Why WOC Need to Take a Step Back

Why WOC Need to Take a Step Back

Women of Colour are everything and more. Talented, smart, capable, kind and successful. Over the years, we have shown up and continued to show out, doing more, achieving incredible things, and seeing phenomenal growth and success, all whilst living our best lives.

However, as WoC continue to take the world by storm, it seems that there is some type of price we must pay for daring to take up space. WoC must bear a burden for wanting to exist in a way that is fulfilling to them. As WoC live in a way that is authentic to them, the world around them continues to remind them that they must not forget to show up for everyone else.

With an outrageous burden to bear, WoC are expected to prioritise, centre and champion others in their lives before they do themselves. Before we do anything for ourselves, we must first consider others in our lives and determine how our decisions, wants, goals and needs will impact them. In fact, we are expected to make choices that most benefit others rather than ourselves, regularly inconveniencing ourselves for the benefit of others.

This overwhelming responsibility is something we are meant to carry for our entire lives. To say that this is exhausting is an understatement. So, this month, the GirlDreamer team has decided to take a step back. We’re saying no more, no longer overextending ourselves and are done inconveniencing ourselves for others. And we are encouraging you to do the same. Below are our top tricks for taking a step back!

Say No

As a WoC, you are expected to be overly available and amenable to everyone your entire life. As a result, learning to say no as soon as possible and then continuing to say it is essential. Learning to say no is powerful and can be used as a tool to stop overextending yourself and doing more than you want to. Without offering reasons, justifications or excuses, begin saying no and don’t stop.

People around you are capable, intelligent and able to do more than they seem. Everyone around you is not your responsibility, and you do not need to show up to do everything all the time. Whoever it is, you have to continuously overextend yourself for understand that they will be able to figure it out with you showing up to save them.

We urge you to begin saying no and then say it again and again.

Set Boundaries and Stick to Them

Boundaries is one of our favourite words. Powerful, effective, and so important, especially for WoC. As you grow up and begin a life of your own, you must set and sustain boundaries to maintain your well-being.

For some reason, the responsibility of the world falls on WoC, and so, setting boundaries, in this instance, acts as a superpower of sorts. When setting boundaries, begin by first learning what it is that rattles you and what kind of life it is that you want. Figure out what makes you happy, what overwhelms you, unnerves you and exhausts you. In doing this, you can understand what you no longer want to do in your life and can take steps towards actively creating the life that you want.

Whether it’s you acting as the family admin, the kinkeeper or the sounding board at work, set boundaries in the different parts of your life to make it easier. Boundaries allow you to sustain your peace and well-being and avoid all of the unnecessary and exhausting expectations people have of you.

Release the Guilt

As you begin taking a step back, it is natural to feel guilty, overwhelmed and frustrated, as though you are not doing your best. However, it is essential that you let go of any guilt, hesitation or angst you feel in taking a step back and doing less for others.

Remember, the people around you will be fine. Everyone and everything will be okay. You do not have to show up for everyone all of the time. It is vital that as you begin adulthood, you choose yourself and your peace again and again. Your wants, needs, goals and aims are valid and should take precedence in your life. As you take a step back, remember why you are doing it. You cannot give all that you have to and for others, and you definitely cannot pour from an empty cup.

At first, as you begin to take a step back and do less for others, naturally, you will feel guilt. However, very soon after, it will get easier and will very quickly begin to make sense of why you need to take a step back.

Taking a step back, doing less for others and showing up more for yourself is powerful. It is truly revitalising to do more for yourself and stop overextending yourself for others. So we urge you to say no more, set and sustain boundaries and take care of yourself more as you take a step back.





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