You have a mission if you chose to accept it; to be the person who changes a woman’s life with your powerful words: ten ways women can build each other up.
I will never forget the day I watched a lady scream and yell at my mother while my mom’s children were present. My mother had done nothing to deserve this kind of treatment. I was actually in awe of how calm she stayed and didn’t contribute to the woman’s angry, degrading words.
Is there any reason someone should act like this towards my mom? No, not at all.
I haven’t been as gracious as my mother. I feel like lashing out when someone is rude to me.
But I aspire to be like her.
I tend to stay silent and not say anything. Then later, I get in my car, and have a conversation with this so-called person, dreaming of all the ways I could have fought back with a hurtful answer.
You know those angry people you see talking on speaker phone? Most likely they are like me…talking to this so-called “mean person” out loud…in their head, if that makes sense.
But I see a new sisterhood of women rising, and I am intrigued.
Maybe they’ve watched my generation of women gossip, compete and hurt each other, and have decided to turn from this hurtful behaviour.
Somewhere along my journey into womanhood, I made a conscious choice to build up the young ladies in my life. I don’t say that proudly or judgmentally. A deep conviction set in as I watched many teenage girls in the 80’s grow up being put down.
My daughter Charity wanted to host a conference to uplift women and help them see their immense value, gifts and talents. I was her sidekick and helper. We have done three big events together now.
Sometimes she’s in charge, and sometimes I am.
We work really well together and cheer each other on as we each take turns leading. I’ve learned that the most profound way I can build up my daughters is to show them respect, encourage their dreams, and thank them when I’ve learned something from these young ladies.
How have I gleaned this valuable lesson?
I’ve listened to other women talk about the older women in their lives and how they treated them. I also began to take note of the young ladies who had high self-esteem.
There seems to be a common thread amongst the women I meet who have beautiful confidence. They’ve had a close relationship with their parent/ parents, or they have had a woman in their life who invested in them.
If a girl had parents who continually put her down, didn’t cheer her on, or encourage her in the pursuit of her dreams, it appeared she questioned herself more often than a girl who had the opposite. If she had a mother who always gossiped about others, this lowered her confidence also because she noticed her mom lacked confidence.
After our Inspired conference this past weekend, when I had finished speaking about women building each other up, I was talking to ladies who had been put down by their mothers, grandmothers, aunts or friends.
Life is hard… facing it alone, is even harder.
I felt a yearning in my soul to see women learn to be kind to each other.
Why is there so much jealousy and put-downs?
I’m not sure.
I believe the generation of women after me are trying very hard to change this. Learning from them, as I watch these young ladies cheer on their sisterhood.
I am also inspired by their goal to change the world.
I’ve seen my daughters Charity, Aryanna and Jazmin, support their friends and wish them well. There’s a part of me that asks the question, ‘Why wouldn’t women cheer on other women?’
Hurt people…hurt people.
How can we change this and what can we do to inspire the younger generation, so they will become confident and uplifting young ladies?
Ten Ways Women Can Build Each Other Up:
(These are also areas of my life I am currently aspiring to improve.)
- Any advice you give to a younger woman is constructive. Put-downs and insinuations are toxic and meant to wound.
- You value her opinion and ideas. Older women don’t have the only corner on wisdom. We can also learn from ladies who are much younger than we are.
- You encourage younger women to surpass you. We want the next generation to exceed us in all areas of their life; this shows that we have been excellent teachers.
- We don’t manipulate with phrases like: “When I was younger we…” “I never did that.” “That’s just silly, why would you do that?”
- If she has children, you cheer her on in her mothering. We had our turn to parent. Now it’s their turn. If they want advice, they will ask us for it. Advice should be given when asked for unless a parent is hurting their child mentally/ physically, then you will need to intervene for the safety of the child.
The Next Five Tips Are Just as Important.
6. When a woman dreams, she needs back-up. This role is crucial. Our daughters need us to get behind them and whisper words of encouragement while they live out their calling- not point out how we’d do it differently.
7. We teach them to desire healthy relationships. We need to mentor our daughters when it comes to healthy relationships. We inspire her to surround herself with healthy females/ males who will help her pursue her goals, dreams and missions.
8. Say goodbye to gossip. The quickest way to help our daughters to become a blessing to others is to help them to give up gossip; lead by example, give up the habit of gossiping. (I have been convicted of this one recently, and I’m working at getting rid of this nasty habit).
9. We allow our daughters to do life differently than we did. I was a homemaker/ mother/ homeschooling parent for thirty years. I gave my daughters permission to not do any of these roles unless they felt they were called to them. Each woman has a different calling that will take her to unique places other women have never been to. Boxing our daughters into our calling, career or lifestyle would be a great hindrance to them.
10. Give her permission to fail. Tell your daughter to spill milk as often as possible, and then help her to clean it up and try again. Show her failing is part of becoming successful and reaching her goals and dreams. Permission to fail is a catalyst to learn, grow and also mentor others one day.
Ok, I said ten, but there’s one more that’s crucial:
We NEVER compare her to other women...EVER. We encourage her to be her true self, and we help her embrace the beautiful woman she was created to be.
My daughters have been amazing cheerleaders and coaches in my life.
Yes, they have taught me more than I feel I have taught them. Hopefully, they will teach their daughter the “ten ways women can build each other up’ one day. I believe they will!
I am hoping they will be a much better woman than I was when I was younger.
Recently a deep conviction has set in, to surround myself with females I can encourage and who will also cheer me on. (Follow my INSPIRING WOMEN series: Inspiring Women Life With Brianna)
Is that selfish? No, it’s healthy.
I love, love, love this quote from Bindu, an Indian actress who climbed to fame in the 1970s:
*You can read more from the article I found that quote in, 7 Ways Women Can Lift Up, Not Tear Each Other Down. (I found this article after I wrote this post and am inserting it here- fantastic post!)
We all have people in our lives that aren’t the best influence. If you are continually walking away bitter after being with someone, it may be time to monitor how much time you spend on these toxic relationships.
Seek out friendships and people who will build you up, not in a false way, but in a genuine, “I like you, I like being with you, you have a beautiful soul” kind of way.
Does that mean we never accept criticism?
If it’s constructive criticism and is being used to help us head in a direction that will make us a better person, yes we need that! But if it’s just put-downs and insinuations or silence (no compliments or encouragement), it is best to find a different friend or role model.
Take a moment and reflect on the women you love being around. The ones who are a breath of fresh air, whom you can’t wait to see again, and leave you feeling joyful. The ones who use ‘ten ways women can build each other up’.
Become that woman.
You were created to inspire, to cheer, to encourage, uplift, and love.
Go change the world… one woman at a time.