Women have for decades faced social messaging that undermines our confidence, worth and self-esteem. We have become masterful at judging and criticizing ourselves and others. I believe these judgmental, critical voices are not the truth of who we are as women.
As we mature, it is increasingly vital that we are clear on our values and align our lives with the core principles we want guiding our lives. Living our values even when it is hard, or unpopular or inconvenient marks this alignment.
Women have the capacity to be great leaders, and we often don’t have a plethora of models in the United States to draw from. I believe that our current model of leadership is flawed, and we need women from all walks of life to become more fully able to act as leaders.
A simple way to increase your personal leadership capacity is to self-reflect. Asking ourselves deeper questions about what we believe and why, and what is most important to us (our values) is a great start. Once we get a sense of that, we can take steps to align ourselves with our core values inviting them to show up in our thoughts and actions. Knowing who you are and allowing her to show up carves a path to authenticity, a key principle of Athena leadership.
Authenticity need not be born from a full overhaul of your life. You can begin by taking small steps, regular actions that connect the dots back to your heart, & core values.
Here are a few examples of how you could begin to feel more aligned:
- Volunteer for a few hours a month for a cause that you care about;
- Share something that is very important to you with others not to convince them to change but to reveal more of yourself, allowing a deeper connection;
- Adopting one action that aligns with a dear cause (i.e. not using plastic straws at restaurants if you are concerned about our ocean environments).
Knowing who you are and what you value then taking actions aligned with that knowledge can link you to a greater sense of life satisfaction. Those that do this kind of personal work often find that their lives are richer and filled with more meaning and purpose.
- How might you give yourself permission this week to practice being more authentic?
- How are you leading authentically already?