Most women experience low self-esteem. I would say “all” women, but I am sure there is some woman out there who is unfailingly confident (I’ve never met her, but I’m sure she probably exists). In my lifetime, I would say I have experienced a lack of confidence at least once a day. However, I don’t let that stop me from doing what I believe to be important.  I trudge on, over-analyzing everything, while trying to do my best, hopefully smiling a little along the way. Sometimes it’s harder than others.

I would like to blame Hollywood and supermodels for inundating the world with images of “perfect people”, but that’s just what they are, images. I know the women in advertisements and movies represent only a teeny-tiny percentage of the women in the world. I also know that they don’t look “magazine-ready” when they are sitting on their couch watching television and they aren’t the perfect people they portray in the movies. These women are not what keep me from feeling confident. Unfortunately, it’s the women I encounter on a daily basis, and I would venture to say it’s the same scenario for many other women.

So, I would like to put a proposal out to all women…Please stop judging each other. As a demographic, women are thought of as smart, beautiful, strong, capable and maybe sexy. Oh, and we are also thought of as catty, manipulative, judgmental, gossipy, and pushy. I like the first list, but the second one makes me cringe. So, I propose that we, as a group, stop giving each other the once-over when we meet (you know, the look of “I can’t believe she’s wearing those jeans” or “who did her hair, Edward Scissorhands?”), stop judging a mom whose car floor is covered in goldfish and French fries, and stop thinking every woman who does well in her career either slept her way to the top or could star as the wicked witch.

Instead, I suggest we praise each other, support one another, and encourage all women in whatever their endeavor. A compliment makes both the giver and the receiver feel good, so spread them around. Look for the good instead of focusing on the bad. We can have such a positive effect on each other. Imagine all the things we don’t do because we are afraid of what other people may think. Now imagine how incredible the world would be if women felt encouraged to do the amazing things they are not confident enough to try. We might have flying cars by now!

It starts with something little like a smile or a compliment. For example, usually when I go grocery shopping, I focus on my list and try to get out as fast as I can. I generally pay very little attention to the people around me unless someone really stands out. Then I find myself falling into the judgmental category. The other day, I made an effort to look at each person I passed and smile. I was amazed at how many people smiled back and how many people said hello and even made small talk. It was a small effort, but I felt great! Imagine what it would do for your attitude at work, or at the playground, or at church. You would be lifting the spirits of those around you as well as your own. These small actions can lead to bigger plans like mentoring a young woman in your career field or starting a scholarship program.

Women have the capacity to be passionate, compassionate, hard-working, and creative. We also tend to be harder on ourselves and on each other.  As a way of raising the collective self-esteem of women, which could change the world, compliment a woman today and see what a difference it makes.


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