08/31/2016 09:44 pm ET Updated Sep 01, 2017

8 Ways to Empower Yourself and Others

There's power in support and encouragement. There's power in lifting one another up. This is especially the case for women.

Even though our world has come along way, it's a sad fact that women still aren't as equal in society as they should be. Not only in our own society, but in cultures around the world. Whether it's in education, the career market, relationships, the fitness community, or in everyday exchanges, women are still treated as less than. Unfortunately, we ourselves play a role in this by not exuding confidence that we are valuable and entitled to proper treatment. Remember, you have to ask for what you need.

When we let others walk all over us, take advantage, and not give us the credit that is due, we quickly become disempowered and contribute to the furtherance of mistreatment of women around the world.

You may not think you can make a difference, but even the small actions you take on a daily basis to empower yourself (and the women around you!) can contribute to blazing a new path for girls and women around the world.
Today I want to share a few ways YOU can promote female empowerment! The list of women in my own life who empower me to be better on a daily basis is too long to list, but I appreciate each and every one of them being present in my life.

I thought I'd share some tips I came up with to empower yourself and others. Sometimes, I find it hard to feel empowered...but these reminders always help me feel a little stronger and competent in my everyday life!

Be Independent

Set up your life so that you don't have to rely on others to get by. Whether this means simply being able to provide yourselves with the basic essentials (food, clothing, water, and shelter) or being confident on your own in social situations, fulfilling these needs on your own gives you the certainty you need to feel in control of your life. But being independent is more than being able to provide for yourself financially, it means BEING COMFORTABLE with yourself. You have to know that you're strong enough to face any situation on your own. When you are secure in your capabilities and don't rely on a family member of partner to make you feel safe and stable, you're able to increase your confidence and get to know yourself better.

Keep Learning

Don't stop pursuing education or knowledge in general! The more you know the better informed you'll be as a woman. You can stay abreast of world issues and have confidence when people challenge you in conversation. Taking the initiative to teach yourself something new is one of the most empowering things you can do. Read a book on a subject you're unfamiliar with, browse news sites on the internet, join a new club!

Invest in Education for Women

This goes hand in hand with the previous tip. Knowledge is power and spreading it to as many women as possible is key. Whether it's donating funds to programs that serve women or volunteering your time to help others learn a new skill, it makes a difference and unleashes a girl's potential within.

Make Connections

I'm lucky enough have met some amazing women through my affiliations and ambassadorships. Having them to bounce ideas off of, ask questions to, get support from, and find out about opportunities from has been amazing for my personal development and growth. Network! Put yourself out there! Make your name known. You never know who may be able to help you down the line. Having a community of business and personal relationships that you can rely on for honest critiques, advice, and insight will help you become a better person.

Be Your Own Boss

Start your own business! Tap into those passions that you always thought were marketable but didn't have enough confidence in to pursue. Don't feel like you're ready to become an entrepreneur? Start small. Consider taking on more responsibility in your current position. When women adopt leadership roles, they contribute a unique set of skills, ideas, and life experiences that can broaden the entire outlook of the team under them. Women in leadership positions also tend to help other women gain experience and act as amazing mentors to up and comers.

Support Woman Owned Businesses

If you can't start your own business, support those of the women around you! Make it a point to buy from women owned businesses. Not only are you personally contributing to another woman's success, but you are making it easier for other women to gain a footing in the world of business and entrepreneurship. Purposefully, seek out women owned businesses for products or gifts you'd be buying anyways. WBENC is a great resource for finding women owned businesses in your area!

Build Self Esteem

Self-esteem based on external attributes and accomplishments is not sustainable. Take the time to make note of your good, inner qualities. Are you a good friend? Do you provide for your family? Do you inspire others? Often what you dislike about yourself blinds you from seeing all the good you offer the world. Become aware of unique qualities by really taking to heart the positive things that others say about you. Try writing them down so you have them to refer back to and don't be afraid to feel a little pride in yourself! just to impress yourself. Learning to appreciate yourself is a skill and like with all skills it takes practice. So be gentle on yourself and work on feeling valuable every day. Also, try to refrain from negative self talk! It's the quickest way to hurt your self-esteem.

Believe in Your Dreams

The Disney cliché, right? But it's true. No dream is to big or to bold to attain. In fact dream, even when they are not accomplished, make you a more determined, driven person and set you on a path to success in general. When you believe in your ability to accomplish your dreams, the more likely you are to actually follow through with it. Of course some things in life are out of our control, but if you prioritize your goals, keep them in mind consistently, and TRY you can make anything happen.

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