We live in a time where more than ever, women are working to be heard and seen in society—to have our unique needs and gifts understood and validated, to celebrate all that we are and to have our stories told.
We often hear the word “empowerment” used in these conversations surrounding women’s issues, but we don’t always realize that while empowerment is something we seek, it is also something we are capable of giving to others. We give empowerment through how we treat them, how we speak, and how we interact with the world around us.
Here are seven ways we can empower the women in our own lives:
Be Strongly Supportive Of Other Women
Encourage the women in your life to try new things and be willing to go alongside them for the journey. Be a source of positivity which helps them to see challenges as opportunities and a voice which speaks energy and encouragement into their lives and sparks a deep belief in themselves.
Be A Woman Who Other Women Look Up To
Whether in your career, your pastimes, or your family—wherever you are, be a strong role model for the younger generation of women looking up to you, and even for your peers around you. There are endless ways to set a standard. For example, volunteer in your community and invite others to join, lead a class or group in an area which you possess expertise, or give of your time to support causes you believe in.
Listen Actively To The Women In Your Life
You can provide a safe space for the women in your life to speak their pain, their hopes and dreams simply by being willing to sit down with them and listen. Hear out your friend, daughter, granddaughter, co-worker; reflect back what she says to show you are listening. If she seeks your advice, give it honestly and encouragingly, and if she merely wants a space to talk, provide it without inserting opinions.
Say What You Want To Say
Be honest and have the courage to speak your mind about what you believe. Showing other women that you believe your opinion matters will reflect to them that theirs does as well. Remember to be positive when speaking to others, even if you don’t agree with them. Open, respectful dialogue goes a long way in understanding others.
Be Quick To Point Out The Strengths Of Other Women In Your Life
Validate how amazing they are by speaking positively to them about themselves—not just in regards to their appearance, but to the characteristics that make them who they are. Boost their self-confidence with validation whenever possible, especially when you see another woman standing up for justice or doing the hard but right thing.
Invest In The Women Around You
Whether it be through mentorship to a teen, college student, younger relative, or providing support and guidance to a woman working to start a business or pursue a dream—offer yourself and your own gifts to the women in your life. It will amaze you what can be built on the foundation of women coming together and pouring into one another.
Encourage Other Women To Practice Self-Care
In practicing self-care, women can break the cycle of poor habits like stressing over small things. When talking to other women, encourage them to practice self-care to better their mental and physical health. And remember to practice what you preach and set an example:
- Say no when overwhelmed
- Practice positive self -talk, especially around others
- Let go of negative, toxic relationships
- Get plenty of sleep and work to find a balance between work and play
‘Power’ may be seen as something to be “clawed” and “grasped” for. However, we will see a generation of empowered women continue to arise when we recognize the power that already lies within the very core of who we are as women and seek to ignite that flame of understanding in every woman who surrounds us.