By Hiba Masood
My name is Hiba and I run the Drama Mama Facebook page. Every day thousands of women from around the world read what I have written about my life, my marriage, and my parenting.
I started the DM page at a time in my life, about two years ago, when the life I had envisioned for myself was nowhere to be seen. My dreams of being a real writer/doing something big/making a difference were lost somewhere in the nitty gritty grime of getting through daily life. I yelled at my kids. I fought with my husband. I wanted to run away. I was angry and sad and frustrated.
Today, I still yell at my kids and fight with my husband and dream of running away.
Everything is still the same as it was three years ago but, something has reset inside and now I love my life. I write because I am trying to practice creativity, gratitude, and most importantly, courage.
Look, you’re an entrepreneur and so you’re here to talk business. Maybe your business is here and you want it way over there. But you’re also a woman. So maybe in your relationships you’re here and want to be there. In following your dreams, you’re here and you want to be way over there. And I’m saying: All you need is courage. Courage is all you need. In the following seven ways, you can concretely practice courage and press the reset and restart button to your life:
1. Be consistent – Have the courage to keep showing up: Every day, no matter what, I force myself to put something up on my page. It is a struggle. It is so much more tempting to retreat, to go back into the easy zone of feeling helpless and miserable. Its taken me so long to understand that I am not helpless and ALL that life asks of us, is that we keep showing up. This is true for our art, for your passions, for our business, for our unfulfilled dreams, for our relationships. Keep showing up, giving what you have to give, without expectations. Just show up and if you are being your true you, eventually the universe will conspire to help you in ways you could have never dreamed.
2. Be honest – Have the courage to be yourself: When I started writing, my purpose was to impress the audience and I went to great lengths to make editors and readers happy. But the harder I tried to be some ideal version of a writer, the more people were uninterested in me. In an unexpected paradox, the moment I stopped worrying about what others wanted to read and began to write as myself, that is the moment that people began to read me. Be yourself. Most people are being somebody else. Being yourself makes you exceptional. Without the facades and the masks and the attitude that the business world dictates to you, go ahead and dare to be your authentic self. When you are true, people relate, people believe in you and people trust you and that is how you turn your dream into your empire.
3. Be confident – Have the courage to believe in yourself: A friend of mine makes these grand cakes for weddings: Ask her what she does and she will mutter something about baking. I struggle to call myself a writer out loud. Why do we confuse arrogance with simply projecting our work as important? If we don’t believe in what we’re doing and exude that belief with grace and pizzazz, then how do we expect people – clients, investors, partners, family members – to believe in us? See yourself as valuable, see your business as valuable and then sell it like it has the power to change someone’s life. Because it really does. Anything done with spirit and passion can change lives.
4. Be enthusiastic – Have the courage to be shine brightly: I love super excited people. I love it when people are genuinely thrilled about the possibilities out there. We’ve been told, in every area of our lives, to play ourselves down, to dial down the fire, to subdue ourselves: Speak softly. Walk calmly. Don’t be hysterical. Women are given these messages constantly. Yes of course don’t be hysterical but no need to be dull either. Showing your inner flame takes buckets of courage but it’s so powerful when you allow yourself to shine fully. Nothing sells like passion. Think of it as a buyer or a seller: If someone is sort of bored and blah about their product or service, you unconsciously think twice about buying from them. Equally relevant: If you’re not passionate about your service or your product, you shouldn’t be selling it.
5. Be ready to jump – Have the courage to embrace opportunities: In picking up the pieces of my life, I’ve realized that often, more often than one would suspect, you just need to jump. And so at any crossroads…in your business, a new venture, a new relationship, you have two choices. You can either teeter on the edge of the cliff and say I don’t know. Or you can say I’ll figure it out and just jump. Analyzing a situation and weighing its pros and cons is useful certainly but hem-hawing over every opportunity that knocks on your door leaves no space for Lady Serendipity to sashay in. We women need to be brave enough to take risks. We need to take on that curveball, to embrace that challenge, to jump into things and figure it out as we go. Flying by the seat of your pants can often be a most exhilarating journey.
6. Be different – Have the courage to do things differently: You hear this a lot over here, loge kya kahain gaye. It’s a joke that more people have been killed with that phrase that by any other thing in this country. I have another phrase that’s a dream killer or a business killer: This is how its always been done. I can’t tell you how many times well meaning supporters have encouraged me to do something for my brand because it’s always been done this way. And in the beginning I didn’t know how to handle it. Because my heart would be telling me one thing and my head would be saying something else. I would feel confused and uncertain and just uncomfortable, and that’s a sure sign from the universe. But now I know better and I know that sometimes you just have to tell convention to go to hell. If someone gives you advice that makes you squirm a bit, hold on tight to your core values and your spine and say: Yes this IS how its always been done, but this is NOT how I do things.
7. Be kind: Have the courage to see everyone’s humanity: So because you’re awesome. you are doing things differently. You are letting yourself fly. In doing all of that you run the risk of hurting others. Other people will also make mistakes. They will do things that hurt your heart and your brand. When you see the humanity in yourself and them you can forgive things. Because your success in business or in life, is going to be based on your relationships. Every victory, every stress, every laugh, every breakthrough, and almost everything you appreciate about your work and life will be about the relationships you have. If you are brave and passionate and honest and kind to yourself and to those people nearest you, then well, it’s like throwing a pebble in a river and watching it ripple outwards. The effects are far reaching and they are profound.
Which is what we women dream of doing with our businesses and our lives isn’t it? To have a profound effect. To show the world the light we carry within us. To shine brightly. To taste success. To matter. To make, to FORCE people to see that Here I Am, I have something essential to offer and something important to say.
It’s not too late to follow that dream. It’s never too late. It doesn’t matter how young or old you are. Or how young or old your business is. We can return and reset and restart from a place of smouldering courage. We can start today. We can start now. It’s not too late.
“We can still astonish the gods of humanity
And be the stuff of future legends
If we but dare to be real
And have the courage to see
That this is the time to dream
The very best dream of them all. ”
All we need is courage. Courage is all we need.
Hiba Masood is a writer, speaker and storyteller. You can find more of her on www.facebook.com/etdramamama