Our society reveres strong, confident, powerful women. We tend to elevate and honour those who are successful, out-spoken, dominant over-achievers who are authoritative, and have great presence.
I am all for strong, confident, and powerful people – hence, the name of my company being Bold New Girls. I am passionate and committed to teaching and coaching girls to discover who they are, to know and share their voices, and to confidently step into their own greatness and potential to feel “happy, healthy, confident, and inspired”. But, lately I have been thinking about what it means to be bold and strong and also wondering about weakness. Is meekness weakness? Or, can meekness be inner, hidden strength?
I consider myself to be a strong person. I have faced many obstacles and challenges in life and I have triumphed over some pretty extreme trials and tribulations. Yet, I am also kind, gentle, and “soft” in nature. I wonder if sometimes, these qualities, much less revered in our society, are often mistaken for “weakness”. And I challenge those people who have told me “nice people finish last” and to “get thicker skin”. I wonder if my attributes make me a “weak” individual.
There is a great song on the radio right now by Rihanna, Paul McCartney, and Kanye West called “Four Five Seconds”. I especially love the lyric: “all of my kindness is taken for weakness”. These words resonate with me because I think this is true: when we are kind, caring, and generous people, others seem to jump to the incorrect conclusion that we must be weak and easy “prey” to take advantage of. However, I disagree.
Kindness, meekness, gentleness, and humility are actually strong characteristics. And, girls need to know this. Here is why:
- People who are meek are so secure in themselves, they don’t need to be arrogant or boastful – they have an inner strength and confidence
- Meekness means that a person is so content with himself/herself, he/she can think and talk less of themselves, and genuinely and attentively focus on others
- Being humble means you know who you are and also know this awareness can never be taken away from you
- Humility can be equated with strength because to be humble means there is nothing to prove – there is no need to flaunt strengths or dominate over others – you can simply be and, most likely, focus on getting to know others
- Those who are meek and humble can use their strength and power to build others up and affirm others, instead of criticizing or judging others
- Humble people are not threatened by others’ greatness, talents, strengths, accomplishments, and successes; in fact, they are inspired by it
I think it’s counter culture not to think “me first” and “look at me”. But, when we know who we are, and how to find happiness and inner strength and wisdom, we also learn to be humble and meek (as well as incredibly authentic). We come to understand that strong doesn’t need to be boastful or outwardly successful.
Strong can mean knowing who you are and deciding who you want to be. Strong can mean getting to know others and affirming who they are. And, strong can mean truly listening and learning from others. This is what we need to teach girls. This is TRUE STRENGTH and POWER. This is being a BOLD NEW GIRL!
Source: “Humility opens doors” by Marcellino D’Ambrosio