Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ― Marianne Williamson
These quotes absolutely speak to me as a woman, mother, wife, friend, boss, and trainer. It almost feels like they were written just for me. I LOVE how empowered and capable they make me feel every time I read them…which is almost daily! I knew I had to do more with these quotes than just write them on a sticky note, which is why I am using them as the foundation for this month’s theme: The POWER of being a WOMAN! We have so much capacity and depth for loving and celebrating one another, for lifting each other up and pushing one another to reach our best potential in life. Are you ready for this month?! It’s going to be pretty incredible.
There is something so special about being a woman, and I am lucky enough to be surrounded by amazing women in all realms of my life, from close friendships to transformation experiences with all of YOU. Here is what I am continually astounded by as I meet you and hear your stories…You are STRONG. You are fearless. You are self-sacrificing. You go through the worst of times and still end up smiling. You display courage. You have the utmost determination and grit. You show kindness to all. You don’t give up. You don’t let life get you down. You serve others. You radiate beauty and love. You protect those around you and will do anything for them. You value yourself and your goals and you are determined. You are AMAZING.
As a woman, though, I know we all struggle with feelings of inadequacy, failure, disappointment, and guilt. We all do. You are not alone in this! I struggle with these issues too, and my hope is that we can work together to strengthen and support each other. These issues cannot and will not control us any longer: Struggles with self-love. Issues with our self-image. Falling into the comparison trap. Feeling guilty for taking time for ourselves. Difficulties with forgiving ourselves. Letting our pasts control our present life. Dealing with stress, exhaustion, and the pressures of daily life. Being perfectionists. Feeling like we are not good enough/pretty enough/smart enough/thin enough/accomplished enough/lovable enough. I know we all fall victim to these lies, and it breaks my heart!
Let’s talk about the top one on that list—self-love—for a minute, because this really is the key to unleashing your power as a woman, and it actually feeds into the other things on that last list. Why is it so hard for us to love ourselves? Why does it take so long to realize we can’t please everyone, and that living in the past, negative self-talk, and overthinking it all will rob us of joy AND keep us from truly loving ourselves?
While part of me wishes I had known to give up these things in my twenties, I also firmly believe we have to love life, make mistakes, and experience painful consequences to learn these valuable lessons AND to learn to love ourselves exactly how we are. The key is to not let these things negatively affect how we view ourselves, and it can be a delicate balance some days—that is for sure. I’m going to share some things I’ve learned (sometimes the hard way!) about how to increase your self-love and make life a bit easier! Please don’t think I do all of these each and every day, because I definitely don’t. #reallife But first…
Another thing that I believe is core to our power as women is how we affect the lives of those younger human beings—from babies to young adults—that we come in contact with every day. Whether it’s our own kiddos, kids in our extended family, or any young people within our sphere of influence, we DO have the potential to be a powerful force for good for them!
As a mom, my sole goal is to let my babies know how loved they are…always, forever, without condition, no matter what. I firmly believe that children who know that those in their lives love them deeply and without condition have a much easier time finding love and value within themselves. And we all know that those who love themselves are happier (see…self-love again!). I love how Steve Maraboli says it: Stop expecting your kids to chase their dreams, respect themselves, forgive themselves, love themselves…if they spent a lifetime watching you do the opposite for yourself. (Yes…self-love…again).
My prayer is that they are everything I am and everything I am not. That they follow my lead in areas where I shine, but avoid choosing paths that have caused me pain. I pray to God every day that they live a life full of joy, self-expression, kindness, compassion, humility, hard work, respect and self-respect, love, and self-love…and of course, way too much laughter. I would give and do anything for these mini-humans, and I am so proud to be their mom. Raising these babies is my greatest honor and most humbling responsibility. Sadly, I cannot protect them from experiencing pain in this world, but my hope is that, through my actions, I can teach them to love and respect themselves and those around them. I want to help empower them to reach for the stars and never give up, and instill within them steadfast confidence, resilience, bravery, and wisdom.
I’m pretty darn sure that all of you have the same hopes and dreams for any kids in your life, as well as for yourself, but HOW do we do it? How do we add one more thing to our already overflowing plate of life to become the powerful women we want to be? How do we do the things we know we need to do but we’re already sleep-deprived, exhausted, stressed, and so on…? I totally get it—I’ve been there, many times. But I also know that we have the potential to be a powerful force for good in the world…even when we don’t realize it or have no idea how to do it.
As I’ve been thinking about this month’s theme, there are twelve specific things I know can help us become the women we want to be. Choose one to work on, and then move on to another one. Some only take a few minutes a day!
- Practice being Beneficially Selfish. Being “Beneficially Selfish” doesn’t mean you need to do a spa day once a week. No. It can be as simple as taking 5 minutes alone in your room each day, or even sacrificing a little one-on-one time with your kids to get in a quick workout. Being beneficially selfish means that you are taking time to care for the most important person in the world (YOU) so that you can THEN adequately care for those around you. Don’t ever forget…you are no good to ANYONE if you aren’t good to yourself first.
- Talk kindly to yourself. When the masks come off and we peel back the layers, it’s easy to allow self-doubt to creep in and begin going down its painful path. While the words of others’ can sting, NOTHING destroys like the negative words we speak to ourselves. And these things we speak to ourselves and our beliefs about ourselves eventually lead to actions, and ultimately our destiny. So choose what you say to yourself wisely…because you become what you think, and you tend to live into what you think about yourself. If you think you’re worthless, then you’ll live into being worthless. On the other hand, if you tell yourself you’re strong, you’ll live into being strong. Let’s practice—fill in the blank: I am _____________. Now work on living into that!
- Live with no regrets. It’s easy to look back on photos from the past and let your mind start playing the Game of REGRET. “If only I had (or hadn’t) done this, there would’ve been less heartache and pain.” The reality, though, is that if I COULD change the past, I wouldn’t, as each and every challenge has made it’s way into a beautiful lesson that has brought me strength, courage, and vulnerability that my family would not have learned otherwise. I think Brené Brown says it best: “No regrets” doesn’t mean living with courage, it means living without reflection. To live without regret is to believe you have nothing to learn, no amends to make, and no opportunity to be braver with your life.
- Unplug for at least a few minutes every day. Take a moment (or more) in your day and press pause. Put your phone down and hug your babes. Play with them. Let them play with you. Laugh with them and let them have your full attention for a moment—NOT a fraction of your attention as you sit by them and simultaneously scroll Insta. Actually BE with them. As simple as this may seem, your children’s lives are made up of memories from little moments just like this. Likewise, spend a few minutes with your significant other and really listen to what they’re saying. We often go through our days barely even talking to the ones we love most and who will be with us long after the kiddos are gone and living their own lives. Make time to nourish this relationship NOW so you’ll still recognize each other when your nest is empty. And let’s not forget you…a few unplugged minutes will give you the needed time to just be. Be quiet, be insightful, and just breathe. You’ll be surprised at the breakthroughs you can have by shutting out the world for a few minutes.
- Just say No. We are bombarded all day long with things to occupy our precious—and often limited—time. Sometimes we’re choosing between good things, and sometimes we’re choosing between best things, and those choices can be the hardest! When faced with a new opportunity, ask yourself, “Will I regret saying yes to this tomorrow or next week? Will I be replacing something that’s a top priority in my life with his thing?” If the answer to either of these questions is yes, maybe pause for a few minutes before saying yes. And never feel like you have to tell anyone why you’re saying no—just decline with kindness.
- Make a list of things you like to do or think you’d like to do. Some might take a few minutes, and others might take more than a few minutes. And keep this list handy, because if you’re like me, when I do get a few free minutes, I have no idea what to do with them! And I totally understand—making this list might take some time since we’re so used to thinking about everyone else’s wants and needs that we forget about the things we’d like to do. But make that list, and dream big!
- Schedule at least a few minutes a day for YOU. (That list will come in handy for this one!). I’m not talking about the time you spend getting ready for the day, or your unplugged time, or anything else where you’re not focusing on only YOU. I’m talking about stopping life and spending a few minutes—at least—doing something you WANT to do, not something you HAVE to do. I promise you…this few minutes spent on YOU can do a lot to fill that often empty-feeling bucket. And when your bucket has even a little bit in it, you’ll be so much more able to take care of others: Your spouse, your kids, your siblings, your parents, your friends, your co-workers, your neighbors, and those strangers you meet every day who could use a tiny piece of your kindness and compassion.
- Take care of your body. Drink more water, eat more fruits and veggies, get in a quick workout, get a few minutes of extra sleep, or something small that you know would help you feel better physically. And it’s amazing how much better we feel both mentally and emotionally when we’re taking care of the amazing bodies we’ve been blessed with!
- Remember (and this is a biggie!)—You can do anything, but not everything. We all go through different seasons in life, and each season can last a day, a week, or years. Slow down, take stock of what season you’re in TODAY, and then live in that season. Maybe you’ve got lots of crazy littles running around. Maybe your kids are all in school. Maybe you have an empty nest and you miss all of the craziness. Maybe you have a high-stress career that consumes your day. Whatever season of life you’re in, remember that this season will pass all too quickly, so enjoy it and take the time to live IN it. Now.
- Don’t be afraid to have a good cry. We women try to be strong for ourselves and for those around us all of the time, and sometimes it can feel so overwhelming. So when you feel like a mini (or major) meltdown is on its way, let those tears flow (or whatever helps you feel better), and allow yourself to feel all the feels. Watch a chick flick, enjoy a daily hug, or whatever will help you feel like facing life—with a smile, hopefully—again.
- Be authentic. There is so much that’s fake in today’s world, and we often can get caught up in others’ social media highlight reels. Don’t be afraid to share your real life with others—the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. Everyone you meet is dealing with something, and what you share could be a huge help and inspiration to someone else. We’re all in this thing called LIFE together, so let’s help each other out along the way!
- Be kind. Do a RAOK (Random Act of Kindness) every day. It doesn’t have to be huge, in fact, the smallest ones are often the most impactful in someone’s life. And it’s so fun to think of something kind to do for someone else, and it often takes our minds off of what we’re struggling with in our own lives PLUS we’re reminded how truly blessed we are. If you’re not sure where to start, begin with your significant other or your kids. I know I often look outside our home when trying to be kind when I really need to focus more on those I love the most!
So what is my wish for every single one of you this month? Be kind to yourself, even when you feel (or someone else feels) like you least deserve it. Radiate love, appreciate your hard work and positive intentions, share your bright light and beautiful gifts with the world…and embrace the imperfections that make you a perfectly imperfectly YOU. Remember: You ARE worthy, you DESERVE love, and your value is IMMEASURABLE!
How will you celebrate the power of being a woman this month? Don’t keep it to yourself! Share what you’re doing on social media, use the hashtag #WomenPowerwithHeidi, and let’s inspire the heck out of the world this month!
Our 12 Month Transformation, Month One: Self-Love!
Our 12 Month Transformation, Month Two: Giving Love to Others
My Top 5 Ways to Fall In LOVE With Your Body
Be Kind to Yourself
Sweet Lips Speak Kind Words: Spreading Love. Not Gossip.