We all have a tendency to put images to the words that we hear. One most particular example I could think of is, whenever I heard the words “empowered” or “self-confident”, I would instantly imagine a very stock image like picture of a woman, wearing the coldest smile I could ever imagine, with eyebrows held up high, as if she were judging me for the choices that I’ve made. For the longest time, I was trying to fit myself into this construct of what an empowered woman was in my head. I would always think to myself that I had to be a certain way in order to succeed in life.
And you know what? I was so wrong.
Knowing yourself, acknowledging all your strengths and weaknesses, accepting who you are and then moving forward, that is what self-empowerment is. Building your self-esteem doesn’t mean taking what is good about you, and leaving all the things you could work on behind. No, building your self-esteem means taking the good parts of yourself and being grateful about them as well as taking the not-so good parts and acknowledging that they’re there. And if you want to, you could work towards making that bad thing into a good thing. Understanding that made me challenge that “imagery” that I had. Yes, Gabbie. You can be sensitive and empowered. You can be girly and still be a feminist. You can be vulnerable, but also strong. You could not know the big words, but still say meaningful things.
So…what was the point of saying that?
In a world where imagery is everything, where beauty in human form can be printed in a piece of paper, we forget that most of the things that we try to define are actually more than what meets the eye. Let’s challenge ourselves to keep challenging constructs in our minds, keep contributing to discussions that matter and keep thinking in the minds of other people. Because the people that challenge, that fail and then try again, the people who change the game, these people are the drivers of progress.