Yesterday, for the first time since late March 2020, I went on a long walk without wearing a mask. Yes, I felt a little naked. I’m fully vaccinated, but continued to wear a mask for several more weeks. It felt safe.
But feeling safe isn’t always the way to move forward in your life. It won’t always help you become the woman you want to be.
The pandemic, of course, has changed all of our lives in ways much more significantly than just wearing a mask. The world around us is different and many of us have been thinking about how our goals and priorities have changed over the past year and what we want to keep and what we want to change based on that period.
•••••••CAN DO Woman Program: Month 1, Week 1: Getting Started (Restarted) with Friendships (Scroll down to get started)••••••
Some of you may have lost friends or family to COVID-19. Others may have lost jobs or even your businesses. You may have found yourself living in isolation. If you’ve been lucky enough to keep your job and have family around, you still may have had to figure out working from home, using Zoom (I keep misplacing my webcam), serving as the teacher for your child or children, cooking from the pantry, etc.
Where Does All of This Leave Us?
How Do We Move Forward Without Forgetting Important Lessons We've Learned?
How Can We Take What We've Learned to Help Us Become Amazing CAN DO Women?
In other words, let’s come out of this stressful period with an eye to the future, a personal future that is better than the past.
It's Time to Start Our CAN DO Program
Today, we are beginning a new program on RosieCentral that is meant to help you and provide guidance as you create the post-pandemic woman you want to become.
Kendra and I have spent the past 15 years (it’s hard to believe it has been that long) interviewing, coaching, and helping women reflect on, write about, and change their lives based on self-discovery, understanding, and inspiration. In the next weeks, we’re going to share some of the insights and secrets we’ve learned from these ordinary, yet extraordinary women. We will provide you with information, stories, exercises, and prompts to assist you in working toward a life that better suits you—the life you want.
The Basis for This CAN DO Program: The Seven Life Capitals
Based on thousands of hours talking with women and thousands more hours analyzing what they have told us or written for us, we saw an interesting pattern emerge. Specifically, we have defined seven aspects to a fulfilling life—a CAN DO life that lets you be the kind of woman you want to be. To emphasize their mutual equivalence and complementary roles, we call them the Seven Life Capitals:
These capitals, these facets of our lives, are not equally important or valuable to us throughout our lives. If we were to think of these in the same way that we consider an investment portfolio, it is immediately obvious that their value will change over time. While not everyone will want to invest in or spend these capitals in the same proportion, they are the key elements.
CAN DO Woman Program: Month 1, Week 1: Getting Started (Restarted) with Friendships
Let’s get started on our CAN DO Woman Program.
As we move into our post-pandemic lives, Kendra and I are going to help you look at one significant aspect of your life each month. For this first month, the focus is on SOCIAL CAPITAL. Specifically, we’ll help you know more about and how to effectively have friendships in you life. After all, most of us have missed friends as we have had to “shelter in place.” lock down, stay at home, and self-quarantine. So we thought this would be the best place to start.
In this first week, we’re going to consider a friendship you may have never thought about. This is the friendship with yourself.
Yes, before we move on to other aspects of friendships, we want you to focus on YOU as your own best friend.
The Value of Working on Your Friendship with Yourself
The one person we are with the most? The one person who influences us more than anyone else? Yes, you got it. You are with yourself more than any other person. And you don’t have a quiet relationship. There is a great deal of chatter going on in your head. You are mentoring yourself all the time. But you may not be a good friend or mentor.
What should I wear?
How do I look?
When will I be rewarded for all the hard work I’m doing for my company?
Why doesn’t “xxx” like me better?
What do I want to do this weekend?
Well, you get the point. It is particularly easy to become negative in your thinking:
I am not smart enough.
No one finds me attractive.
I don’t deserve that promotion.
My friends are all more successful than I am.
I have no control over my life.
POINT 1: You DO have control over what you tell yourself.
There are many things that we have no control over. We need to accept that. But we DO have control over what we tell ourselves. We can be a supportive friend or we can be a bully. Many women are wonderful friends and supportive of other women. Most women would not tear down a friend or tell her she is stupid. And yet many of those same women will be a bully to themselves.
During this first week of our CAN DO Woman program, we want you to begin realizing that you have control over what you tell yourself. To help you get started, think about what it means to be a good friend, You can make a list of how you treat your best friends. You can make your own list, but many people mention:
WITH MY BEST FRIEND, I AM:
Always honest. That may mean steering her to a different conclusion, but I would not lie to her.
Kind in the comments I make. Cruelty or insensitivity have no place in the friendship.
Ready to listen — carefully listen to what has happened to her — good and bad.
Gracious and willing to help.
Supportive in ways to build her sense of confidence.
Take Action This Week
You get the point. You need to treat yourself the same way that you would treat a good friend. During this coming week, take just one action to become a better friend to yourself.
ACTION: Take 1 challenge for yourself this week.
1. Sit down.
2. Close your eyes.
3. Imagine you are sitting with a good friend.
4. She isn’t feeling very good about herself and you tell her 5 things that you like about her.
5. Now, tell yourself 5 things you like about YOU.
6. Start a computer document or a notebook and write down the 5 things you like about yourself.
That’s it. That is all you need to do. You will have taken the first step in being a better friend — a supportive friend — to yourself.
Just taking one action will not change your life. But it will get you started. You will have taken an action. You will be starting to think about the woman you want to be and you will have taken a first step. All change needs to come from within.
Inspiration: "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent" ~Eleanor Roosevelt
COMING NEXT WEEK
Next week, we’ll share the story of Diane Boxwood and how isolation let her fall into the trap of self-hatred and depression. Her way out was unexpected. So be sure to join us then.
Find your next step to becoming a CAN DO Woman.