Thinking for Yourself
As women we are taught to fit in and not to stand out, that if we are too strong or too smart, we risk not being part of the group and connecting – or that we’re considered too opinionated or brash. This belief starts when we are young – words or actions from a parent, teacher, friend or relative. Sometimes we just want to be liked – it could be even more important than being smart or talented, we just want to fit in, to avoid making mistakes or to avoid failure. We avoid being judged by our peers so we don’t take the plunge to stand out – to have an opinion, to disagree with the crowd, to stand up for a friend or to have a new idea. But it’s more than that, it’s really a “thinking” problem in which we think of ourselves as inadequate or incompetent. Once we start thinking this way, this negative view of ourselves begins to permeate our thoughts, producing untrue assumptions and ongoing self-defeating behavior.
During the Covid-19 pandemic we’re more apt to have the news media and outlets such as Twitter and Facebook influence our thoughts. We judge ourselves by the numbers of likes we have and who responds to our comments. Validation coming from social media is temporary and fickle. For girls and women with a fragile sense of identity, self-esteem plummets. Posting and sharing is not a substitute for real life interaction. Thinking for yourself is not what the world wants you to do. In one way or another most people attempt to have you fit into their world – from the things they do, the way they dress, and the friends they keep. At this time of the Covid-19 Pandemic when we feel more isolated lonely or removed from others, let’s think about how the isolation is affecting our girls .