I've always loved Wonder Woman, so I was over the moon when my eldest asked to see the latest film as part of his birthday celebrations.
I wasn't disappointed.
Wonder Woman is someone who knows her talents and gifts and follows her own heart. This is something I believe children are talked out of from an early age. Us parents need them to be able to act and behave in a certain way to help us deal with daily life and set a routine. Any tantrum, outburst and refusal to go to sleep when we want them to is quickly dealt with.
This ends up with children who don't listen to their own body which can tell them when they're tired, hungry or how it's feeling. They place their self worth in the hands of others. They feel loved only when given external feedback and find it hard to see love for themselves.
Some schools can be rigid, thanks to the outdated education system. Some kids feel like it's a prison, because children are taught to be quiet, sit still and get a sense from an early age that they're 'not good' at certain topics. They're not given the chance to be creative, find their own special gifts and celebrate their uniqueness.
The kids I coach all feel like they're not good enough.
They can list everything they do wrong, every negative comment that's ever been said to them and every subject they struggle with. If a teacher or parent tells them they're not good at a subject, they use this as evidence for life. I've had teenagers facing maths GCSEs telling me that they're going to fail because a primary school teacher told them they're not good at maths.
Students compare themselves to others based on grades and looks and always end up feeling inadequate, because so and so is more intelligent or prettier. They're blind to their own skills and talents. They go on a diet as young as 7 because they've been told they're too fat.
Wonder Woman faces fear and does what she can to put things right, by choosing love. So many people hold themselves back and don't go for their dreams due to fear of failure, or fear of success. We doubt our own strength and live behind the shadows of fear, too scared to stand up for what we believe in. Too scared to love ourselves.
Image: Author's Own Sketch
The kids I work with are scared of the future, scared they'll fail their exams, scared they'll make a mess of their life - and they're scared no-one really loves them.
They've picked up on the fears and self doubt us adults have.
So, how can we all be like Wonder Woman?
Here are five tips to try:
- Own your power. Jot down the reasons it's good to be you. Be honest. Everyone has unique gifts and talents, so what are yours?
- Find out what makes you happy. Do you really know? Are you just plodding through life following your routine without questioning why you're doing what you're doing? I have a list of 100 things that make me happy and I aim to do three of them every day.
- Be creative. Creative activities open up your mind and help you see solutions instead of problems. They help you relax and stop those negative mind monkeys that can tell you you're not good enough.
- Face your fear. What if you knew that you couldn't fail at something? Would you go for it? If so, then go for it anyway. What's your definition of failure? If it's crippling you from taking action and living the life you deserve, think of 'failure' as feedback and keep on going for your dreams.
- Choose love. In any situation, choose to see the best in it. There is a balance of light and dark, love and fear in this world. Whatever you choose to see, that's what you get more of. Be kinder to yourself and others, forgive yourself and trust that you're doing well. Every day think of those who you love and who love you in return.
I left watching Wonder Woman feeling empowered. Knowing that we all have our own unique power that is ready and waiting for us to use. Wonder Woman faced a battle, to end all wars.
We face a battle - to end the war inside of us and choose to know that we are each wonderful in our own unique way.
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