July 24, 2024
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Helping Women and Girls Step into 2023 with Power

Helping Women and Girls
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In 2021, women in senior management roles worldwide increased to 31%, and 90% of companies reported employing at least one woman in a senior management role. These trends are moving in a positive direction, suggesting that empowerment for women and girls is gaining momentum, but much work remains. 

GeNienne Samuels is the founder of Sideline Prep, as well as an eight-year veteran of the NFL Washington Redskins cheerleaders, and a three-year veteran of the NBA Washington Wizards Dancers. As a business leader, successful entrepreneur, and top athlete, she has picked up some tips on empowerment and shares her insights with women and girls who also aspire to rise to leadership ranks. 

Recognize your worth and hold on to your power

Today, Samuels focuses her time and attention on coaching the next generation of pro cheerleaders and dancers, from both a skill and knowledge perspective, but also from a mental and emotional standpoint. The first piece of advice she shares with each client is to recognize their worth and hold on to that power.  

“You have to be your own cheerleader,” says Samuels. “You are a beautiful, powerful human being. There is nothing you can’t do if you put your mind to it. Believe in yourself, know your worth, know that you are capable, and choose to be comfortable in your own skin.”

Samuels cautions women and girls against letting other people define them or their stories. In her opinion, every woman should embrace their imperfections and strengths, then be brave enough to share their uniqueness with the world. 

“We all have our own amazing qualities and our own imperfections,” says Samuels. “Recognizing your worth means accepting and loving both your strengths and your opportunities for improvement. If you learn to affirm yourself and refuse to allow naysayers to devalue who you are, then you can step into your true power. When you recognize, believe, and feel that worth, don’t relinquish that power to anyone. Say ‘yes’ to the things that serve you and help you grow.”

On a practical level, girls and women empower themselves as they say “yes” to things that move them toward their dreams and “no” to the things that get in the way of their goals. According to Samuels, the more women trust themselves, take risks, and step out of their comfort zone, the more they feel capable and worthy of stepping into their power to accomplish their goals and dreams.

Fill your cup before you fill others

Samuels is a firm believer that empowered women must learn to take care of their own needs first, as self-care is the most important habit someone can have. Although this can sound selfish to many, on closer inspection, the principle is common sense: self-care is a crucial component of an empowered life. When women neglect their mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health, they become less of their authentic selves and who they are meant to be.     

“When your cup is empty, you are no good to anyone,” observes Samuels. “However, when your cup is overflowing, you can replenish, uplift, and support the people around you in profound ways. Spend time meditating, journaling, working out, and getting enough sleep each night. Don’t forget to pamper yourself every once in a while.”

Samuels advises women and girls to explore the ways they can balance their need for self-care and their desire to care for others. Above all, she stresses that women must stop allowing their own needs to go unmet as they scramble to meet the needs of others. 

Surround yourself with a winning team

Many times, women do not realize their own potential because they are surrounded by people who don’t believe in them or want the best for them. Samuels wants every woman and girl to find people who consistently lift them up and encourage them in every aspect of life. Your environment, everything from a cluttered home, messy car, friends, and family, will (and do) impact how you show up in life.

“If the people closest to you don’t encourage you, empower you, support you, and lift you up, it’s time to make a change,” says Samuels. “Do not tolerate negativity. You deserve to live, love, and laugh with the people who know just how lucky they are to be in your life. If someone is bringing down your personal cheer squad, it’s time to make a cut.” 

Samuels says that a key part of a winning team is adding a role model and mentor to your closet network of supporters. “When you find a mentor who has walked the path you want to walk and achieved the success you hope for, you are blessed with a coach, teacher, teammate, and cheerleader all in one,” she says. 

Keep improving yourself

Finally, Samuels also encourages every woman and girl to strive to achieve her next level of greatness. She tells her clients that change requires them to do things they have never done before. 

“If you hope to grow, get comfortable feeling uncomfortable. We learn the most from our mistakes. Don’t be afraid to fail and fail again. Learning and growing with each lesson learned. When you fail, it means you’re pushing yourself to do new things — that’s growth. With that growth, it means you are better, more knowledgeable, and stronger than you were the day prior. That’s winning!” 

In the world of professional cheerleading and dance, Samuels is surrounded by competition every day, but she tells her clients that the only person they need to compete with is the person they were yesterday. “Keep growing and improving,” she says. “Don’t stop learning. Develop new skills, keep learning about the world around you, and stay curious. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or try new things.”

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