Want to Empower Women and Girls? The Four Words You Need to Be Saying
I don't disagree with that mantra. I feel blessed that my parents walked the tightrope of raising daughters who were confident in their appearance without valuing looks over books. Recently, though, it hit me. There's an empowering compliment that, in my mind, women and girls aren't receiving enough. What are four little words more women need to hear?
You are so strong.
|The Instagram post that triggered this whole post...|
Sometimes, even, you may hear these four words when you're strong enough to show your weaknesses. Being strong doesn't mean you can't hurt or cry or question life. Instead, strength is realizing that you can show vulnerability and flaws, and that you are no less worthy of admiration or respect. I used to try to be strong all the time and hide how much I was hurting, physically or mentally. Now, though, I've realized that strength isn't not feeling or showing pain; it's experiencing hurt but knowing that you'll smile again in the future.
Studies have found that people often underestimate their strength in emotionally challenging times and expect to be unhappy longer than they actually are. What's the danger in that? We're so worried about hurting, we avoid making decisions that could cause intense, short-term pain...but also bring us the most long-term satisfaction. Perhaps, then, reminding people that they're strong enough to weather any emotional storm is the secret weapon we really need to find our happiest lives.