5 Ways to be a Strong, Confident Woman of Purpose

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The world right now needs confident women of purpose. It needs feminine power to heal, nurture, and renew. I've seen a lot of women rise up over the past couple of years, tired of being cowed, of being told that their job is to remain quiet and pretty...and happy about it! (What!?) But I'm also seeing that there is a lot of work to be done from our feminine insides out. Years of learning well the lessons that keep us silent are hard to unlearn. So here are 5 ways to work on being strong, confident women of purpose.

1. State your name clearly and proudly. I can't tell you the number of women whose named I've asked, only to have it whispered or murmured in reply. Your name is not a secret. It is not shameful. Your name is your identity, how people know you from another in conversation, so speak it proudly and confidently. This means you don't respond to "What's your name?" with a question, either! "Angela?" is not clear and proud. It sounds like you're questioning your existence, which you may well be, but you don't need to broadcast that straightaway. Claim your name! 

2. Stop saying sorry for everything. The other day I was getting my mail and this beautiful woman walked by, carrying her bags of garbage down to the trash bins. I smiled at her as she passed, and she looked at me and said, "Oh, sorry!" I wanted to ask her what the heck for, but she was gone as soon as she came. Sorry for taking care of your rubbish? Sorry for living your life? Sorry for being responsible? Women somehow picked up the bad habit of apologizing for walking by someone, for taking up space, for pausing to think a moment, for pretty much anything. Stop apologizing for existing! Pass someone and say hi instead of sorry. Thank someone for making space for you instead of saying sorry. Tell someone you need a moment to think in the coffee line, or let someone go before you and then place your order instead of saying sorry. Sorry is not meant to serve as a placeholder for relationship or needs.

3. Learn to trust your instincts. If a person or situation seems icky to you, it probably is. You do not have to play nice in situations where your instinct to get out is on high alert. Sometimes your instinct is faint, but learn to listen to it anyway. If you haven't been listening to your instinct for a while, or don't know what it even sounds/feels like, start practicing with small things. Ask your body what it wants to be nourished, and trust the first response you sense. (Then follow through and give it what nourishes it!) Start asking your intuition and instinct about which route is best to take to work, then take the one that comes to mind. Learn to trust the little things, and when the big things arise, you'll be more inclined to trust your inner voice.

4. Give yourself at least 20 minutes of silence a day. This can be a challenge if you have roommates or children, but will be most valuable to you and your sanity. Break up the time if necessary, but take the time to check in: ideally at the beginning of the day, the middle of the day, or at the end...or all three. Give yourself a chance to check in with how you are doing. Women spend a lot of time checking in on everyone around them, but neglect themselves. Check in on yourself. This can look like meditation, prayer, journaling, drinking that first cup of coffee in silence, going for a run, gardening, prepping dinner, driving to work. You can get fancy or keep doing your regular activities, but you do it in silence, open to whatever you are thinking, sensing, or feeling. This is where you take time to make sure you are living your truth and your purpose, where you make sure that if you're feeling "some sort of way" today, you are aware that you might need to take a few extra breaths before responding to your teen's/coworker's/partner's latest drama. Take care of yourself first, and everyone else will be better for it.

5. Say "Yes" and mean it. Say "No" and mean it.  Don't apologize for either. Don't explain either. Both are complete sentences.

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