The world is changing, and the next generation will grow up very different to yours. We are right on the cusp of so much rapid change that soon, the next generation will only know the struggles and hardships through history books. Girls will grow up with role models already on boards and in powerful, authoritative, and influential positions. They may read about it, but hopefully will never experience any discrimination or any stifling stereotypes that once held women back. So, what are some actions that women can use to get on board this trend and push the world over that cusp? How can you empower yourself to be one of these women, or one of the women the next generation look up to?
Be Authentic. Empowerment comes first and foremost from within. We decide what our story is and what it is going to look like. We are the ones who decide our beliefs and our passions. If we stay true to ourselves and what we want in our lives, that is the most powerful motivation to go out and achieve our goals.
Confidence. Confidence is underrated. Yes, it starts with you, but is reinforced by those around you. Finding a group of women who can be supportive and a cheer team for you can make a world of difference when you are beginning to take those big risks needed to change the world. A supportive community, a tribe, can be your cheerleader to keep you accountable and push you forward in the right direction.
Self-Awareness. Women are strong. We have strong beliefs and a passion that drives us. It’s important to be self-aware though, don’t let your assertiveness become a negative trait. It can be easy to become over-empowered and bulldoze your way into situations. This kind of mindset can derail your plans quickly. You can become so focused that you don’t see any of the warning signs or heed the advice from those around you. This can sometimes kill a dream faster and isolate you from those who are trying to be supportive. Don’t let your assertiveness burn bridges within the community, listen to others, and find a diverse group that will encourage you to check yourself and evaluate your goals and decisions. This does not mean giving up your authenticity. Stay true to your beliefs.
The next generation will know a different world. We need to ensure that young girls see women as strong and empowered, achieving things that just a few years ago seemed impossible. So, women out there, keep being authentic, confident, and self-aware. A whole new generation is waiting for you.
This blog is based predominantly on the information given by Roberta Dixon-Valk during her appearance on Empowering Women…Back Yourself: A Stronger Than My Excuses Show. Watch the full panel discussion here.