In the past two weeks, I have practiced repeating positive affirmations to myself each day. This exercise helps me to recognize the power that my words have in creating good or causing harm in my life and in the lives of others. The result? I am much happier and at peace with myself, and I can see my positive energy reverberating to those around me, influencing them in the most beautiful way possible.
Last week, I came across this quote that I had saved for many years…
“Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.” – J. M. Barry
Reading this and reminiscing on the trickle effect of my own positive affirmations on others around me got me thinking deeply about being kinder than necessary to everyone, but particularly, other women through our words.
To be honest, being a woman in this part of the world is tough. We are always fighting one battle or another. Finding our voices in a society dominated by patriarchal beliefs and attitudes from both genders is a rather difficult process. At the workplace, for example, it is often more challenging to exert our authority, which means we have to work twice (and sometimes three times) as hard as men to prove ourselves and then, get our messages across.
Therefore, I think it is important that positive affirmations are made constant in our relationships with other women. We should aim to focus on speaking words that encourage and build us up rather than tear us down through criticism, gossip, and downright negative speeches.
I am blessed to have a mother, a sister, and a handful of female friends and colleagues who have taught me the value of seeking the good in others and speaking genuine and kind words and compliments to all whom I meet, but especially to other women. We underestimate the power that such gentle words can have on building our confidence and uplifting our spirits – exactly what we need to keep fighting for parity in every sense of the word.
Simply telling one another what we see and admire reminds us of our worth and helps us to build confidence and a greater appreciation for our qualities. I know it is often difficult for us to open up and speak positive thoughts of others. However, I think that putting aside our judgments and criticisms and adjusting our mindsets and attitudes to value truth, love, and guidance, can help us to foster trust among ourselves and develop meaningful relationships that allow us to grow and excel.
So, ladies (and gentlemen, if you’re reading this), let’s strive to speak positive words that encourage, fulfill, inspire and build women rather than undermine, devalue, and hurt them. Even in giving constructive feedback, let’s remember to be kind and challenge women to keep being better. That should be our goal.
This week, I charge you with the task of speaking positive words to the women and girls around you. Affirm their strengths and the traits you know others take for granted. Show your genuine appreciation for them, and challenge them to keep growing. I look forward to hearing how this exercise transforms you!