The True Definition Of A Powerful Woman
Originally published: June 13, 2018
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What Is A Powerful Woman?
Do you love being around powerful women? I certainly do. Now, I’m not talking about power-hungry women… that’s different. I’m talking about owning your story.
Brené Brown puts it like this:
“You either walk inside your story and own it or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.”
People love to see a powerful woman walk into the room because they make those around them better.
So what does she look like? She’s someone who…
- Takes responsibility for herself
- Values herself
- Knows who she is
- Is resilient
- Steps outside of her comfort zone to grow
- Says “no” to what she doesn’t want
- Is forward-thinking
- Is aware of her gifts, talents and abilities
- Uses her gifts, talents and abilities to lift other people up and empower them
And because a strong woman is confident in who she is, she will move into places where others won’t…
A Powerful Woman Goes To Difficult Places
Ten years ago, I injured my neck and was completely debilitated. You know, I remember being so sore that I couldn’t drive, hold a book or even climb the stairs. Every movement brought excruciating pain.
My thoughtful husband pulled a mattress downstairs so I wouldn’t have to climb the stairs to our bedroom. During this season, I spent a lot of time resting and felt isolated and lonely. At one point, I even thought that this was going to be the rest of my life — and I was only in my 40s!
I felt very low.
Then one day, my friend Jill came to visit…
To my surprise, she got down on her knees and then laid on the floor next to me. She came down to my level to talk with me and to keep me company.
Other visitors, well, they stood over me. Mind you, I still appreciated their visits but Jill entered my world on the floor and it meant the world to me — I felt loved and cared for… like I wasn’t alone.
I still cry when I think about it.
My mentor calls this the ministry of presence. To be present in another person’s pain or joy, we need to have confidence in our own value and know what we can offer… Like my friend, Jill, who is a courageous woman with a compassionate heart for others.
A Powerful Woman Has Strong Character
This means she knows who she is and Whose she is, just as she knows who she is not. At the same time, she’s still open to growing because she recognizes that there’s always more to learn.
She’s someone that you want on your team…
Because she makes the people around her better to the point where she’s excited when other people succeed. That can be a really tough one because if we feel insecure about ourselves, it’s easier to support a friend when they’re down than to celebrate in their wins.
What Does A Powerless Woman Look Like?
A powerless woman is the opposite of a strong woman who knows who she is. She…
- Feels like a victim
- Waits to be rescued
- Is insecure in her value
- Cannot celebrate with other people’s wins
- Needs to always be the best, smartest and brightest
- Feels threatened by others, especially when they succeed
We all have power but not all of us use our power.
Think about the many examples in movies and stories where the woman simply… Weeps. Wails. And waits to be rescued.
She feels powerless to change her fate — there’s the James Bond girls, many Disney princesses (except perhaps Elsa and Moana), and Holly Golightly from the classic movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s, to name a few.
Why Is It Hard For Some Women To Embrace Their Power?
I think there are different reasons.
#1 — WE SEE POWER MISUSED
One is that there are many examples of power being misused and so we become afraid of it.
We don’t want to be that woman who domineers and controls everyone around her…
So instead of being a “bossy” woman or one who nags all the time, we hide our power. We close up like a flower hiding from the sun.
#2 — WE’RE AFRAID OF POWER
Second, in Christian circles, we’re too often afraid of the word “power”. We see it as a negative word because we’re supposed to serve others.
While it’s true that we’re supposed to lay down our lives for others, it doesn’t mean that we become doormats for people to wipe their feet on. Thing is, Jesus is our example for serving others but he served from a place of knowing fully who he was and giving from a place of abundance.
We need to stop going to the other extreme to avoid appearing power-hungry or boastful when really, we should be the most empowered people in this world (another word that’s often distrusted is “happiness”).
How To Become A More Powerful Woman
As women, we don’t need to be afraid of our power. Instead, we need to think about the fact that we have the choice of how we use it. So where do we start to become more powerful women?
Step #1: Know Your Worth
Your worthiness doesn’t depend on what you do.
Instead, it’s based on your value as a human being, as a child of God. Write out three phrases related to your worth and repeat them daily until you believe them.
A few examples that you could start with…
- I’m worthy of love.
- I belong to the family of God.
- I have a Spirit of power not of fear.
Step #2: Know Who You Are
In order to know what you can give, you need to know who you are: your strengths, values, passions, desires, thoughts, feelings, and so on. Start writing these things out.
Step #3: Practice Stepping Into Your Power
Look for opportunities to practice stepping into your power right where you are as a wife, mother, business owner, teacher, friend, etc. And when new opportunities come up, consider whether it’s a good opportunity for you to grow using some of your strengths.
When we do embrace who we are and what we have to offer to others, then just like the ultimate example of Jesus Christ, we can use our power for so much good. And if you get stuck at any point, get the support you need either in my affordable membership for Christian women or through coaching to help you discover how you can embrace the powerful woman you are.
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Do you agree with our definition of a powerful woman? Tell us “yes” or “no” in the comments below! We love to hear from you.
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