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How To Lead Like a Woman

Written by: Monica Yates

 

Women today are climbing the career ladder at a rapid rate. Society, however, teaches you to hustle like a man to be just as successful. But what if that isn’t the case? In fact, I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to wear masculine armor as a female leader. Trying to do so will lead you down a long road toward burnout. Women are biologically built differently than men and should do things differently.



The gender gap in leadership has been narrowing over the last decade as the number of women in the workforce and the number of women graduating with tertiary education supersede men. You belong to the first generation of women who have dismantled traditional gender roles of work-home-life balance. The fact that many women are now outearning their male partners is an incredible result of the gender-equality movement. Men and women should be treated equally, but that doesn’t mean that men and women have the same innate abilities or needs. There needs to be some differentiation.


Women can earn the same amount (or more) as men so long as they act, perform, and express themselves like men. We’re still living in a man’s world. So much so that women subconsciously (sometimes consciously) reject their femininity.


There needs to be a balance between masculine structure and feminine flow. It is common to have both; however, it can be unhealthy when there is a disbalance, especially over a prolonged period. I have numerous female clients in leadership positions who come to me with significant health issues due to living in their masculinity for too long.


Red flags for women who are predominantly living in their masculine:


  • Any kind of hormonal or period issues

  • Gut issues (bloating is the most common)

  • Headaches

  • Skin issues, breakouts

  • Anxiety

  • Sleep issues

  • Lower back pain


Why do women, especially those in leadership roles, quickly adopt masculine armor?


Taking control is much easier than trusting or letting go, especially regarding business and your career. Nobody praises you for being soft. You’re noticed and stand out if you go to the extreme. This means taking charge, working long hours, speaking up, and making a name for yourself.


Be a girl boss, right? Many of you reading this will think, ‘Right!’ You’ve been hardwired and taught to believe this.


Humans are also hardwired to survive, even when they’re no longer fighting for survival. This biology is engraved so deeply in your DNA that you were born with an addiction to adrenalin. The human race has evolved, yet we’re still addicted to this hundred-thousand-year-old fight-or-flight response. If you don’t believe me, try this exercise. Take a seat and don’t do anything for one hour. Don’t think. Don’t move. Just stare at a spot on the wall in front of you. Let me know how long it takes before you get restless and start to panic or feel crazed. Adrenalin is just as addicting as cocaine; what I just described is similar to withdrawal. Unless you’re a trained monk, most people would probably reach that feeling of withdrawal after a few minutes.


It’s rare to see a woman in a leadership position who has mastered embracing her feminine energy within her leadership role. The pressure to boss up, coupled with the innate addiction to survival, is the perfect recipe for masculine armor in the workplace. Finding ways to shift and embrace your feminine energy in one aspect of your life, such as work, is easy. It becomes more difficult when you notice this happening in multiple areas of your life. In fact, it’s not uncommon for women to struggle to find an area of their life that truly embraces their feminine energy. Many women find it difficult to turn the masculine energy off entirely.

Three ways you can immediately start embodying your feminine leadership energy


1. Listen to your body and assess your needs each day.


As a woman, your needs are constantly changing. It’s not personal, it’s physical. It’s hormonal. It’s just the way you were born. Something as simple as paying attention to where you are on your cycle and noticing which needs come along with that part of your cycle can be life-altering in and of itself. A great way to tune into your daily needs is to start your day slowly. This might mean waking up thirty minutes earlier. Taking time to check in with yourself daily is a must if you want to live in a flow state. Rigid structure means putting demands on yourself that may not fit your needs. For example, if you’re tired or stressed, cater to that need and choose a low-impact workout like pilates instead of going to Barry’s on that day. Or, assess if there’s anything on your calendar that can be moved to another day. Find what methods work best for you, but knowing your mood and energy levels daily is crucial.


2. Ask yourself how you can bring more heart into your work and business.


What part of your role makes your heart sing? If you struggle to identify anything, what brings you joy in general? What lifts you up? This can be as simple as having fresh flowers on your desk at all times. Feeling your best by looking your best each day. Don’t underestimate how your environment impacts how you feel. If you don’t feel sexy in your office, what can you do to make it feel sexy? Bringing more of your heart into your work means living more in your heart space. Bring things into your day that make you feel something.


Another aspect of this is connection. How do you connect with your work? How do you connect with your colleagues, clients, or customers? Assess these connections and if there is room to deepen these relationships. Remember, think like a woman. You have the superpower of an intuitive brain. You innately see things from a different perspective than your male counterparts. How can you embrace this part of you at work?


3. Ensure that you have some time after work to allow your energy to shift.


This transition from ending the workday and coming back home is something you can look forward to as your sacred ‘me time.’ It can be as simple as taking a walk, running a bath, laying on your bed listening to music, lighting some incense, making yourself a cup of tea, or giving yourself a hand massage with your favorite scented lotion. What you do is not as important as how it makes you feel. You can do something different every day, so long as you take the time to transition.


This doesn’t have to be time-consuming, but it is something that you should strive to do on your own - at first, at least. You are strengthening your connection to your sensuality. Take five minutes if that’s all you have. Or combine it with something you already do, like showering or cooking. Put some vibey music on, and let your mind drift away to visualizations about being led, receiving, and letting go. These are all feelings that describe feminine energy. Find what takes you there. Let this time become your after-work ritual.


The connection to your feminine energy might be a muscle you must first train. It will become self-sustainable and eventually very easily accessible. The more you connect to your sensuality, the easier it will become for you to intentionally choose when to show up in your feminine and when to show up in your masculine.


For more info, follow Monica on Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and visit her website!

 

About the author: Monica Yates is a somatic trauma healer, feminine & masculine embodiment coach, period whisperer and podcast host. After struggling with her own health issues, multiple traumatic surgeries and a terrible relationship with men, she finally had to face the issues that she was blissfully unaware of. Her modalities that now help thousands of women and men around the world be free of their big and small trauma. She works with people from all walks of life that are determined to no longer be held back by beliefs, bad habits, health issues, inner child wounds, anxiety, fears etc. She is the CEO of Monica Yates Health and the host of the podcast, Feminine as F*ck.

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