Ultimately, the duties that Allah has placed upon is what matters most to you. Who cares if you have a high, flying career but come home to a miserable marriage and don’t even look twice at your husband? What does starting up worldwide charities mean if your own children don’t even respect you?
I really admire and look up to women who conquer the world yet remain wonderfully feminine whilst doing so. Women who take on the world, kick-ass at work but when they come home, they switch off that ‘work’ mode and chill out with their spouse – laughing and catching up on the day. Women for whom running a work meeting is just as important as painting art with their children on a Saturday afternoon.
Now I want to hear from you :)) Do you feel that being feminine and ambitious conflict with each other? What advise would you give for having great goals and being yourself at the same time? Share with me in the comments below. I appreciate your insights so much, I love hearing from you!