Girls have it tough. They are usually raised to believe in gender stereotypes where women belong in the home, don’t make decisions, or should not speak up.
Women (and men) across the country are working hard to smash these stereotypes. In fact, 2017 was declared the Year of the Woman as women came out in droves to protest sexual assault and inequality in the workplace.
We still have a long way to go, especially when it comes to teaching girls what they’re capable of and that they don’t need to conform to these stereotypes.
If you have a young woman or girl in your life, you have a valuable chance to teach her lessons that she’ll carry with her as she grows up. We must empower and inspire our girls.
In this article, we’ve outlined some lessons we think are invaluable for any girl to learn:
13 Life Lessons To Empower Young Girls
1. Practice Gratitude Often
Sometimes we get too wrapped up in daily tasks and stresses that we forget to be thankful for what we have. What we have doesn’t need to mean physical possessions. It can mean the love your friends and family show you, the kindness that touches you daily, or the support network you have.
Showing gratitude can be as simple as, giving a sincere thank you with a smile to someone who helped you to, writing a small note to a friend to say how much she means to you.
2. Be Generous With Your Time (When You Can)
You won’t always be able to be generous with your time. However, you’ll find being generous with your time when you can is right for your soul.
For example, if a friend is having a terrible day, grab a coffee or ice cream with her and act as her sounding panel.
Volunteering is another fantastic way to be generous with your time. Find an organization that aligns with your beliefs or interests like animal rights, religious outreach, or hunger prevention. Volunteering can also help improve your emotional stability and self-esteem.
3. Find Happiness With Yourself First
You’ll never be truly happy with someone else until you’re first happy with who you are as a person.
Take the time to soul search and understand what your interests are, what your short and long-term goals are, and what you want to have accomplished at the end of your life.
Striving for those goals will make you happy and understand who you are.
4. Hold Onto Soulmates
Soulmates don't need to be romantic partners. They can be friends, family members, pets; you name it.
You can also have more than one soulmate. Once you find a soulmate, put in the effort to cultivate your relationship to end up with a lifelong friend.
5. Strive to Be Something Other Than Pretty
Young girls are often first described as pretty. It's a compliment we've been trained to give and strive to receive.
However, aiming to be described as something other than pretty like smart, creative, hard-working, or kind, are all descriptions that will stick with you much longer than “pretty” ever will.
6. Have Hobbies That Rejuvenate You
Choosing a hobby that makes you feel re-energized early in life will serve you well.
Whether it’s something that will physically energize you like a lifetime sport (think running, cycling, tennis), something that will mentally stimulate you (chess, writing, crossword puzzles) or something that sparks your creativity beyond your usual school work/job (photography, painting, playing music), it’s up to you. Of course, you can have more than one.
7. Stop Saying “I’m Sorry” So Much
People, especially girls, have taken up this habit of saying “I’m sorry” for things that had nothing to do with them.
Saying “I’m sorry” unnecessarily takes away some of your authority. Commit to only saying sorry when you have made a mistake, no one else.
8. Be Your Only Competitor
Competing against others is easy and can be a solution in the short term. However, too often people fall into validating their life choices and actions against others as a form of competing.
That kind of exercise is terrible for your mental health.
Instead, wake up each day saying “how can I be better than I was yesterday.”
9. Know What You Deserve
This applies to friendships, relationships, and jobs. More often than you think, girls settle for situations, toxic relationships, and salaries that are less than they deserve.
Know your self-worth and demand what you deserve.
This is especially true when you start negotiating salaries in your career.
10. Nothing Will Be Handed To You
Very rarely does something happen because you wish it to happen.
If you want something, you have to work hard to get it.
Whether it’s a promotion, a great relationship, or a new car.
11. Break Down Your Goals
You don't need to wait until the New Year to set goals.
Determining your goals and breaking them down into actionable steps will help you achieve far more than you imagined.
Cultivating this skill early will benefit you throughout your life. Sometimes creating those steps can help with fixing a lack of focus that has prevented you from achieving your goals.
12. Fake It Till You Make It Works
Girls are far less likely than boys to go after something they want if they don’t think they’re qualified. This trend continues as girls become women, too.
Learn early on that faking it till you make it does work. Apply for the position even if you don’t meet all the criteria and put in the effort to fill in the gaps as you go.
13. Dress Like Who You Want To Be
Whether it’s attending a social event or a job interview,
Dress as the person you want to be!
Even if you’re applying for an internship, come dressed as if you’re applying for a manager position. First impressions are lasting.
Equipping young women with knowledge about the realities of life will help them navigate it as they grow older.
Making them understand that they must rely on themselves to achieve their goals and know their self-worth will help them succeed in their relationships, careers, and personal development.
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