Photo credit, Jerry Schatzberg, jerryschatzberg.com
Cleopatra. Eleanor of Aquitaine. Jane Austen. Marie Curie. Princess Diana. Rosa Parks. Harriet Tubman. The list goes on and on…
Throughout human history, fierce feminine leaders have aroused our passions and inspired us to greatness in our lives and as leaders ourselves. These extraordinary women were, and are, both fierce and feminine.
Today, the flow of women into business and organizations is at a historical high and yet the challenge to achieve all that we want seems to come at great cost to ourselves, our life’s balance, our wholeness, happiness, and yes… to our femininity.
It is all too easy to conclude that the only way to succeed “in a man’s world” (I hate that phrase, let’s stop using it), is to abandon the woman within and take on only traditionally masculine traits of leadership style, personality, and values. But history proves this is a disempowering lie.
What’s true is that there is a powerful catharsis afoot in leadership and power today for Women leaders. We have the opportunity to redefine what success looks like and feels like — away from past societal, familial or gender conditioning, away from the ancestral masculine leadership style, and away from the disempowering reliance upon external sources of validation to make us feel strong and worthy.
The magnificent truth is, our femininity holds a timeless power no man can command, and we must step back into it, not away from it, to realize our most heroic and joy-fulfilled lives.
As responsible leaders, we – as Women – must continue to be the change we want to see in this world by embedding our feminine qualities in our daily practice of power. Imagine for a moment that the “glass ceiling” could be dissolved by Women who understand, embrace and celebrate being powerfully Feminine and Fierce at once…
The distinctive power of femininity, emphatically, is finally carving space in business, home life, relationships and is becoming recognized as a strength and asset. Women want their authentic version of what success feels like and looks like when running a business, being equal in any relationship, and being unapologetically fierce, strong and radiant at once.
When we own our feminine attributes, we give ourselves permission to shine through our leadership skills, charisma, relationships, influence and capacity to relate to those around us. Suddenly, those around us can relax and become more magnetically drawn to our leadership. Combine those very gifts women organically possess on the inside, yet have disconnected from, to the skills and expertise that fierce warrior women in business must harness on the outside to thrive…and you now have a revolutionary and magnetic advanced model for Power and Leadership.
Femininity is your deepest source of inner strength and resilience, not a weakness. Femininity is your inherent power, not your insufficiency.
Fierceness is the imperative edge you must acquire to perform with unapologetic certainty in your business life.
Merge those two essences and Women have the possibility to create an unbounded reality by choosing to redefine success and power from the inside out, in the only way that creates radical change.
The moment has come to step out of your box and dare more by choosing You!
Dare more to be truthfully You by reconnecting to what you have sacrificed for so long, the woman in you who is painfully needing to come out of her closet… The Feminine part of you who screams to fuse with the fierce warrior within to unapologetically embody that perfect merge sitting at the boardroom table.
To get you started, here are five ways you can be fiercely feminine now.
Power: Own who you are unapologetically and gracefully
We all know that women need to share through the art of talking and inclusivity, while the opposite stands true for men who typically are less communicative, transparent and vulnerable in their approach. Sadly and by default, women leaders have formed this belief for the need to adapt to a more male leadership style by covering their differences and “perceived” flaws, and hide behind masks that could reveal their vulnerable inner truths. We feel the need to be perceived as perfect and successful according to a given and unchallenged patriarchal mold, and consequently hide the meaningful road bumps of our journey. I understand that this behavior is exercised to maintain control over our old perception of power and influence, but it hinders our ability to connect with our deeper authentic truth, hence it cripples our connection with others. Hiding behind masks depletes our ability to inspire and build authentic relationships. More importantly, not showing our authentic selves drains our energy. When you share your whole self, you inspire others to share theirs, increase your integrity, and garner loyalty as you cultivate trust. Practice not apologizing for your truth, or compromise on what is meaningful to you. Connect with the source of your power, detached from an external warrant system and engage in your business and in your life with Fierce Femininity… or defiant grace!
Magnetic Leadership begins with Self-Leadership:
To be a powerful and influential leader, you must start with taking responsibility for yourself first and foremost. Self Leadership is about internal ownership of your empowering values, beliefs and personal attributes so you can actually model them externally. Only then can you create congruence between your innate feminine and masculine qualities. By embracing your adaptability, integrity, authenticity and intuition with your fierce driven ambition, you can embody the full spectrum of powerful leadership traits that create collaboration, win-win outcomes and effortless retention among other benefits. A truly incredible female leader has done the inner work that breeds external results and a contagious presence. It is time for you to commit to being your best self.
Cultivate your sustainable performance:
Performance is achieved very differently by men or women. Masculine performance attributes are in part: linear, driving with force, outcome based, control based. When the feminine essence is much more about spontaneity, expansion, creativity, process based, time and meaning. Unfortunately, most women today report that grinding and hustling their way to the top in a patriarchal fashion leaves them feeling exhausted, energy poor, isolated, unfulfilled and under performing. Being in constant over-drive does not yield sustainable success. Let go of your need for perfection and control, and integrate your natural energy within for wholistic, unwavering, and sustainable performance.
Connect and create impact with your Influence:
Masterful Influence is built on the ability to connect authentically. The process of connection requires relating with empathy, love and compassion. The first step to offering this to others is by embracing your inner radical self love, and understanding that putting yourself first isn’t selfish but mandatory in serving others with only your best self. From that space comes more authenticity, more transparent communication and manifests trust for all involved. Who you are within creates the greater impact externally through the energy you emanate. Create a meaningful impact by raising your vibrational field of energy and building connections to be the vehicle of your influence.
Integration: the alchemical blend
The sum of all parts manifests for you when you have chosen to integrate the above principles of owning your Fiercely Feminine power within. Embodying this alchemy means that you accept and allow the very essences,and their principles, that make you whole to flow according to your needs. Alternatively, this knowing gives you permission to have an inner reach for accessible forces that boost your Inner Genius. Influential and powerful leaders master an inner knowing of themselves, an incredible ability to connect and relate, as well a superior command of their inner alignment. Today’s exceptional leaders understand that inner alignment produces outer results.
In conclusion, what actions can you take daily to reconnect with you?
Your Self is a combination of your heart and mind; it is the truth within you, and becoming connected to it has the power to help you manifest and realize all you are meant to be. We become disconnected from our sense of Self when we lead our lives unconsciously at warp speed, skipping on all that self love may bring forth. When pursuing the external that is misaligned from our heart, when outside forces are permitted to influence our inner world, and when masks are worn, the result is an increasing and invasive disconnect from Self. When we follow your purpose, engage our creativity, and use intuition and feminine intelligence to guide our daily embodiment of our Self leadership, we become in tune with our powerful Self. You can reconnect with your Self through meditation, journaling, creating, and aligning your work and actions towards your greater goals. Be the leader of your Self and the CEO of your life.
Daily rituals: Each morning, include a short meditation and/or journaling session to center you on your greater goals and purpose. If meditation does not work for you yet, create alone time centering and emptying your head through movement. With consistency in this, you can better align your tasks throughout the day and shifting what you lend your attention to in order to make time for your greater purpose.
Cultivate Your Creativity
The patriarchal order in society, and business, tells us to be analytical and stay within the lines. Whether this manifests through corporate structure at work, university, or another formal body, we often become unconsciously disconnected from our intuitive creativity as we move up in these worlds. Make space today to allow one of the very trait that your feminine essence bestows upon you: creativity. Women are the ultimate Creator. Give yourself time to ideate, formulate, write, make, and create. Dare to go wild with it by making a list of tools that free your creative juices. Movement, such as dancing (even by yourself in your living room or the back office!), or mother nature (take some air at a break), or spend time at the gym (my biggest downloads occur on the stair master!) etc… When we intentionally create this space for ourselves, it not only allows us to connect within and avoid burnout, but also gives us fresh perspectives and ideas we can nurture and utilize to differentiate and elevate our work.
Express your fierce femininity outwardly, in your unique style:
Something any woman who’s been in the world of business knows is the expectation of putting on a “mask of masculinity” through our clothing in order to tame our difference to hopefully be better accepted, respected, or promoted. Have you ever bought something to wear to work you didn’t totally fall in love with, something that didn’t really express who you are, but “would be good for work”? It is draining to consistently cover up in an attempt to receive respect and acceptance. Challenge yourself to express your personal style and femininity in a way that feels authentic to you, while grounding in elegance, dignity and softness that femininity is all about! Femininity is not about manipulation of women’s physical attributes. Don’t alter who you are depending on the situation, yet master the art of your individualistic external magnificence. Break free of the masculine archetype of what “power” looks like on the outside, and command respect simply by the elegant strength of your presence; your new power comes from being authentically you!
Practice collaboration and abundance thinking:
Competitiveness is a masculine trait that professional, high-achieving women, often mis-use. Though healthy competition serves its purpose driving us to constantly improve, hyper-competitiveness has shown to be ineffective. In the rigid, merciless world of business, many of us learn that the only way to get ahead is to adopt behaviors that do not serve Women: competition, turning off empathy, undermine if you have to get ahead, and primarily focus on the financial outcome. Our feminine traits are rooted in the opposite: inclusion, empathy, collaboration, nurturing and giving. We’re turning a new leaf for both men and women in business in which feminine attributes are found to be more effective, more desired by organizations, and lead to greater overall success by emphasizing on the meaning and values in the process to arrive to the outcome. As women, the way to powerful and authentic leadership is through abundance thinking and giving, being empathetic, and collaborating transparently in a way that comes naturally to us. A scarcity mentality only brings more lack in a world where competitiveness has created separation, without keeping equal space for prosperous alliances where a win-win mentality is the only viable methodology to conscious success.
Connect with your Self:
Daily. Your Self is a combination of your heart and mind; it is the truth within you, and becoming connected to it has the power to help you manifest and realize all you are meant to be. We become disconnected from our sense of Self when we lead our lives unconsciously at warp speed, skipping on all that self love may bring forth. When pursuing the external that is misaligned from our heart, when outside forces are permitted to influence our inner world, and when masks are worn, the result is an increasing and invasive disconnect from Self. When we follow your purpose, engage our creativity, and use intuition and feminine intelligence to guide our daily embodiment of our Self leadership, we become in tune with our powerful Self. You can reconnect with your Self through meditation, journaling, creating, and aligning your work and actions towards your greater goals. Be the leader of your Self and the CEO of your life.
Try this: each morning, include a short meditation and/or journaling session to center you on your greater goals and purpose. If meditation does not work for you yet, create alone time centering and emptying your head through movement. With consistency in this, you can better align your tasks throughout the day and shifting what you lend your attention to in order to make time for your greater purpose.
With a shift in mindset and reconnecting to your inner and unique power, you will emerge more radiant and fierce than ever.
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