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Challenge your Mindset

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How accepting a stereotype affects your future


Have you ever been told something when you were younger that you have just never managed to shake? A little comment that has just sat on your shoulder over every decision you have ever made that could oppose it and parroted until you have surrendered back to that belief again? These comments, the ‘you never stand up for yourself’ or ‘common sense isn’t your strong point’ are all examples of subtle jabs that make us stereotype ourselves throughout the rest of our lives and this causes us to bypass what could be some of our best opportunities.

The comments we can’t unstick

Scientists suggest we are more likely to remember negative events from our childhood, as those are the ones that were given room for thought and as a result are those that stay with us for longer. [7 reasons why we lose our confidence] This is not to say we don’t remember positive events, but in terms of a negative comment that we have dwelled over for much time, it is understandable that this is something we could carry on to adulthood. This is not helped by the constant focus put on our childhood as the ‘key’ to our adult behaviours. So then we find ourselves in a situation where a stereotype cast on our young selves is something we might still believe to be true in adulthood. The fact that we have been told we aren’t career driven or always unreliable allows us to sit in the cast that has been made for us as though those words were scripture. These comments are momentary, unreliable and changeable. If you are told you aren’t gifted with sports, practice then you will be. Hurtful stereotypes carelessly made by other people should never hinder us when it comes to deciding our future. Prove the stereotypes wrong, don’t live in them.

From Birth

From birth, boy or girl we are immediately stereotyped to certain toys, colour schemes and expected interests. We develop with these stereotypes and it’s naturally what separates our personalities. [10 Reasons why you should always be your unique self] But there are other elements of the boy/girl stereotype that do not promote positivity on either side. Common stereotypes associated with women are bad drivers, emotional, bad at sports…the list goes on quite substantially. On the surface we will contest these greatly as we like to refuse stereotypes, yet subconsciously we take the gender roles assigned to us. In reverse, we also expect men to take control, protect and not show emotion. This gives little room for movement and so the same problems arise in relationships, work or other situations in life where these roles work against us. Instead of thinking what we can do within our gender stereotype, think about what we can do full stop.

Saying no to ANY stereotypes

Some argue that even the positive stereotypes we are given can come to affect us negatively. For example, suggesting that all men should be gentlemen, opening doors for women and sending them flowers, immediately creates a disparity between men and women. This forces women into a category instead of being an individual and so the other stereotypes about them in this category are able to fall in line. A true individual won’t have any characteristics cast onto their personality as they are capable of anything and are ever changing. This might be a particularly drastic viewpoint to take, but one point worthwhile taking is that you must always think of yourself as a free mind – and capable of anything.

Overall, negative stereotypes have power to strip away our self-esteem. If you are struggling with your confidence then join our site and get access to empowering videos, ebooks and a community of inspiration and support.


This article was contributed by Pink Moods.

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