I had the honor of doing live art for Google’s Women in Tech Conference this past weekend and it was incredible. The conference was held at Google HQ where they invited hundreds of women from the tech space. There were also various female-owned businesses, entrepreneurs, and speakers which was so inspiring. I got to paint over 100 amazing ladies and it was an experience I will never forget :)
Supporting women is near and dear to my heart and I’m so grateful for this movement. For National Women’s Day, I wanted to share my some of my personal experiences and share how we can empower one another in the simplest of ways.
Women have played the supportive role for so long that self empowerment doesn’t come naturally to us. And if we don’t feel empowered, how are we supposed to empower others? I’m so glad for today’s culture that celebrates women and it’s about time we took charge of our own narrative. Our stories and our voice have power and it’s time to claim that.
Growing up, I actually had a lot of negative experiences with girls in school. I’ve been verbally harassed, had my stuff stolen, got cyber bullied, slapped - you name it. Some of these were caused by bullies at school and some were by girls I considered close friends. These experiences left deep emotional wounds and at one point, I just stopped having girlfriends all together. It was a really tough season of my life but luckily, a few amazing women poured into me and pursued after me. It took some time but eventually, I healed from the pain that I felt and learned how to have healthy relationships. I’m so lucky to be surrounded by incredible women who I can call friends, sisters, and mentors. While those early experiences were difficult, this whole journey has taught me the value of women loving and supporting one another.
So, how can we go about doing that? I wanted to share 3 practical ways that we can empower one another, and be empowered ourselves. These are points that I’ve learned and adopted from other incredible women and I’m happy to share these simple truths with you today.
Shut up & listen
I put this as point #1 because it is SO important! Often times, we’re so quick to talk about what’s going on in our lives and we forget the power of listening. Listening and giving your full, undivided attention is one of the best gifts you can give to someone and it’s actually really empowering. If you’re a talker (like me), I challenge you to fully listen the next time you have a conversation. You might just learn something ;)
2. Guard your yeses and practice saying NO
Setting clear boundaries is so important for creating healthy relationships with others & with yourself. As women, we hate saying no and disappointing people. We’re scared to come off as bitchy or bossy but the reality is, saying no doesn’t make you either of those things. Everyone has a limited amount of time and energy and we are free to choose what and who we spend it on. Practice saying no and only say YES to the things that make your heart sing. Trust me, I’m working on this right now.
3. Collaborate with one another
Collaboration is a great way to celebrate each other’s strengths and help one other. I love this GIF by Libby Vanderploeg (below) that paints the perfect image of women lifting each other up (literally.) We collaborate all the time on The Modern Creative Podcast where we invite and interview creative business owners. We give our guest an opportunity to showcase their expertise and they in turn provide value for our listeners. We’re also planning a one-day event that will be the ultimate collaboration! We’re announcing that tomorrow so stay tuned on @themoderncreativepodcast ;)
Join the next women’s march. Buy from female-owned businesses. Give a shout out to your favorite female ran account on instagram. There are so many great ways that women can support women but I truly believe it’s the little things that move us forward. Women are worth celebrating, today and every other day because let’s be real - we’re pretty freaking amazing!