I am a massive advocate for female empowerment. Whether it be encouraging teenage girls to follow their dreams through my scholarship programme at my old high school in NZ, doing my annual lectures to the Masters of Entrepreneurship class in Lux or speaking in front of a crowd of passionate female leaders and techies in London, it is something that flows in my blood. However, time and time again I have witnessed incredible women who lack belief in themselves, coupled with the clear absence of a safe environment where women are free to dream! In response, last week I officially launched She Regrets Nothing.
In essence, She Regrets Nothing is platform for amazing woman who wish to empower each other to stop saying they will do something they really want to do or learn “later” and instead embark on the actionable steps needed to do it “now.” After all, leading behavioural psychology research strongly suggests that people are more like to do what they say they will if a) they announce it publicly and b) have other people supporting them in doing it. Behavioural Psychologist Elizabeth Lombardo wrote: When no one is around to say anything about an incomplete task it’s easy to push it to the next day and the next week, and so on. Putting the task out there for others to see, she says, helps motivate us to get it done so we don’t look bad to others.
It is clear to see that a lot of women seek brining their goals to fruition and stop with the “to-do” list. In fact I meet them constantly in my daily life. And the fact that in just the one week since it’s been online, the Luxembourg based initiative of She Regrets Nothing has already organically attracted over 50 amazing women whom all share a common goal: “finally start doing the things they have always wanted to do, now, not later.”
But why did I start She Regrets Nothing and how does it differentiate itself from other women's’ networks?
There are a lot of amazing women’s networks out there, and I already belong to quite a few around Europe and the UK. However, She Regrets Nothing is a little different. We don’t focus on just work, we don’t focus on just lifestyle, family or wellbeing, instead we attempt to provide a safe and empowering environment where the multiple facets of life can resonate off each other to create powerful change. Essentially, we aim to combine the fire in our bellies with the knowledge in our heads with the dreams in our hearts to “get shit done.” She Regrets Nothing is targeted at (but not limited too) busy women who constantly use the excuse of “not having time” to put their passions and ambitions on the back burner.
So what is my story?
Since being fortunate enough to become a mum nearly three and a half years ago and having run a technology company for nearly 5 years (and only being 27), I have been constantly striving to discover the so called “work life balance.” Unfortunately, in case you don’t know - it doesn’t exist. By choosing to run company and a home at the same time, my days became long, my social life nearly non-existent and my pile of ironing started battling against Everest for world’s highest mountain…
As a result, for the first time in my life, I started to put the things that mattered to me, or the new things I wanted to learn, off. My ambitions out of work or home would be sent to the magical “tomorrow land” of dreams that seemed just a little too far out of reach for that moment in time. Then one night everything changed: a childhood friend of mine got hit by a car. In the blink of an eye her life as she knew it was over. My head flooded with an array of emotions, and disbelief that a friend my age was gone, just like that… That jolt was enough to wake me up to the fact we are not eternal and that too many old people lay on their death beds with heads full of “what ifs” and regrets.
“You can’t always wait for the perfect time, sometimes you just need to jump”
Since that moment, I started trying to change my mentality, I started reading articles on how much regret can damage your psyche and learning to appreciate more the power of “now.” I read countless books on everything from “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg to the “Neuroscience of Mindfulness” lecture series on Audible. I (re)started yoga and tried to appreciate the importance of everyday. I studied mindfulness (a challenging thing to do whilst being jumpted on by a three old) and slowly but surely I removed the word “later” from my vocabulary.
Now don’t get me wrong, unfortunately I didn’t have a magic wand that gave me more hours in the day (if only). Instead I incorporated a few different techniques into my daily life to try and get some “me time”: I learnt to say “no” more often for things that I knew would stretch me too thin. I started to rely a little more on my amazing husband to take over some of the home stuff. I started trying to prioritise more and stop my inner critic from telling me everything has to be done, immediately when in fact - booking a flight for a meeting in one month wasn’t necessarily a “complete by 6pm action item.” But above all, I started to get ever closer to that “tomorrow land.” I started to say “fuck it, I am going to do” so I started… And here’s is what I started dream of:
Get a tattoo (to see the full story, check out the blog article here)
Start boxing lessons
Learn how to make dumplings
Eat an oyster raw (I am a foodie, but even that one was rough)
Take my son swimming in the sea
Go on a girls weekend in another country
Go on holiday where the only thing we book is the flights and car, and just drive
Rediscover my inner creative side that I left behind in adolescence
Start a blog (well.. the fact you are reading this speaks for itself)
Get a babysitter and go on a date night to the movies (anyone with a toddler will feel this pain)
I have to admit, my husband thought I was a little crazy at first (and probably still does) and for some of the items my belly was bursting with butterflies and I sometimes felt truly pushed to my limits, but there is no better feeling in the world than actually achieving your dreams… One actionable goal at a time! You see, I started doing it NOW. Here’s the proof:
1. Tattoo - Check
2. Boxing - Check
3. Dumplings - Check
4. Eat a raw oyster (painfully) - Check
5. Take my Little Man swimming in the sea - Check
6. Girls Weekend Away - Check
7. Spontaneous Adventure Holiday - Check
8. Inner creative - Check
9. Blog - Check, duh..
10. The movies - Check (even if it was a stupid shark movie, beggars can’t be choosers)
Now, don’t be fooled, sure I have achieved a drop in the ocean of the things I want to do in this life, but I am still insanely busy, I still put too much off and I still don’t practise what I preach all the time. But here’s hoping that She Regrets Nothing will provide a platform for empowerment for many women, like me, who are ready to take the plunge into “now.” If you are living or working in Luxembourg, or even those who aren’t, please don’t hesitate to contact me and also join the Meetup! You deserve it to yourself to live a life without regrets! see you there!