Being a woman in today’s world can be a challenge in itself; we are wives, mothers, nurturers, bosses, subordinates, friends, nurturers and instigators. We take care of our families, we put bread on the table, we lend a sympathetic ear, we nurture, we care, we multi-task and many times we sacrifice our own needs for the benefit of others.
There are so many articles out there about what leadership is. There are so many discussions about what qualities a good leader requires – honesty, integrity, inspiration, passion, commitment, capable of making decisions, capable of delegation, excellent communication … and yet, too often do we fail to see the one thing that is clear as day. That as women, we are leaders by default.
As wives, do we not exhibit commitment and honesty? As mothers, do we not show nurture and integrity? As bosses, do we not harness inspiration? In our homes and in our jobs, do we not show the ability to make decisions? As friends, are we not skilled in the art of communication?
You are a leader by dint of who you are – not the qualities you are supposedly meant to have.
Sometimes, we forget this. We face challenges each and every day, both from our internal world and the external world. Creeping thoughts of ‘I can’t do this’ may appear, seemingly out of nowhere, like a snake slithering along the grass. We may at times struggle with our passion, drive and verve; we may have others around us, objecting to us, demeaning us or trying in some way to bring us down. When this happens, there is only one course of action we must take: to harness the self-belief and empowerment that exists within us. To nurture it, just as nurturing is our specialty. To empower it and feed it so it grows, as if it is a tiny sprout which transforms into a mighty oak, unchallenged and unbroken by even the most devastating of storms.
Every woman in history who found themselves in a position of leadership faced challenges, and in some ways these challenges were even greater than their male counterparts. Look at Queen Elizabeth I; she may have been a queen, but she had to prove herself on numerous occasions to a strongly-male-dominated court that she was worthy of following; the ancient queen, Boudica, proved her worth after she made it clear to her fighting forces that she was as strong as any man; Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s first female Prime Minister, ran a government comprising mostly of men, yet her strength and leadership bestowed her with the power to endure the hardest strife.
Challenge is a part of life; it escapes none of us and at times it can either make or break us. When you recognise the leader within, when you become a beacon of strength and power with the qualities you were innately blessed with, this is when you reach your true potential. But how to really bring her out? Below are some positive steps you can take to harness your inner strength and find the fortitude within.
When our mental health is out of control or weakened in some way, we struggle to perform at our best. This can manifest in depression, anxiety, stress, lack of self-confidence and low self-esteem. One way to help combat this is through positive affirmation. Repeat to yourself just one sentence every morning, noon and night. Repeat it multiple times. I am strong. I am empowered. I am worthy. I am a great leader. Say it over and over again, as many times as you can. The more you say it, the more you will believe it.
Too often, the importance of a good diet is not emphasized. But it is the simple truth that the more we eat poorly and the less we exercise, the worse the effect on our physical bodies. Eating a healthy, balanced diet, along with adequate exercise, naturally gives greater energy and boosts us mentally, leaving us fit and fighting on both a mental and physical level. Cutting out processed foods and sugary foods, reducing alcohol and red meat, are great places to start. Oh, and incorporate some herbal tea, too! Excellent to substitute the coffee for as you sit at your desk every morning.
When women tear other women down, it only serves to weaken us as individuals. Strengthening others means strengthening ourselves; we are no different to an army unit that must work together in order to succeed and win the war. The war that faces us is one of empowerment and fortitude – to succeed, we must boost one another and applaud one another. I recently hosted a Women in Leadership summit where fifty remarkable women in leadership positions spoke about the challenges they have overcome and the powerful spirit they have harnessed; in turn, more women felt inspired by their journeys, determined to face their own obstacles and succeed in their own goals.
Let’s build one another, just as we build our homes, families and careers. We are the nurturers of humanity and the grafters of society. We lead, we inspire, we commit – we do what we must to improve the lives of ourselves, our loved ones and the world at large.
One way we can do this is to join a community of like-minded souls who share our passions, goals and conviction to become the best we can be. Join the Empowerment Portal today where you can meet other women with similar goals and learn valuable insights – all as one great team! Click here today!