Girls, there is not a mold to a perfect female leader.  We are all different and we will all lead in different ways.  Through this blog, with the help of my sister Mimi, I hope to sparkle some inspiration in you.  I briefly wrote some tips that have helped mold me as a female leader.  So let’s kick back and look over a few tips I believe will encourage you.

1. Mirror Sessions

For years I hated my singing voice.  It is soft and airy.  In college, my voice instructor would make me feel like a loser when she compared me to other singers.  One day, she grabbed my shoulders, shook me, and said, “I don’t know what to do with you anymore.  You can’t sing.”  Words hurt. “Sticks and stones” is garbage.  Words penetrate and leave a mark in your life.

After reading, “God Loves Ugly & Love Makes Beautiful,” by Christa Black, I recently started my own “mirror sessions.”  I look at myself in a mirror and right before my mind begins to see all my imperfections and go back to the demeaning words that others have spoken over me, I, “…bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5) and I begin to declare words of life and beauty over myself.  Sounds cheesy, huh?  Well, it is not easy.  Something inside has to die.  The more I think these words, the more I believe them.  The more I believe them, the more I feel them.  Words have power to enslave, but also to set free.

Perhaps someone has spoken down on you, or maybe you do it to yourself. Loving and accepting yourself for who you are is the foundation of a woman. How are you going to build ministries and build relationship when your foundation is shaky? Girls, it’s not selfish to love yourself a little.  Try a mirror session and see what happens.

2. Embrace your nature of nurturing

 An area where we thrive as women is in relationships.  We might be seen as “softies,” but we are purposefully created to be nurturing and to care.  We do feel a lot, but there’s a reason why we were created to be so emotional.  We can easily feel someone else’s pain.  We easily empathize - to feel what another person feels, not just to feel for a person.

I am a high school teacher and countless times I had girls come into my room to pour out their feelings.  You see, the school counselor was a man and some girls found it difficult to open up to him.   There’s nurturing in us females, and it’s a beautiful thing because it comes from the mother nature of who God is.  God is not only a father, but he is a mother too.

You are not a leader because of a title, position, or because you’re good at telling people what to do.  Leadership is not about authority or power.  Leadership is influence.  Leadership is relationships and girls, we are good at that.  We are good at listening and caring for one another. Embrace your nature of nurturing.

3. Surrounding yourself with like-minded girls.

There is absolutely no way that I could have built Crowns by myself.  No way.  I am blessed to have my sister and four amazing, strong women that believe in me, believe in girl power, and believe that we have a special place in our Father’s heart.  Girls, who are your friends?  Do they believe in you?  Do they believe that you can be a leader in a world led by mostly men?  Your friend’s characters are going to rub off on you.  You become a product of your surroundings.

If you do not have those kinds of friends right now, pray and ask God for them.  Before I met my girl friends, I prayed to God about them.  I told God specifically that I wanted a circle of friends who are head over heels in love with Jesus and together we can build for His kingdom.  Ask God for a solid group of friends and don’t be afraid to be specific.

4. Don’t be a mean girl.

An important quality as a female leader is how you speak to girls AND about girls.  Whether you stand behind a podium or sit on a church bench, girls are looking at you.  They are looking at how you dress, how you speak to others, and how you carry yourself.  Are you speaking words of love, life, and identity over girls?  Secure people don’t need to put down others.  Let’s be happy for one another’s successes and let’s speak words of life over each other.  Don’t be a mean girl.  Jealousy is ugly.  I wish it caused wrinkles.

We are the underground diamonds.  There is still so much more to be discovered in female leadership.  Don’t be intimidated by the giants, girls. There is bravery in you.

XOXO

Ahni Garay

P.S. “God Loves Ugly & Love Makes Beautiful” by christian author/blogger/worship leader Christa Black has been a BIG help to me! I encourage you with all my heart to read it!

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