Own Your Space
This year for International Women's Day 2021, I #ChoosetoChallenge women to own their space.
Own your wins and accomplishments. Demonstrate that you believe in the value of what you bring to the conversation, workplace, and relationships.
Owning your own space takes confidence, and you may find you need to take a few risks and welcome new opportunities along the way. It says you understand your worth and that a right to be at the decision-making table.
In owning your space, you also own your narrative - and this is incredibly important. How you feel on the inside, how you project yourself on the outside tells your story. How do you want it to read? Be authentic and share your story with the world.
Sometimes we need to create our own opportunities to shine, but everyone has a unique "something" or that secret sauce that is a beacon of light to others. Figure out what makes you unique.
As women, we need to create our opportunities and support and empower one another along the way. Let's demonstrate more collaboration and less competition as we get there.
Stay connected and identify yourself as a person who has valuable contributions to make. Don't be silent on issues or passions that are important to you. Make your opinions known and connect across your networks both with social media and your organizations, and own that passion.
Take control of your career. Make your future aspirations known, and seek out mentors to help guide you along the way. But don't waste time at a company or organization that doesn't appreciate the value you bring to them. They are not worth the self-doubt they will create in your mind.
Ask for feedback and use it as a learning opportunity. Not every job, project or contract will go perfectly. Sometimes we need to hear the negative to turn it into a positive. If you ask for feedback, don't be afraid of what may be shared. It is all part of the learning. Use it to learn, then move on and do better the next time.
Lean in to develop your leadership mindset. Demonstrate initiative, and don't wait for the knock to come to your door – go and find the door and walk through it. Don't be afraid to ask for what you want. You will likely miss some excellent opportunities if you wait for others to find them for you.
As a woman, I challenge you to love yourself and own the space you're in and create a space for other women to do the same. And always remember, you're marvellous just as you are.
Shawna Bruce is a wife, mother, veteran and business owner. Her "special sauce" is the passion she brings to clients about Risk and Crisis Communications, Emergency Public Information, Public Engagement and Media Training and Public Engagement.