S E L F - B E L I E F
The annoying truth is, so much of society convinces women they're not enough, or don't have the power – especially marginalised groups. And for the powerful, it's far easier if we all just sit back and do as we're told. But SPOILER ALERT we have the ability to change things, and more power in this digital age than we've ever had – the tricky bit is believing we can do it. Self belief starts with knowing who you are and working on confidence. Confidence doesn't come easy, it's something you have to work at. For me a small part of the puzzle was stepping into Parliament and huge, scary meetings in a kick ass colourful outfit. It was a shortcut to self-belief because if I walked into that room in a loud outfit, I looked confident. These important people assumed I meant business and that I knew what I was doing (which of course, I didn't all the time!) and because of that I couldn't hide, I had to put my best foot forward and do my best. It gave me the space to navigate situations with a little less self doubt. So don't be afraid to stand out and dress a little differently – sometimes it could be just what you need.
M A K I N G C H A N G E
Too often we feel our voices won't be listened to, but conventional ways of garnering support and attention aren't as limiting anymore; social media gives all of us a voice, and can activate communities like nothing else. I started my entire campaign through the power of a good ol' fashioned Google. All you need to be heard is an idea, a mac and some serious determination. I found my lawyer, TV producers, women's charities, editors, human rights info all from Twitter. The opportunity is right there, you just have to find the right people, ask for help and do your research. Also, forget about being British – when it comes to speaking out and getting your voice heard you have to be bold. Think sending a follow up email is too pushy? It's not. The internet isn't always a huge force for good, so using it for good is the best reason to be pushy.
I N S T A G R A M V R E A L L I F E
Social media has huge influence over our lives and how we feel. We're constantly looking at carefully curated images and we can't help but compare our reality to those of who we follow. The truth is, every single person we follow has self doubt, bad days, sad days. We know social media self-comparison is dangerous, but in the words of Katherine Ormerod 'social media is the online version of the framed photos on our mantlepieces - it's not the whole picture. If getting into a scroll hole of perfect pictures make you feel bad, then those accounts aren't for you. Curate your feed with people, dogs, magazines, more dogs, brands and, well, dogs – y'know, things that make you feel good and inspire you. Switching up your feed is a quick fix to a healthier mind and we should all do it.
Follow Gina: @beaniegigi