It's the start of another week in these special times. How have the past weeks been for you? I hope you are doing well and making the best of our current situation.
In this blog post, we will discuss three great things we can all do to make this week great. Check out part 1 of the survival guide for three additional tips.
#1: Start a new project
Imagine when this is all over, knowing that you used the time optimally and created something valuable for yourself. We all have many things we want to do but don't find the time to. Now is the perfect time to unpack that list and start working on your personal project.
Questions to consider
#2: Write down your thoughts
Journaling is a practice that helps me get my thoughts together and check-in with myself. Last week I recommended we all spend time with ourselves and our thoughts. One way to take it further is to write things down. There are so many amazing thoughts and ideas that we don't even know we have. Taking notes will help you remember them.
Questions to consider
#3: Do something for someone
Acts of service help us look beyond our problems. Now that we are spending time with family, we have the opportunity to do special things for them. With the help of technology, we can also do things for people virtually. I recently saw people offering to have a chat with people who might be feeling lonely during these times. The act of kindness gave me a lot of hope.
Questions to consider
Call to Action
How will you bring some positivity into your life this week?
As I was planning for my blog post this week, I thought it'll be fitting to share great resources and tips that will help us get through these times. Let's take the opportunity we have to share some practical things we can do to survive and thrive.
In this blog post, we will discuss three great things we can all do to make this week great. Over the next weeks, I will share more tips and recommendations with you on how to thrive during this season.
#1: Spend some time with yourself
With the amount of time I have been spending at home, I have had a lot of time to think and reminisce. It feels like during normal times, I am so busy doing life and hardly have any time to be still and think. As I was reflecting over the past weeks, I have become more aware of the fact that I am the happiest I have been in my life. This process has led me to feel more gratitude for who I am and where I am in life.
Questions to consider
#2: Share your thoughts with people who care
Firstly, if you are feeling concerned or slightly anxious, you are not alone. No matter what you are feeling, it is a valid way to feel. Earlier today, I was talking to someone who lives alone, and I really count myself blessed to have someone to talk to in the house. Being able to talk about my thoughts with my family has been a game-changer.
Questions to consider
#3: Reconnect with one person (virtually)
Especially now when a lot of us are practicing "physical distancing", it is important to stay in contact with people we care about. With our busy lives, it is very easy to lose contact with people in our lives. This is a great time to connect with someone you have not spoken to in a long while. I believe that these connections will make a difference for everyone involved. With the technology we have, we are able to stay connected easily.
Questions to consider
Call to Action
How are you going to make this time count? Take action to make the best of this situation.
I planned to write another blog post today. As I reflected more on the topics on my mind these days, I decided to talk about the latest changes in all our lives. When the year started, I had my plans for this quarter and I never expected to be here.
In this blog post, I will share my thoughts on life as it is today and how I am working on adjusting my perspective.
Have I ever been through an experience like this?
In my life, I have been through some scary experiences, but I am not sure I can compare them to this experience. Growing up in Nigeria, there were some unrests that led to total curfews and restrictions on resources. I remember two of those times distinctly. From what I remember, there was a lot of worry on the faces of adults around us. One thing was sure, the times came and passed. It took a long time for life to go back to normal, but it eventually did. Now fast-forward almost 20 years later, another crisis is impacting our lives greatly. The Coronavirus pandemic is affecting all of our lives significantly.
How can we avoid panic?
One of the things that I am noticing is that there is an excessive amount of news coverage on COVID-19. For me, because I have family around the world, I am very happy that I can keep track of things happening with them from so far away. However, I have found myself being slightly nervous around the spread of the disease, especially here in the US. If you follow the news, you know why. I really don't want fear to be a constant part of my life. It is tough but one thing that helps me is to remind myself of the good things that we have. My family and I are healthy, have a source of income and access to most of the resources we need. I am very grateful for that and do not take it for granted.
How can we take care of ourselves?
With all the chaos around us, it is crucial for us to prioritize self-care. I have been doing some research on the impact of a crisis on our mental health and physical well-being. If you are like me, you internalize a lot of the stress around you. I am being more intentional about acknowledging how I feel and then making changes to be healthy. Another thing that I am doing is accepting the change in our lives. Especially with work, a lot has changed. I am thankful for the flexibility I have and I'm taking advantage of the opportunities I have.
What responsibilities do we have for the people around us?
This past weekend, I was talking to my sister, who reminded me of the fact that she has to stay healthy to take care of her daughter. Not only does she have to think about herself or her health. but she is also responsible for another little human. In addition, I believe that generally we have to be compassionate and have empathy for others around us. We live in a society and are responsible for caring about each other.
How can we help each other?
At times like this, it is easy to get into your mind and think about ourselves the most. I am finding that when I care for other people, it makes me happier. I have been touched by people offering to help each other at these strange times. It reminds me a lot of growing up in Nigeria where we all cared for our family and neighbors. So, this is me offering my help to anyone who needs some support. There are different types of things we can help people do, ranging from conversations to sharing our knowledge. We all have something to offer.
There is so much going on in my mind these days. To help myself, here are some things that I am telling myself:
Call to Action
Take care of yourself and the people around you.
Happy Women's Day and Women's heritage month to all the amazing women I know!
This past Sunday, we celebrated International Women's Day (IWD). The IWD theme for this year is "#Each for Equal". I was also attracted to the phrase "I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights" from the United Nations. When I saw the theme and slogan for the year, I started wondering what gender equality means to me and what role I can play.
In this blog post, I will share my journey and thoughts on some of the thought-provoking statements on the International Women's Day website.
Starting point: What is Gender Equality
When I think about my childhood, I am reminded that I was very fortunate to grow up around very strong Women. My mother, grandmother, aunts and cousins were all responsible for taking care of their households. And they did all that was in their power to provide for their families. Taking into consideration that Nigeria, where I spent my childhood, is a very patriarchal society. In our home, I was fortunate to grow up without the thought of being limited as a woman.
However, there were strong external factors that defined the role of a woman. In summary, the reason a woman was here on earth was to get married, have kids and care for their families. Another strong contributing factor to me believing I was strong and could do anything that I wanted to do was the Secondary school/High school that I attended. I was able to get a good foundation in my science education.
Let's fast-forward a few years. The time in my life where I really started thinking about gender equality more was when I entered the workforce. I could not understand the difference in pay. As data shows, Women earn 23% less than men globally. This is one that has been on my mind over the years of my career. Every day when I go to work, I bring my best self and do an amazing job. All I want is to be rewarded the same way. It doesn't make sense to me.
Now let's talk about our contribution to the world as women. I should probably write a longer post about this. It is very important for me to show women out there that we are equal and can do anything we want to do. I want to encourage young girls to study technical topics and explore any careers that they would like to be without being restricted. This is what I'm focused on now.
Why is it essential to have Gender Equality?
This statement on the IWD website caught my attention - "An equal world is an enabled world" . I strongly believe that as women, we have a lot to contribute to the world. To make this point stronger, the UN states that "Providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large".
How can we contribute to Gender Equality?
We can all do things to make progress towards gender equality:
#1: Celebrate women's achievement
In our lives, we are surrounded by amazing women. Make it a priority to celebrate the women around you. The more we celebrate each other's contributions the more they will be seen.
#2: Raise awareness against bias
Especially in my new role, I am more aware of the bias that people have against women. When we see people apply stereotypes and biases, we can speak up. Making people aware of bias will get us closer to the world we want to live in.
#3: Take action for equality
If we want to see change, we need to be the change. I strongly believe that if we take action, we will contribute to making the world a better place.
Let's wrap up this post with quotes from amazing women
Call to Action
Celebrate your greatness!
When I launched my blog in January 2018, I had no idea where I will be two years later. Unlike with a lot of other things that I do, I did not have a perfect plan for my blog. It took me a while to be bold and take the step, so I decided to plan to start and actually get started instead of planning everything out.
I'm so excited to celebrate the second anniversary of my blog with you all. Thank you for reading, sharing my posts, sharing your experiences with me and allowing me to share my deepest thoughts with you.
In this blog post, I will answer some of the questions I get about starting and having a blog.
My responses to the top questions about my Blog
When and how did I know I wanted to have a blog?
In summer 2011, I had a strong desire to build a platform for women like me to share and learn from one another. I sat on my dream for over seven years and did nothing. The primary reason why I didn't get started was that I was too scared to take the bold step. However, I believe that the years that passed prepared me even more for launching my blog.
How did I get started?
Over the Christmas holidays in 2017, I knew the time had come and I could no longer make excuses for not having my blog. The first step for me was to create my site and start writing blog posts. The tasks that I needed completed sounded very easy. However, my quest for perfection almost discouraged me from launching my website. I decided to start working on and to launch my website with my first five blog posts. Over the first weeks of January, I worked on my site and my initial blog posts. Simultaneously I started taking writing classes to learn some writing skills and did expensive research on creating a website. I shared my site with the world on January 23, 2018.
Why did I start blogging?
In one of my first blog posts titled "What I want from my blog", I shared my motivation for starting my blog. In summary, I wanted to share my learnings with others, share resources that have helped me in my life, empower women in all phases of their lives, learn from other women's experiences and build a community of women who support each other on their journey.
Looking back on the past two years, I have been able to do more than I expected with my blog. I am more than grateful for the opportunity to grow and give back to my community.
What am I proud of?
Celebrating my accomplishments is something that I am being more intentional about. Over the past two years, I have achieved the following:
What have I learned on my journey?
As with every journey we embark on, there are many lessons to be learned. Some of the lessons I have learned that I did not anticipate were:
What have been my highlights?
In addition to learning lessons and gaining experience, I have also had some personal highlights:
How do I ensure I am growing my blog?
Growth and improvement are on my mind continuously. I want my blog to continue to grow over the next years. Some of the ways I ensure I maintain a growth mindset are:
What do I want to do in the future with my blog?
To all my faithful readers, thanks a lot for supporting me on my journey. I'm committed to growing my platform over the next months and years
I am sharing my story to encourage you to take a leap and do that thing that you have been telling yourself you can't do. If I could face my fears and do something I was scared of, you absolutely can too.
Call to Action
What is that thing you have been putting off and delaying? Now is the perfect time to pick it back up and do it.
"Insecurity is just something that's there all the time. I've never been crippled by it." Catherine Keener
Do you feel insecure or you're not good enough?
As women we have a lot we are insecure about such as our body image, knowledge, identity, experiences or our relationships. In order for our insecurity not to get in the way of our progress we need to take active steps to deal with it.
In this blog post, we will explore the definition of being insecure, how it affects our lives, the importance of dealing with our insecurities as well as practical strategies you can apply the next time you feel insecure. I will also share a little about my journey with insecurity.
What does it mean to be insecure?
Why is it important to face our insecurities ?
How does being insecure affect you?
What should you work towards?
The positive feelings are: secure, confident, assured, certain, decisive, stable, unafraid or untroubled.
5 Strategies to deal with your insecurity
#1: Accept your insecurities
Feeling insecure in any aspect of your life is normal. Being aware of your insecurities provides you with the opportunity to address them heads on. Spend time getting to know yourself more and equip yourself with the tool you need.
#2: Celebrate your achievements
Think back on those times when you overcame your insecurities and took a bold step. Celebrate them and acknowledge how hard you worked to make it happen. And then when you start doubting yourself or feeling insecure, take a look at what you've achieved.
#3: Commit to a plan
Setting a deadline and committing to a plan is a great way to hold yourself accountable to overcome your insecurities. The act of committing to do something puts you in a mindset of taking action.
#4:Do something you are afraid of
Take a step and do something you don't feel fully prepared for. The best strategy to face your insecurity is to take action. Sometimes it takes a while for you to start feeling confident. Continue taking steps towards achieving your goals.
#5: Share your story
Often, when we share our insecurities with others and listen to theirs as well, we feel empowered. Knowing that you are not alone with some of the challenges you face makes it feel better. Empower others and be empowered by others.
I also have my own share of insecurities. Recently I had to practice what I preach and face my insecurities. For about a year, I had been thinking about creating other avenues to share content and expand my community. Creating a YouTube channel was the next logical move, but I was too afraid to do it. I had never recorded or edited videos ever before. I was also very insecure about how I would look and sound on camera. There were many insecurities that I had to overcome before I took the first step.
The strategy that helped me was "Commit to a plan". Once I set a date to launch in March 2019, I had a date to work towards. For me keeping my commitment was more important than all the insecurities that held me back.
I did it !!! I launched my YouTube Channel this month.
Call To Action
What areas are you insecure? What strategies are you planning to apply? Identify your insecurities.
It was a Tuesday, shortly after noon two amazing twin girls were born in Neuss Germany. It's our birthday, and I want to do something special for my birthday companion - my twin sister Melissa-Sue.
This post is very personal for me. I want to celebrate Melissa today in a very special way. Let me share a little about my sister, the important role she plays in my life and some of my favorite memories.
How would I describe Melissa?
This is a dicey one; there are so many words that come to mind when I think about my sister. I chose to describe some of her unique strengths:
What does my sister do for me?
Over the last year, I've been learning to value my relationships. Here are some of the fantastic things my sister does for me:
What we have in common?
We are a very "uncommon" set of twins. Though our physical features and personalities are very different, we have some commonalities. I want to take time to share things we have in common:
My favorite memories with my Twin sister
In our lives together, we have had a lot of great memories, a few of them are:
Celebrating our birthdays as kids
I enjoyed our birthdays together; it felt great to share my birthday with someone. Although my mum decided to dress us in the same outfits, we still had our individual birthday preferences.
Telling people, we are twins
It seemed like we spent much time trying to convince people first that we were related and then that we were twins. I enjoyed the shocked look on people’s faces. We had something special that was ours.
Enjoying great food together
There were so many times growing up when we would eat the simple things we loved and bond over them. The memories of our weekend meals are very dear to me. Till date, every time we get to spend together, we make it a priority to eat something delicious.
Reuniting in Germany
After spending over a year alone in Germany, my sister moved as well. Thinking back, being in the same country allowed us to share many growth opportunities and be there for one another.
Having my niece
Seeing my sister become a mum seven years ago was a very memorable milestone on our journey. Observing my sister with my niece shows me how much she is willing to share her love.
Spending Christmas 2017 together
Spending time with my sister and niece was very special. Introducing them to my new life in the US made me very aware of all the changes that I have experienced. We made so many great memories that I’ll always value.
My Final Thoughts
I am very grateful for my sister, and I'm looking forward to many more years together.
Please wish my twin sister Melissa-Sue a happy birthday.
Happy Birthday to my one and only twin Sister 😊
"We are who we are today as a result of the contributions of the great people in our lives"- MC
My mother's birthday falls around Mother’s Day every year. I am excited to wish my mother a Happy 66th Birthday and Happy Mother’s Day 2018. This year I want to do something different and celebrate how she has impacted my life as a Woman.
My mother raised two great biological daughters as a single mum. She is also a mother figure to many other children. She contributes to the growth of many men and women.
Most of my adult life I worked hard to learn from some of the mistakes my mom made. Recently, I changed my perspective and started thinking about the significant role my mum played in shaping the woman I am today. I want to take some time to share some of the lessons I learned from my mother.
Lesson 1: Be Disciplined
My mum is so disciplined that people around us often thought she served in the army. Throughout my developing years, she instilled the importance of discipline in everything we do. In my personal and professional life discipline has helped me address chaos.
Lesson 2: Treat everyone equally and with respect
My mum would always greet everyone and ask them how they are doing. She treats everyone equally no matter if the person was her boss, a janitor, a salesperson or a kid. She taught us to be respectful to everyone we came across. Because of my mum paying it forward, people always looked out for us.
Learn 3: Work hard
I watched my mum work multiple jobs simultaneously to provide for my sister and I. Till today my mum enjoys working and staying very busy. When life gets busy, I unleash the hard worker my mum trained.
Lesson 4: Care for others
My mum cares for people with everything she has emotionally, physically and financially. An incident I would never forget was on a Sunday morning when I was very young, a lady was run over by a bus, while people were watching the accidents, my mum ran over and carried this lady in her arms to a car that was transporting her to the hospital. My mother showed of empathy for people in different situations.
Lesson 5: Be organized
The organization skills my mum passed down to us has helped us thrive in life. This skills came in very handy when I moved to Germany at age fifteen and in my craft as a Project Manager. My mum encouraged us to be organized and on top of our tasks, finances, and responsibilities.
Lesson 6: Keep it Simple
On a recent trip to Nigeria, I was reminded of my mum's simplicity by seeing how she lived, how she worked and how she related to people around her. If you know me, you know that I run away from complexity and strive for simplicity in my life. We do not need much to be happy.
Lesson 7: Be ready to serve
My mum is always prepared to help. She lives by example - If there's a need, she is ready to step in. She taught me that no task is beneath me. My memories of my mum volunteering and taking us along with her date back to when I was three years old.
Lesson 8: Be punctual
A valuable lesson I learned from my mum was being punctual to everything. A punctual Nigerian – I know what you are thinking. Till today my mum arrives at least an hour early to everything she attends. I modified my time of arrival slightly.
Lesson 9: Keep learning
Working multiple jobs and raising two daughters did not stop my mum from taking weekend and evening classes to get her Masters. My mum taught me the value of continuous learning and developing new skills.
Lesson 10: Never run out of salt
I decided to wrap up my list on a lighter note. Growing up, I watched my mum ensure we had the essentials stocked up. Looking at my stock pile, I know where I got it from. I never run out of basics in my home.
To my mom:
Thank you for raising Melissa-Sue and I to be strong successful women. You have taught us valuable lessons that help us grow and be our best.
Let's appreciate one of the greatest women I know. Please wish my mum a happy birthday and share how she has contributed to your life in the comments section.
Lately, I have been exploring different ways to start building the Her perspective community. In my research of different formats, Mastermind groups stood out to me in different ways. I liked the collaborative nature and the fact that all members could contribute their diverse skills and perspectives encouraged me a lot.
In the spirit of "if you want to be part of a community that doesn't exist build one," I am starting Mastermind groups for women.
Revisiting why I started this platform
In my first blog post titled What I want from my blog, I shared the following objectives:
What is a Mastermind Group?
Why am I starting Mastermind Groups?
The mission of the Her Perspective Mastermind groups is to connect women who can help one another achieve their goals in specific areas of their lives.
Why join a Mastermind Group?
There are so many benefits of joining mastermind groups, such as:
Starting point: What I heard?
Earlier this month I polled 20 women in my network to probe interest in joining a mastermind group, and this is what they said
Top 3 main reasons why ladies will join a mastermind group is:
Call to action
If you are interested in achieving your goals faster, please fill out the Mastermind Groups Survey. I have linked some vast resources to help you discover the opportunities Mastermind groups present.
Over the next months I am committed to doing the following:
Whatever you have been dreaming of – Take the first step
For over seven years I have been nesting my dream of building a platform where women like me shared experiences and learned from one another. I knew very early that the first step in building the platform was starting my website. You might be wondering why it took me seven years and how I finally did it.
In today’s blog we will concentrate on why it took me so long, how I overcame my blockades and what it takes to get started. Let’s discuss three steps to taking the first step towards your dream.
Step 1: Change your perspective- Tell yourself you can do it
It took me so long because let my limiting thoughts stop me. I let thoughts like “there are so many out there why should I join the crowd”, “I’m not a web designer/developer”, “I don’t know how to create content” limit me. I had to start by telling myself I can create a website that will be a great resource for women.
Step 2: Do your research, write down the tasks & start planning – What would it take?
A year ago not knowing where to start, I started doing my research to identify what it would take to create a site. It is important to outline what it will take for your dream to become reality. Break down what needs to be done into manageable tasks. Focus on doing the first activity and then the rest. For me I started with finding an easy to use website builder that will bridge my technological barrier, with that out of the way my dream was closer.
Step 3: Take the first step – Launch – Share with the world
Here the next challenge I had to overcome was striving for perfection. Perfection is the number one killer of dreams. I identified five “must-haves” for my first launch and got them out there. I am planning further rollouts of my site. First, I needed to get something out so I could iterate and grow.
I am so excited to announce that I did it – I launched my site on January 24, 2018. Come join me on my journey at mariechristinanthony.com
What have you been dreaming of and not dared to try. Join follow “Dream Activators” by sharing the first step you are committed to taking within the next month in the comments section below.
• A dream is not shared with the world will never be reality.
• You dream will die if you don’t take action
• Dreams become reality when we take the first step, get something out there.
• There is no such thing as perfection
You Can Design Your Year- https://michaelhyatt.com/podcast-design-your-year/
In 2011, I was in a conversation with someone close to me, talking about all the strong women I know that are not leaving to their full potential. I had it on my heart to build a community and a support network. I'm sure you're asking what took so long - I have no answer to that.
Fast forward to 2017, it's time to get this started. I'm doing this with fear but I'm doing it.
I invite you to hold my hands through the journey and invite your friends to the party.
We are building a platform to share and learn from each other's experiences.
I have had my fair share of transitions in my life and I know my future holds many more.
Let's hold hands on our transition journey. You're not alone.