“If you want to go fast, you go alone. If you want to go far, we go together”.
These words came from my Rise to Power Ride Cycle instructor at 5:15 this morning, who may have gotten it from a variety of people since nobody truly knows where this quote originated.
I had been thinking about what I wanted to write for my next blog article and it hit me right then and there. Community and Connection. Through the past few weeks, I had started and stopped writing so many blog articles. None of them seemed to adequately explain what I have been noticing, thinking, and experiencing in my life. There was some self criticism in this process that I “should” be able to bang this stuff out, yet as I write this today, I know it was just the process I needed to come to this perfect topic.
There are countless articles with studies showing that every successful woman has a community of successful women behind her, cheering her on and challenging her to be her best self. Articles also show that building alliances, or a “sisterhood” with likeminded Women is amongst the top 3 challenges for Female Leaders. So really, what we know is that having your Female Crew is imperative in your success, as well as very challenging.
When I was gearing up to move back to New York from Georgia after being gone for 20 years, I knew it in my soul that I needed to be part of a group of strong, likeminded, determined, passionate, and compassionate women if I wanted to continue to succeed in my baby of a business that was only 2 years old. I was already part of my Coaching group, the Holistic Business School, which is filled with amazing, likeminded business women, and I yearned for even more connection. Luckily, I knew exactly who to go to in order to get this need met! So before I even moved back to NY in December, I reached out to my cousin, Chris Belin, and was connected immediately with WINC-Women Inspired through Networking and Collaboration-which is filled with Professional Women who believe in personal and professional growth, female empowerment, and giving back to the community.
Through my connection with this amazing community of women, I have gained a sense of purpose in my local community, friendships that are filled with authenticity, vulnerability, and tons of laughter, and inspiration to continue pushing past my comfort zones.
Not only do I have these groups, I have my loving, powerhouse friends, and amazingly strong women in my family. I am beyond blessed!
Sometimes I ask myself how I got so lucky to have these women in my life, and to have not just one, but two, groups of amazing women in my journey of life?
Some of it is “luck” or what I consider the Universe aligning for my best interest, and the other is strategy.
Here are 5 tips to create your Powerful Female Community that your soul has been yearning for:
1. Know thyself. You first need to fully understand your Authentic Self-not the one your family, friends, or society has prescribed to you, but who you really are at your core. Many times, we live by the values and beliefs created for us through our family, and we don’t really question if those values truly align with us as we grow and expand. It’s time to revisit our values and get curious about whether or not they still apply. This is the first step because it will lead us to the “right” group for us. For instance, when I was searching for a Business Coach, I completely aligned with a Holistic Business Coach who had also been a Licensed Psychotherapist. When I was searching for a group of local Professional Women, I knew they had to value empowering Women, collaboration, and giving back to the community. These are all my Authentic Values.
2. Manifest Your Community. That’s right. Take some time to either write out, or meditate on, your perfect crew of women. This is like a supercharged and super-powered intention that the Universe will hear and doors will begin to open. To do this, think about the “perfect” group of women for you. What are they like? What do they value? How do you feel around them? How do you all compliment each other? What value do they bring you? What value do you bring them? Imagine all of this as if you have already found your crew. Allow yourself to feel the excitement and support of connecting with these women. Do this exercise more than once-try it daily until your vision becomes a reality.
3. Use Social Media for Good. Social media is an amazing resource filled with information. I have heard so many people taking a break from social media because it is “bringing them down”, or “making them angry”, or “losing hope in the world”. Yes…social media can be heavy and there can be some aggressive people on there. Here is a little secret though…YOU CHOOSE what you want to focus on and who you follow. Isn’t that amazing?! You have the choice to keep scrolling and even unfollow/unfriend people that are not in alignment with your values. The reason I found my amazing crews of Women is that I fill my feeds with positivity, follow empowered and inspirational women, and lots of food for thought articles. So start searching for Female Groups that align with your values and inspiration. The algorithms in social media will pick that up and give you more.
4. Step Outside Your Comfort Zone. Meeting new people is often scary. Lots of fears come to the surface. What if they don’t like me? What if I don’t like them? What if I say something stupid? What if they say something stupid? What is going to be required from me? What if I can’t hold up my end of the bargain? What if they can’t hold up their end of the bargain? What these fears often come down to is a general fear of rejection and a fear of being held accountable. If you are really serious about your personal and professional success, you will acknowledge these fears and continue moving forward. I remember when I committed to both of these groups. I was terrified because of all the reasons listed above. The fear was my indicator of the importance of these decisions. I was not only making a commitment to the group, I was making a huge commitment to myself. Feel the fear and do it anyways!
5. Use Your Support. Making the commitment to the group is one important step. The other imperative step is actually using the support to its fullest capacity. Don’t just sit quietly by and people watch as others network. Dive in! Or as one of my Coaching clients would say “Cannonball!”. Talk to everyone possible. Use all of the possible resources. Ask questions. Ask for help (I know ladies…super difficult one for most of us!). Ask for feedback. Ask for support. Offer support. Offer feedback. Offer to step in and help at events. Listen to the trainings if that is something they provide. Go to all the events possible. These steps will provide you with unfathomable worth beyond your wildest dreams. It is truly amazing what gets to happen when Women Unite.
So if you are searching for your Crew, follow the steps above. We are meant to grow and learn together. We are stronger together. We will go far…together.
Here are some links to the groups I referenced in this article, as well as the link to my FB group that is filled with amazing and beautiful Women such as yourself.
Want more information from Leanne? Contact her today at Essentially Zenful. Note: *This article is reprinted with permission from Essentially Zenful.