Its taken about 100 years, but in 2015, women are finally being embraced in popular culture. From Beyonce to Eleanor Roosevelt, Mother Teresa to Margaret Thatcher, the 20th and 21st centuries have featured some of the most powerful women in history. However, being a powerful woman idolized on Pinterest isn’t just for the rich and already famous. Whether you’re the president of your chapter and/or are dreaming to be the President of the United States, here’s some of the 7 habits of powerful women.
Support other women: “Good for her! Not for me. That is the motto women should constantly repeat over and over again.” Again, Queen Amy. Powerful women didn’t become who they are now by stepping on the heels of women ahead of them. Women should support each other’s plans, ideas, and projects, because really, if you don’t, who is going to?
- Be aware of body language: Amy Cuddy says nonverbal cues are how you communicate with the world, and we can change our outer perception by changing our body language. Powerful women appear confident, even if they aren’t. Cuddy says to “fake it till you make it” and you’ll find that assuming powerful stances will lower cortisol (stress) hormone levels after only holding a power-pose for 2 minutes.
- Be vulnerable: in a world famous TED talk, Brene Brown presented her research on how people think. She claims that we are a society that thrives on shame. Women specifically fall prey to shame more often than not, and shame is perpetuated by fear. People are separated by how they feel, and those that feel they are worthy of love and belonging are more likely to exhibit those feelings towards others. In addition, those same people show vulnerability openly, and embrace their weaknesses as an opportunity for change. By believing that we deserve and are worthy of love and belonging, we accept our vulnerabilities, which drives out shame and fear.
- Don’t shy from assertion: Amy Poehler says ” I love bossy women. I could be around them all day. To me, bossy is not a pejorative term at all. It means somebody’s passionate and engaged and ambitious and doesn’t mind leading.” Being decisive makes big things happen. Assertive women are the go-getters, the ones who are responsible for change, and to quote Tina Fey, “*itches get stuff done”.
- Be disciplined: Stay focused on areas where you can make an impact. Whether is is enhancing your philanthropy or strengthening chapter relations, make sure that you are staying true to the goals at hand. Its easy to be distracted by new trends or ideas that may not pan out in the long run, so try to take on one project at a time while making a list of future plans. Extending yourself too far can make the quality of your work suffer across the board.
- Be grateful: People who said “thank you” in the first 30 minutes of their morning to at least one person had a more positive approach to the rest of their interactions throughout the day. We focus so much on moving forward that often times we forget to thank those who support us and make every day possible.
- Screw boundaries: Oprah didn’t become the woman she is today because she let someone tell her she wasn’t good enough. J.K. Rowling lived off of welfare until her book finally sold. Sandra Day O’Connor sat on an entirely male bench. Audrey Hepburn was born to a Nazi sympathizer who walked out on her family. Powerful women don’t allow financial, political, racial, or gender barriers hold them back from becoming the influential people they are today.