Prarthana Rao

HOW DID YOU IDENTIFY YOUR PASSION AND THE WORK THAT SATISFIED YOU VERSUS WORK THAT JUST PAID THE BILLS?

I always knew I wanted to empower people to realise their self-worth. I feel most gratified when I have encouraged someone to truly believe in and tap into the power that lies within them. Having always worked in PR and communications, comfortable interaction and putting people I had just met at ease came naturally to me. I knew that was something I could do. But it was only recently that I began to trust my inner voice more. The more in-tune I became with myself, the better I understood my passion.

It didn’t come easy. I invested in myself heavily. And proudly continue to do so. I realised early on that I couldn’t confidently and sincerely offer a transformation unless I was on a journey of self-discovery myself. I am on a phenomenal such journey now and it feeds my soul every day.

Work that pays the bills is great. And I have been fortunate enough to have a few of those. But there came a time when I was looking for a deeper sense of fulfilment. After all working hours exceeded the time I spent with my loved ones and I needed that to mean something.

WHO WILL ETERNALLY BE A WOMAN YOU ADMIRE AND RESPECT, AND WHY?

From before the time I knew what being a woman was about, the only woman I have always looked up to, relied on to get me out of a sticky situation, gone to when I was at my lowest and celebrated all my milestones with has been my mother.

It was she who taught me the meaning of true inner strength. Just by fiercely being herself. By spinning multiple plates all at once – be it being at the top of her professional game, being celebrated as the friend who never shied away from going the extra mile and of course being the parent who was as much a friend as a mentor to her children.

If I could be even half the parent to my little girl, I’d consider myself fortunate.

IN LIGHT OF YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF OUR HASHTAG #WHYITRIBE, WHY DO YOU THINK IT IS IMPORTANT TO CELEBRATE WHO WE ALREADY ARE TODAY?

As I say to all my clients – “Connect with who you are today and watch the magic happen!”

It’s easy to approach life from a position of deficit. It’s indulgent. It gives us the permission to marinate in self-pity. Social media of course makes it even harder. As the newest form of peer pressure, it’s very easy to spend a disproportionate amount of time comparing your life with someone else’s representation of theirs. It’s no secret that these behaviours create unhelpful cyclical patterns which hinder positive change.

Therefore #whyitribe is a timely and necessary initiative. Sometimes we need permission to celebrate ourselves. Sometimes we need an external reminder to bring our focus back to our abundant self and away from our limiting beliefs. In my view, #whyitribe is a powerful reminder to celebrate and take pride in who we are and what we achieve every day, without even realising it.

NAME A TIME RECENTLY WHEN YOU SAID SOMETHING GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF/HOW DID THAT MAKE YOU FEEL?

Ever so often, I have a voice in my head which highlights to me my limitations. There was a time not so long ago, when I described myself as a self-love coach who can empower you to prioritise yourself and this old friend made me feel like an imposter. Like someone who didn’t know what she was talking about. And it sucked me of my confidence and, on occasion made me feel quite powerless to carry on.

I have since developed a more compassionate relationship with my inner critic. When the voice is not serving me, I have trained myself to acknowledge it and say “thank you, but let me come back to you later.” Equally allow myself times in the day when I let it speak to me and rephrase my responses from a stronger position of abundant possibility. Having procrastinated over it for at least six months and having put it off several times over, I have recently launched The Not Guilty Mothers’ Club. Through these I am building an empowering, supportive community of women who are much too aware of mummy guilt, cheer each other on and explore peeling it off, one layer at a time.

Now that I have launched it and receive so much love and encouragement from women the concept resonates with, I feel unstoppable.

WHY DO YOU THINK WOMEN SHY AWAY FROM CELEBRATING OR PRAISING THEMSELVES SO MUCH?

We as women are battling centuries of imposed and often internalised limiting beliefs and mindsets steeped in misogyny. There is a reason the occurrence of Imposter Syndrome is so disproportionately high among our gender. This self-deprecating behaviour is what often gets in the way of us realising and tapping into our true potential. Wonders are possible when we give ourselves permission to embrace and celebrate who we truly are.

HOW DO YOU OVERCOME THE TENDENCY TO DISCREDIT COMPLIMENTS YOU ARE GIVEN?

The secret of receiving compliments graciously is to celebrate what and who you have in your life. I never used to but I have now begun to keep a gratitude journal and express my gratitude often. This exercise allows me to frequently tune into my evolution and value what I have. My strengths, my potential, my resources, my champions and all else in between. Such regular celebration enables me to access my more secure, empowered state and, unlike until a few years ago, be more comfortable with receiving compliments.

HOW DOES SOCIETY REINFORCE THE IDEA THAT WE, AS WOMEN, ARE NOT ENOUGH AND HOW CAN WE TAKE THAT POWER BACK?

Patriarchy, gender opportunity gap, pay disparity, misogyny, casual sexism, traditional gendered expectations alongside those required by the fast-paced modern world, outdated narrative enforced through popular culture (thoughtless advertising anyone?) and so many more. The only way to take the power back is to follow your heart. Trust your instinct. Tune into your intuition.

Remember the universe reveals it’s secrets to those who dare to follow their hearts.

WHY IS THE TRIBE MOVEMENT IMPORTANT?

Movements like The Tribe which offer a platform for women to come together and cheer each other on are extremely critical to breaking away from the shackles imposed on us for generations. There was a time when it was convenient for patriarchy to pit us against each other – for the attention of that man who could rescue from our hopeless lives!

Even though this may not be as relevant to all of us in the privileged world, the colour of that oppressive past can seep into our lives in unexpected ways. Movements like The Tribe give us the tools to keep ourselves in check. They empower us to lead lives made happier and richer by coming together as women who want to give our daughters, and indeed our sons a better future. So ladies, let’s shun the notions of the bygone days and celebrate each other and collectively affect positive change.

Occupation: Self-love coach

Website: www.inspiringchange.today

Instagram: prarthanatter