Don't limit yourself with negative thoughts or notions

Monday May 24 2021
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By Business Daily Africa

There are many people who take on jobs that are socially deemed contrary to their gender roles. Women mechanics, touts, truck drivers, as well as male nurses and caregivers who realise that they must earn a living and take care of their families no matter what society believes.

Beyond just doing their work, these men and women have to work to first gain acceptance by the people they work with and the public that they serve in the fields they find themselves in.

It may not be apparent even to themselves, but these are individuals who are crystal clear about their goals; they are liberated from social constructs of what they “should” or “shouldn’t” do and go out with only the end in mind. They focus on what they need to accomplish and go out seeking only what they must.

They no doubt have to overcome plenty of negative comments, shocked looks, discrimination from biased customers and members of the public, and at times even protests from those in the fields that they join.

It doesn’t come easy – I know this from my experience starting a business as a young woman. But they are unrelenting in their quest to provide for their families.

For these determined and daring individuals, inaction is simply not an option.


They stubbornly refuse to subscribe to the generally accepted norms regarding men and women’s perceived abilities and reserved roles. They develop thick skins against unhelpful societal judgement firmly believing that prescribed gender roles must not be limiting factors in their lives.

All they know is that they have goals to achieve and they grab the immediate available opportunities to do so. These are people who look at society and its definition of their “place” and reasoning with it, find no plausible reason why they shouldn’t earn their living from available opportunities.

If others (whether men or women) can, they too can. These are individuals whose circumstances are in need of change for the better. They get off her laurels and go out to create their own favourable circumstances.

Soon, we see others follow in their footsteps. That is called not only focus on their advancement, and freedom from retrogressive thinking. It is leadership of those who soon follow them to claim their own financial independence.

No matter what we think about women and men who chart paths less travelled by their kind, we must acknowledge that we live in a dynamic world. Only those who can keep up with its rapid demands and changes will emerge as winners in the new economy especially during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.

We’ve got to understand that we all possess the same intellectual faculties in equal measure. Applying our will to our goals, reasoning with our financial situations or lack of these, changing our perceptions about our perceived gender roles we’ve got to out and do what we must to move forward and survive this trying period.

A lot of companies have shut down, workers have lost their livelihoods and families face starvation. No matter what our education or previous occupations and positions, we must employ our imagination to create new opportunities.

Focusing on one’s goals and mustering the daily habits to create our lives requires unwavering commitment to doing our best to alter our limiting thoughts and opinions about ourselves for the better.

To embrace ourselves as superior beings fully endowed with all the intellectual faculties that we need to not only survive adversity but also thrive in them.

Culture, social norms, others’ opinions, glass ceilings, and all are considerations that only create limitations if we permit them. And those limitations only exist in our minds. Once we kick them out with our undying resolve to do what we must, we weaken their power to hold us back from our best lives and free ourselves to soar.

Spare a moment to evaluate a notion that’s holding you back. Is it your age? Your position in the company? Last month’s performance figures? Being a single parent? Your bank balance? Marital status? While all these may seem to be solid obstacles keeping you in a mundane existence that keeps you personally and financially stagnant, reason with them. You will most likely find that these “reasons” really have no strength over you whatsoever.

Take the decision right now to take advantage of the opportunities available to you and create your unlimited possibilities.

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