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The Amazing Places Self-Reflection Took Me: Running A Business at 21-years-old

Self

I seek to find meaning in every experience that I have or in anyone that I connect with. I crave a valuable existence.


Therefore, I apply myself conscientiously and wholeheartedly in every aspect, including my life at home, at school, with friends, with family, and with my business: Nudesox.

I am a thoughtful friend, a resourceful person, and a deep thinker; my strength in finding value in various parts of my life brings me happiness and stability. Self-reflection has allowed me to really understand myself and how I can discover my purpose.

I try my best to start and end my day with reflection. One way that I have found balance in my life is through yoga and meditation, but any type of reflective thinking about the day counts! Another tool for finding happiness and peace within myself is reading a gratitude list that I add to from time to time. I find that listing events, thoughts, people, and scenarios from my past and present that make me happy, allows me to fully focus on what I do have in my life, rather than what might be missing. If I don't review my list and practice meditation, I lose focus on what really matters and all that I have to be thankful for. If you, yourself, are not balanced, how can you expect your life to be? It is easy to get caught up in the physical aspect of life, which is why spirituality and self-reflection are so important. Self-work is crucial to personal wellbeing, but it is also important to have a balanced environment, and to surround yourself with people who allow you to thrive.

Through my reflections, I have realized that my values do not necessarily align with all of my friends' or family's. Once I understood this, it became easier for me to accept that I cannot have certain expectations from people. Just because I have a certain value, does not mean that the person I am dealing with will have that value as well. This clarity has allowed me to better read people's deeper motivations. Being able to comprehend the inner workings of personal relationships has enabled me to better understand the dynamic between a brand and its customer. By discerning people's values and perspectives, I am able to predict the outcome of a situation and better prepare myself to engage with someone. In business, it is harder to know your customers' mindsets without having interacted with them several times, so it is important to make your brand valuable in and of itself to encourage buyer loyalty.

The work of self-reflection is a powerful tool in both life and business. Throughout this practice, I have gained five primary strengths that aided me in establishing my business, Nudesox, a women's athleisure sock brand in five shades of nude.

Analytical Skills

The ability to focus my mind in silence has greatly honed my analytical abilities. Having just a few moments of silence during a busy day can have a huge impact on my efficiency when completing daily tasks. Making the time to think about your needs makes you more likely to fulfill them; your priorities become clearer and you are able to achieve more after dissecting the task at hand.

Perspective

Self-Reflection allowed me to gain insight into how other people think and why they behave the way they do. When you really learn to understand yourself, it becomes easier to understand others. In business, it is important to understand your consumer and what kind of product or service they need. With this understanding, you can grow your business by releasing products that fit your customer's needs, as well as creating a community of raving buyers.

Non-Reactivity

In general, I consider myself to be a reactive person. However, learning how to meditate and finding my center has taught me to recalibrate and relax in stressful situations. By not reacting, I am able to step back and handle situations with more clarity and maturity. I have the ability to assess my options and choose the more appropriate one. It is crucial to make good decisions in business because one mistake can ruin the brand image. In daily life outside of business; just one mistake can ruin a brand's image. In your personal relationships, it may be easier to seek redemption, but it is much harder for a business to be forgiven.

Confidence

Being more aware of myself and what makes me feel good has allowed me to strengthen my character and be more demanding of what I need. Building my self-worth has allowed me to see my value and what I am able to create. That level of confidence is vital in business because without it you can't strive to do the impossible, which is the mindset it takes to be successful. The main reason why people don't take the step to start something of their own is that they believe that they are not capable of greater achievements. It is far easier to stay in your comfort zone than to abandon your routine and try something new that involves risk, but confidence allows you to believe in yourself, even if it starts out as fake confidence.

Creativity

Taking some time to stop and clear your mind gives you the ability to think deeply and openly, allowing fresh, new thoughts to become clear. By simply being conscious of your breathing, you allow your mind to expand and fill with genuine ideas that flow effortlessly. These thoughts are more pure because there is no force behind them and they emerge straight from your consciousness. Creativity is always important in running a business from the very moment your idea is born. You need to be constantly innovating to keep up with the market and stay relevant. People always want the latest and greatest, so it important to use creativity towards that.

Tips for feeling more at peace with yourself:

Although self-reflection has helped me in so many ways, there are always going to be times when I need an extra boost. These tips help me put things in perspective and return to my center when I feel a little lost.

1.Sometimes I feel like I am having a quarter-life crisis because I feel like I have so much left to do. But, being busy is a good thing; it means that you are living your life to the fullest. Regardless of that fact, it is easy to become overwhelmed by everything on our plate. Whenever you have this issue, picture yourself as a bird. Slowly start flying and zoom out of that image and picture your surroundings, then zoom out even more, and watch as your surroundings shrink beneath you. Zoom out of your city, out of your country, out of the world, and you will realize how small you are in comparison to life as a whole.

2.I am the type of person who puts pressure on myself to be successful and to be successful fast. When things don't go my way or as I planned, I stress out. I think it is fair to say that a majority of us think about ourselves and our lives in relation to time. We tend to map out the way we want things to work out, or where we want to be in X number of years. One thing that relieves this type of pressure is to think about each year as a percentage of our lives. Let's say that with the progression of technology and advancements in medicine, we live until we're 100 years old. That means that each year is only 1% of our entire existence. That's nothing! When you train your mind to have a wider perspective on life, time starts to feel like less of a burden, and more of a tool to progress along your journey.

3.If you don't relate to the stressors in these examples, the next time you feel overwhelmed in any way, you can always just stare into the sky. There is something so peaceful about spacing out into the stars or clouds. It is another way to remind yourself how tiny you are in comparison to the universe. If you can't find a clear sky nearby, just visualize yourself in relation to the sky and remember that in the end, it will all work out, even if it is not the way you pictured it. No matter which industry you work in, or how old you may be, just know that you are capable and can reach your goals through self-reflection and a passionate determination to be of more value to society.

Career

Male Managers Afraid To Mentor Women In Wake Of #MeToo Movement

Women in the workplace have always experienced a certain degree of discrimination from male colleagues, and according to new studies, it appears that it is becoming even more difficult for women to get acclimated to modern day work environments, in wake of the #MeToo Movement.


In a recent study conducted by LeanIn.org, in partnership with SurveyMonkey, 60% of male managers confessed to feeling uncomfortable engaging in social situations with women in and outside of the workplace. This includes interactions such as mentorships, meetings, and basic work activities. This statistic comes as a shocking 32% rise from 2018.

What appears the be the crux of the matter is that men are afraid of being accused of sexual harassment. While it is impossible to discredit this fear as incidents of wrongful accusations have taken place, the extent to which it has burgeoned is unacceptable. The #MeToo movement was never a movement against men, but an empowering opportunity for women to speak up about their experiences as victims of sexual harassment. Not only were women supporting one another in sharing to the public that these incidents do occur, and are often swept under the rug, but offered men insight into behaviors and conversations that are typically deemed unwelcomed and unwarranted.

Restricting interaction with women in the workplace is not a solution, but a mere attempt at deflecting from the core issue. Resorting to isolation and exclusion relays the message that if men can't treat women how they want, then they rather not deal with them at all. Educating both men and women on what behaviors are unacceptable while also creating a work environment where men and women are held accountable for their actions would be the ideal scenario. However, the impact of denying women opportunities of mentorship and productive one-on-one meetings hinders growth within their careers and professional networks.

Women, particularly women of color, have always had far fewer opportunities for mentorship which makes it impossible to achieve growth within their careers without them. If women are given limited opportunities to network in and outside of a work environment, then men must limit those opportunities amongst each other, as well. At the most basic level, men should be approaching female colleagues as they would approach their male colleagues. Striving to achieve gender equality within the workplace is essential towards creating a safer environment.

While restricted communication and interaction may diminish the possibility of men being wrongfully accused of sexual harassment, it creates a hostile
environment that perpetuates women-shaming and victim-blaming. Creating distance between men and women only prompts women to believe that male colleagues who avoid them will look away from or entirely discredit sexual harassment they experience from other men in the workplace. This creates an unsafe working environment for both parties where the problem at hand is not solved, but overlooked.

According to LeanIn's study, only 85% of women said they feel safe on the job, a 5% drop from 2018. In the report, Jillesa Gebhardt wrote, "Media coverage that is intended to hold aggressors accountable also seems to create a sense of threat, and people don't seem to feel like aggressors are held accountable." Unfortunately, only 16% of workers believed that harassers holding high positions are held accountable for their actions which inevitably puts victims in difficult, and quite possibly dangerous, situations. 50% of workers also believe that there are more repercussions for the victims than harassers when speaking up.

In a research poll conducted by Edison Research in 2018, 30% of women agreed that their employers did not handle harassment situations properly while 53% percent of men agreed that they did. Often times, male harassers hold a significant amount of power within their careers that gives them a sense of security and freedom to go forward with sexual misconduct. This can be seen in cases such as that of Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby and R. Kelly. Men in power seemingly have little to no fear that they will face punishment for their actions.


Source-Alex Brandon, AP

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook executive and founder of LeanIn.org., believes that in order for there to be positive changes within work environments, more women should be in higher positions. In an interview with CNBC's Julia Boorstin, Sandberg stated, "you know where the least sexual harassment is? Organizations that have more women in senior leadership roles. And so, we need to mentor women, we need to sponsor women, we need to have one-on-one conversations with them that get them promoted." Fortunately, the number of women in leadership positions are slowly increasing which means the prospect of gender equality and safer work environments are looking up.

Despite these concerning statistics, Sandberg does not believe that movements such as the Times Up and Me Too movements, have been responsible for the hardship women have been experiencing in the workplace. "I don't believe they've had negative implications. I believe they're overwhelmingly positive. Because half of women have been sexually harassed. But the thing is it is not enough. It is really important not to harass anyone. But that's pretty basic. We also need to not be ignored," she stated. While men may be feeling uncomfortable, putting an unrealistic amount of distance between themselves and female coworkers is more harmful to all parties than it is beneficial. Men cannot avoid working with women and vice versa. Creating such a hostile environment is also detrimental to any business as productivity and communication will significantly decrease.

The fear or being wrongfully accused of sexual harassment is a legitimate fear that deserves recognition and understanding. However, restricting interactions with women in the workplace is not a sensible solution as it can have negatively impact a woman's career. Companies are in need of proper training and resources to help both men and women understand what is appropriate workplace behavior. Refraining from physical interactions, commenting on physical appearance, making lewd or sexist jokes and inquiring about personal information are also beneficial steps towards respecting your colleagues' personal space. There is still much work to be done in order to create safe work environments, but with more and more women speaking up and taking on higher positions, women can feel safer and hopefully have less contributions to make to the #MeToo movement.