March is National Women’s History Month and it’s got me thinking: what drives our incredible historical figures – people like Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, LaDonna Tamakawastewin Allard – to their rare courage? In a patriarchal society, each of these impressive women has had enough self-respect, self-love, to believe that her voice was worth hearing and her ideas worth exploring.
“When they go low, we go high,” said Michele Obama, one of my heroes. Mrs. Obama’s poise and intellect are easy to see, but what strikes me most about her is her “emotional intelligence.” She shows us that strong women are loving, kind, compassionate and take their health seriously. Mrs. Obama is a game-changer.
So, how do you get the gumption to go after your goals and take charge of your own destiny? Here are the 5 “E’s” for becoming a game-changer:
1. Exercise. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it doesn’t get better than the confidence-boosting endorphin rush you get from a great workout. The health and beauty benefits can’t be beat, either! Cleansing sweat, strong muscles, and a clear mind will help fill your reserves so you can go after your goals and have more to give to others.
2. Escape. Nourish your mind by reading the biography of one of the inspiring women we celebrate this month. Go to a museum. See a show. Forget the day-to-day and discover what a peek into another world can do for your perspective.
3. Explore. Say no to commitments and plans that don’t feel right. Instead, carve out time to explore new ideas every day. Think freely. Find out what you like. And what you don’t! Your preferences will help lead you to what you’re passionate about and give clues to what makes you happy.
4. Endow. Give of yourself to someone in need. Focusing on others is soul-mending at its finest. Whether you choose to go to a food bank or check on your neighbor, stepping outside your own world to be of service in someone else’s can fill your tank like nothing else can.
5. Embrace. Focus on what’s going right. Did you get your kids to school on time today? Make a mental note. Finished an assignment? Nice work. Don’t forget to acknowledge all that you do well. Maybe even reward yourself for it.
Knowing who you are – and loving that person with all you’ve got – is a crucial step toward standing up for what you believe in and fulfilling your potential.
My mother, my greatest hero and teacher, always showed by example that if you want something, you take the steps to make it happen. The trick is to know what you want and follow the signs from there. When you can do that, you’ve changed the game.