Empowering Our Next Generation of Girls by Empowering Ourselves, by Danielle Joworski
Inspire with your words. Empower with your actions. We have seen movement and some shifts in the perception of women and girls in society in 2016. Actions that have been the catalyst for women being recognized in front page new. With the electing of Justin Trudeau and subsequent creation of a cabinet with more gender diversity from previous years, to the success of the Canadian women in the 2016 Rio Olympics, the achievements and contributions of multi-generations of women and girls is being recognized at a national, and global, level. If we deconstruct the stories of our cabinet ministers and Olympians, I am confident that many of them would follow the same pattern. Childhood dream, spawned into a passion to achieve and stretch the limits of their perceived idealisms of what they could do. A drive to learn about themselves as they learned how to hone in and perfect their craft. Surrounding themselves with people, coaches, mentors, teachers, who inspire them daily to fuel their passion, and empower them to continue to take action and move forward towards their goals. We all have dreams, and an inner passion that for some, is simmering just below our conscious surface. A dream to take a thought, idea or wish and turn it into something tangible that we can see and touch. Is there a difference between the dreams that we all have and those reached by what we may perceive as ‘high achievers’? No. Dreams all have equal value and potential. The difference is in the vehicle in which they sit – ourselves, our perceptions, our beliefs. How we perceive ourselves, and the beliefs that we have of what we can do, and can’t do, are what provides us with freedom or holds us prisoner. In many situations, our beliefs are not really ours. They are the beliefs of past generations and mindsets. Centuries or decades old in their thinking. With all the advancements in technology, knowledge and our skills, it is amazing at how archaic our belief systems can still be. Beliefs holding women of all generations back from striking forward and taking action on the results they truly want to achieve. What beliefs do you have that were passed onto you, and are limiting your ability to grow and prosper today? What beliefs are we as a culture still passing onto our younger generations of girls, stalling or limiting their sense of discovering who they are and what they are truly capable of? In my book The ATHENA Prodigies: Empowering Women Empowering Girls, readers are taken on a journey of self-discovery into the depths of our deepest dreams and desires, and what is holding us back from achieving them. I say ‘readers’ because this book is not just for women to read. It is for women to also read with girls. To truly understand what our next generation of girls needs and wants, in order to be the next cabinet ministers and Olympians, we need to start connecting with them today. We need to start moving beyond the hopes of inspiring them with our words, and begin empowering them with our actions. Surrounding our girls with strong, confident women daily, who are in touch with their desires and moving forward in achieving their results. Realizing what our girls need in order to be confident in themselves needs to come not from 30-second commercials seen on TV or online. These messages are important in communicating to women, to society, that the needs of our youth are going unmet. And the impact will be felt in future generations. We will feel the impact as these youth will be our leaders and will support us as we supported them. If we choose to only inspire our young girls and not empower them, we run the risk of them inspiring us in the future when we need them to be taking action. They will not empower generations before or after them as the belief that was instilled in them will direct their actions and behaviors. In our golden years, do we want to feel inspired that positive change is possible, or do we want to feel empowered to continue to stretch the reaches of positive change? Words can inspire on a daily basis or as needed, when motivation is needed to uplift our mindset. But inspiration has a short life-cycle and must be continuously fed. Empowerment through action, seeing or hearing how someone trampled their fears, barriers or limiting beliefs, is critical to the creation of new mindsets and beliefs. Social proof that others have actually experienced what it is like to face fears and succeed. That our childhood dreams really can come true. Actual, not theoretical, results. The commitment to grow the confidence of our young girls, to empower them to expand their beliefs in themselves, needs to start with a commitment from women to do the same. To examine and reflect on what beliefs may be holding us back from achieving our dreams, and unconsciously, be holding back our young girls from achieving theirs. We will never know what our younger generation of girls is truly capable of, and who they really are, if we do not understand who we are as women, as a generation. To truly know others, we need to know who we are. Then, we can connect on deeper levels and really understand how we can help to inspire personal growth through our words, and empower confidence and results through our actions. “The Athena Prodigies” is available for purchase at www.athenaprodigies.com.