I don’t know if it’s my recent birthday (I just turned 40), but I have been feeling feisty these days. I am stoked to enter this decade of my life by the way. I feel a new found confidence and security as I grow older and wiser and more comfortable in my own skin. I have become super hyper aware of when someone is trying to take advantage of me. Recently, if someone is pushing my “boundaries button”, I have had no problem putting my boundaries boot down on the situation.
I have been told in the past that because I come off as nice, sweet and kind that people assume I am not smart, wise or strong. What’s up with that? So, because I have a friendly bubbly personality that means I don’t have a brain or the ability to be a good strong leader? Choosing to lead with love and assuming the best of people does not mean I am weak.
I will admit I have had issues in the past with being “too nice” and have later regretted how I felt when I was taken advantage of. But I recognize that it was my own fault, because this saying is so true, “no one can make you feel any way you don’t allow them to.” As I move into this new decade of life, this new season, I feel myself shedding the weight of my old people pleasing ways. I no longer care so much whether people like me or are pleased with me; I am not grasping for people’s acceptance anymore and therefore it has given me my freedom to put my friggin’ boundary boot down when need be. I am learning that I can care about people and be kind, and not care if they “like me” or are “kind” to me. I think being kind in this world is so important, and I am in no way stating that we should treat each other with anything but the utmost of care. What I am saying is we are allowed to set boundaries, and the expectations put upon woman in society should be questioned and squished when it steps on our boundaries. If someone is taking advantage of you, or disrespecting you in any way it is not acceptable and you have the right to set boundaries and please remove yourself from the situation if need be.
We have heard many times in Hollywood that when a man takes charge he is perceived as powerful and a strong leader, but when a woman takes charge she is perceived as a diva and is difficult. This is a narrative that needs to be changed. It’s a stereotype we women need to fight against, continue to call out, and most importantly, correct ourselves when we encourage this unconscious bias.
Have you ever seen “Mean Girls”? I love the scene in the auditorium where Tina Fey’s character gives a speech to the girls. She informs the young ladies that they need to stop calling each other “sl-ts” and “wh–res” because all it does is give men permission to call women “sl-ts” and “wh-res.” This is so true and powerful. As women we need to be very careful of the way we talk to and about each other, lets rally together and champion strong women. Removing the vocabulary of “diva,” “emotional” and “difficult” when we are referring to a woman.
As women we are nurturers by nature, so it is our instinct to want to take care of others and or their situation. When I am producing a movie, I feel like mamma bear; I want to protect everyone and take care of them. And I do! There is nothing wrong with that, but it is also my responsibility to set a boundary that just because I am caring doesn’t mean I am a pushover.
My goal in the next year is to watch and observe the people in my life that I admire as strong leaders, who lead with love, but also command respect at the same time. I am surrounded by some incredible leaders, and I plan to watch them carefully and how they navigate business and relationships with both a loving and strong unapologetic attitude.
Ladies, I give you permission to put your friggin’ boundaries boot down!