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Because March is Women’s History month, we’ve been focusing on ways to lift up ourselves and the women in our lives. One specific word that has been thrown around more often than usual is the word “empower”. But what does that even mean?

Empower (verb): To make (someone) stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.

An empowered woman is someone who knows her strengths and isn’t afraid to embrace them. To be empowered means to be in control of your life, aware of your capabilities, and ready to take on even your biggest dreams.

In a time like this, saying that you’re empowered sounds easy – but truly being empowered is a different story.

Empowered women aren’t perfect; in fact, empowered women mess up, a lot. But they learn from their mistakes, and they’re not afraid to get back on the horse after a disappointment. Empowered women take risks and they work hard to ensure that those risks pay off. They build their empire brick by brick, and they aren’t afraid to toss a brick at someone who tries to tear them down. Being empowered means being determined, confident, and fearless.

To be an empowered woman means not only believing in yourself, but also believing in those around you. Empowered women empower women. They lift up their peers, and they’re willing to help you lift that brick that’s a little heavier than the rest. A key to being empowered is surrounding yourself with hardworking, successful, empowered women who can encourage you and be an example for you when times get tough.

So why is this so important?

There was a time when women did not have the same fundamental rights as men. Women couldn’t vote and often didn’t really have a voice outside of their husband. This all changed thanks to fearless women who empowered themselves and each other when it really mattered most.

Even today, society likes to tell people, especially women, that they’re a victim. A victim of their peers, a victim of oppression, or even a victim of their circumstances. This victim mindset is damaging to self esteem and morale, as it minimizes us to a set of circumstances or opinions. Sexism from individuals will always exist. It’s impossible to prevent an individual from being sexist without disregarding the first amendment. There will always be that one man who talks down to you or belittles you. There will be the boss who doesn’t value your opinion like he should. That doesn’t mean you have to cower. Rather than protesting it, stand up for yourself. Beat out that man who looks down on you next time a promotion comes around. Start your own business and leave that boss behind. For an empowered woman, there are so many ways to rise above victimization and sexism with your head held high.

Being an empowered woman is important because we want to keep moving forward. We want to prove that we deserve a seat at the table by earning it, not by protesting for it. In this day and age, empowered women are the future. Women who go out and get what they want are the girl bosses of the 21st century, and they’re vital to a thriving and growing nation. Being empowered is the avenue to success. You have the potential to be wildly successful in whatever you’re passionate about. All it takes is an empowered mindset and a dream.

Lauren N
MANAGING EDITOR
Lauren is one of our managing editors here at Future Female Leaders. When she is not editing FFL articles, you can find her color coding her whole life in her Lilly Pulitzer agenda. She's a southern girl who loves Hokie football and isn't afraid to be politically incorrect, so consider this your trigger warning.