The Best Thing A Woman Can Do For Herself
Alright, I’ll admit it.
I couldn’t stop myself.
I just binge-watched the whole first season of Reese Witherspoon’s new show on Netflix, called “Shine On.”
In it, she meets with and interviews women doing amazing things and accomplishing big things in all different industries, from journalism to sports to producing movies to the military.
She sits down with legends like Dolly Parton, icons like Pink, and those closer to the start of their careers, like country singer Kacey Musgraves.
Even though all of these women have different backgrounds and work in a wide variety of fields, they all have something in common:
They’re being true to themselves, against all odds.
Of course it sucked me in. I had no chance of escaping from the moment I started reading the description.
This is exactly the kind of thing I love more than almost anything else: real people, doing real things, making real change in the world.
I love hearing about anyone’s success story; but when I see a powerful woman making an impact and doing what she loves, it resonates with me on a much deeper level. It becomes real for me, and motivates me to go after my own dreams.
I look at them and think, If they can do it, I can do it.
Surprisingly, what I found most inspirational about these women actually had nothing to do with fame or success (though they are all very successful in their own right by society’s standards).
What I found most inspiring about them was how human they are.
They’re all just trying to live their lives the best they can, be the best they can, and do right by others. They’re trying to care for their families, give to their fans, and follow their hearts all at the same time.
The best part, though, is that they’re not perfect — and they know it. They fully embrace their own imperfection, instead of trying to hide it, and there is nothing more powerful than this.
Each one of them is just being who they are, doing what comes naturally to them, and acting on what feels right for them — but they’re doing it on a public scale, for the whole world to see.
They’re not just writing their little stories or songs and then hiding them away in their desk drawer forever. They’re bringing them to life, putting them out into the world, and standing behind them — even when others won’t.
They’re repeatedly giving themselves permission to have a voice — and to use it — no matter how harsh the critics may be, or who tries to break their spirits.
And this is what the world needs now.
The best thing a woman can do for herself is to be herself — all of herself.
That means giving herself permission to exist, to take up space, to have feelings, wants, needs, goals, dreams, desires, ambition — but also bad days, rest days, unproductive days, and the rest of the entire human experience.
The best thing we can each do is allow ourselves to be real, raw, and authentic — because that gives others permission to do the same.
When everyone feels comfortable enough to be themselves (their true selves) and safe enough to let themselves be seen, a better world exists.
I think we each have a responsibility to be the change we wish to see in the world, and that starts with having honesty and integrity.
We all have to figure out what feels right for us, and it’s not easy to do. It takes some real introspection, and the courage to look inside in the first place.
Once we find it, though, it can be even harder to act in alignment with it, out of fear of being criticized or laughed at or rejected.
But this is what we need to do more of if we are to follow in these brave women’s footsteps.
This is what we need to do if we want to see a world where women have equal opportunity, equal rights, and greater representation throughout all sectors.
So here’s what I’m going to do:
I’m going to practice being true to myself, both as a writer, and as a person.
In my writing, I’m going to write the truth, as honestly and authentically as I possibly can. My truth. If that means writing about peanut butter sandwiches some days and ways women can change the world other days, that’s okay with me.
That’s life, anyway. Some days or moments are pretty low-key, and others are completely earth-shattering. The full spectrum.
In my life, I’m going to practice saying no more often, to things that don’t work for me, don’t feel right for me, or that I don’t want to do. By saying no more often, we make more space for things that are a “yes” for us.
Just these two things will be a lifetime’s work — but it might be the most important work we can do.