I am not completely comfortable describing myself as an “inspiring" woman. Maybe it's the fact that self-praise, or praise in general, makes me feel slightly uneasy. But, more than anything, inspiring is something that I surely want to be -- to my daughters, to my friends, other moms, and really to all people. You know who else I want to inspire? Myself. Yep, I truly feel like self-inspiration is the greatest motivator, and we all know that exhausted mommas can surely use any motivation they can get.
I don't think that being an inspiring woman equates to being overly successful in a traditional sense. You don't need a high-paying job or an admirable career to be an inspiring woman. You don't have to be a best-selling author or an expert on something to be an inspiring woman. And, you most definitely do not need to be perfect to be an inspiring woman. I would even go so far as to say that the most inspiring women that I know and admire are completely, utterly, and beautifully imperfect.
So, how can you be an inspiring woman? I'll tell you how.
** Radiate humble confidence. This is not as easy as it sounds. Confidence without reason and humility is not confidence at all -- it is cockiness, and there is nothing inspiring about that. But someone who works hard enough (yes, being humbly confident is hard work), has self-awareness, and is conscious of and connected to those around them, is exuding true modest assurance, and that's inspiring.
** Ooze kindness and compassion. Yep, those whose benevolence drips off of them constantly --they are inspiring. To be an inspiring woman, you must make a conscious effort each and every day, with each and every interaction, to approach people, topics, and situations with altruism in your heart -- this will be both for yourself and for those observing you.
** Handle negative situations, people, and words with grace. This can be really hard. Who wants to be nice to someone who is being mean? We all know that most of us would rather take the lemon life handed us and chuck it before we would take it and make it into lemonade (or maybe a lemon Bellini). But, possessing that rare quality to consistently speak and act from a place of honest gratitude of the heart, and to regularly emit grace toward other human beings, across all situations, is truly heartwarming and yes, inspiring.
** Embrace your imperfections. We all have flaws. We all have numerous flaws. However, every single inspiring woman I know does not let her "perceived flaws" debilitate her. Inspiring women recognize their short-comings as opportunities for improvement. Inspiring women, they love their imperfections because pinpointing them offers them a chance for further self-improvement.
** Be authentic. Just be you. It's really that simple. The most inspiring women are those that are honest -- in their thoughts and in their actions. Interactions with an inspiring woman always feels genuine.
** Be intrinsically self-motivated. Extrinsic motivations will waver, and so will the pleasure you receive from them. But nothing, nothing at all, can be taken away if it's intrinsic. Inspiring women know this, and therefore they live this. They live to make themselves happy. They live to impress themselves and what an attractive quality that is.
** Always be learning. A "know-it-all" is not the least bit inspiring. But alternatively, someone who is eager to learn from anyone and any situation is so respectable, and worth being admired.
** Be flexible. Yes. Inspiring women "don't sweat the small stuff;" they don't let obstacles derail them. They also make the conscious decision to go with the flow no matter it's direction -- they ride it out and they make the best of the journey -- which is pretty amazing.
** Exude strength in times of adversity. It is so easy to let life knock you down and steal your joy, but, those strong, inspirational women, they don't let it. They stand up to life, stare it in the face, show it their muscles, and they win. Don't you want to be on a winning team? Yep, you and your strength -- you make a formidable opponent.
** Embrace your inner creative being. Inspiring women are unique and funny and one-of-a-kind. You don't have to be serious all of the time to be successful, and you sure don't have to stay inside the lines. Let your inner creative out, and embrace the freedom you feel in doing so -- your spirit will enjoy this and so will your observers.
You know what you might find surprising? The fact that you are probably already inspiring others and you aren't even aware of it. What women inspire me? My mother, my mother-in-law, my sister, my sister-in-law, my daughters, the women in my extended family, my friends, my kid's teachers, their pediatrician, and so many women that I encounter throughout a normal day.
You may be a real-life woman, but you are also an inspiring one.
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