Partner and I sneaked off to London this week on a work day, and one of the instructors who covered my Taekwon-do classes texted me in the evening to say how well behaved the students had been. “They were so determined” she said.
Her use of the word ‘determined’ really struck me. It leapt out of the phone screen and filled my heart with pride. I said it out loud to myself, “determined”, and smiled with satisfaction once I’d done so. It is surely onomatopoeic, as you can only say it with a sense of purpose in your voice. Here is a word that is so full of possibility, that for a negative to be the outcome of its usage would be a travesty.
Wanting to keep my thoughts of this wonderful word positive, I thought about it in relation to the book that I have written, ‘Raising Girls who can Boss it…and Staying Sane’. Because if there is one thing in life that girls are going to need in order to boss it, it is determination. Determination to smash their way through stereotypes. Determination to make sure their voice is heard. Determination to close the gender pay gap. Determination to be taken seriously. Determination not to be sucked into a fake world, that is based solely on looks and likes.
By hovering over our daughters and protecting them, we are diminishing their determination. By expecting too much of them, they are losing their determination to succeed. The obsessive nature of the waterfall of social media, too easily dilutes a determination to be happy with who she is and what she has.
To me, the word ‘determination’ screams of resilience, resourcefulness and independence. It shouts to me of a girl who is single minded and confident. One who has success in her sights, whatever the odds that are stacked against her.
Say this word out loud: “determination”. Its power is already there linguistically; you have just given it a strong voice.
This is the voice we must give our daughters. The voice of determination is what they are going to need to boss it in this world and its strength almost speaks for itself.