At the TEDWomen conference in New Orleans, actor Justin Baldoni gave an impassioned plea on breaking gender roles in society.
He says the characters he’s often asked to play echo the one he’s been encouraged to play all his life: a stereotypical man’s man. “This is the script that we’ve been given,” he said. “Girls are weak, and boys are strong…. I came here today to say as a man that this is wrong, this is toxic, and it has to end.”
We all have “roles” we play in our daily lives. Some we create ourselves. Some society creates for us and we buy-in. When I pause and think of mine, I see myself as a …
Friend, Dad, man, co-parent, adventurer, provider, active listener, motivator, connector, optimistic giver.
Sometimes the roles we play end up getting warped and too connected to our ego — we begin to see ourselves AS our roles, and not the other way around.
Now: changing our roles up. That is amazing. It brings new, fresh experiences and perspectives. We open new doors.
So … get ready … your weekly Scare Your Soul challenge:
We challenge you to a role-switch.
This week, step into someone else’s shoes.
Here’s how to do it.
First, take a minute to think about what roles YOU play in your family, your work life, your romantic life and friendships. Literally, write them out. Old school.
Now, what would happen if you flipped the script and changed one role in your life for a day or two this week? What would get unlocked?
Choose one, and flip it. This week, step into some new, slightly uncomfortable shoes. Can you do it?
Examples of role switches:
Offer to watch someone’s kids, pets, house so they can have a night out – OR – ask someone else to do the opposite
Choose to play instead of your typical work-a-holic lifestyle – OR – allow someone else who works really hard to go “play”
Throw ‘gender roles’ out the window: cook, fix things, take the lead in parenting, let yourself be emotional, initiate things
Speak up when you usually listen – OR – actively listen when you usually speak for others
If you obsessively plan, live a day spontaneously, minute to minute – OR – structure daily goals in the morning and live by them
Take a minute and tell us what you commit to do this week! If you include your e-mail, we’ll remind you mid-week. 🙂
Photo: BENJO ARWAS/GETTY IMAGES