Can women be powerful?
Hell yes we can!
For my ladies, we have a complicated relationship with the words “power” and “powerful.”
If we are seen as ambitious and powerful, we can be targeted in a negative way for these traits.
While men are encouraged from a young age to compete, strive, and aggressively pursue what they want, we are conditioned as young girls to be kind, nurturing, and cooperative. We carry this conditioning into adulthood.
As such, women are both subtly and overtly penalized when we display traits presumed to be masculine.
What do they call us when we don’t act in ways that others think a woman should act?
Yes, you know you know that demeaning, unimaginative “B” word by which others attempt to minimize us and keep us in our place.
With gender programming and gender bias working against us, it’s not surprising when women do not wish to be seen as “powerful.”
While some have learned not to worry about what others think, there are still others who will dim their shine, make themselves smaller, and tone down their power so as to not make others feel threatened or feel like less.
How does anyone benefit in that scenario? Becoming smaller is the opposite of living up to our potential.
It’s time to change this outdated script that we’ve been acting out for too many years.
As women, we tend to see individual power as a masculine trait, as in having power over others. And so we hide away from the idea of being powerful in the first place.
We must redefine what it means to be powerful as a woman so that we can start valuing and harnessing our own power.
Being PowerFULL should be about being filled with our own power, the power that we’ve been conditioned to freely give away without placing enough value on it ourselves.
Powerful people make a difference in society and impact the course of history.
Imagine what would be possible if we encouraged and inspired all women to fully embrace their innate power.
If we have discomfort with being powerful, let’s instead think about being “Power-FULL.”
When women are “Power-FULL,” we are full of energy, confidence, and capability.
When we love and care for ourselves first, we elevate our ability to influence and positively impact our families, our workplaces, and our communities.
When we protect our time, our energy, and our boundaries, we show respect for ourselves. And we teach others how to respect us.
When women support each other, we are a Power-FULL force to be reckoned with.
Check out this recent episode of The Jenna Banks Show where my guest Kesley Smith and I discuss what it’s like to be an “ambitious woman” for a young woman today. Ambition is another one of those words that tend to be seen as a mostly masculine trait, which can also negatively affect how women feel about the idea of being seen as ambitious.