How to Lead "The Feminine Way"

Image by Elisha Yarrington

Image by Elisha Yarrington

I see an awakening in women, especially in sweet, kind, soft, and nurturing women who are ready to stand up, express themselves, and share their voice. However, I know from personal experience that a lot can get in the way when stepping up to lead. 

I struggled with being a shy and sensitive person and wondered, "How I can I really stand out in a world with so many loud voices?"  I didn't quite know how to authentically express myself and take action.

Then I imagined the kind of world we would live in if there were loving, kind, and sensitive women in leadership roles. I imagined the kind of role models we would have for our children and the kind of healing that would take place on the global consciousness.

I knew I needed to make a shift.

When I imagined myself stepping up to lead in the way I really wanted to—teaching international retreats, empowering other women to find their voice, speaking in front of large crowds, and leading group programs—at first, I was terrified.

But then I realized this fear was telling me something about my future and my purpose: my fear was guiding me to the exact next step I needed to take in my life.

I believe our fears bring us closer to our purpose. 

I began taking action despite my fears and saw that tapping into my soft and sensitive side did not hold me back at all; instead, I found my feminine nature to be an asset in order to lead. 

As feminine beings, we do not need to change who we are to fit into the world around us. I have found we just need to be supported in facing our fears and listening to our intuition in order to make a bigger impact.

Here are the qualities I have found to be the most useful in tapping into my inner,  feminine leader:

Honor Intuition

Having access to my intuition has been one of my greatest assets to running my own business and stepping up as a leaderin my profession. When I take the time to go on a run or a dance class or sit down on my meditation seat first thing in the morning, I feel like I am continually gifted with amazing ideas. When I tap into my body's wisdom—my intuition—I know how and when to make decisions, and I can trust those decisions won't lead me astray.

Know When to Act and When to Be Patient

What I have found to be essential in facing my fears and taking action towards my dreams is the balance between the feminine and masculine within myself. Often, leaders step into their more "masculine" side when taking center stage and forget to honor the feminine qualities of intuition, patience, and self-love. 

It was important for me to take action, but it was also important to step back and acknowledge what I had done. I learned to find a balance by making time and space to vision and manifest while taking grounded action towards my dreams. When I created the space for my creative, feminine nature, I suddenly found myself more ready to take big stepsin my career.

Develop a Consistent Self-Care Routine

After I faced a fear, I discovered it was so important to rest into self-love and self-care. That was when I accepted and nurtured myself for exactly where I was. I gave myself permission not to have to change too fast. This has been key in avoiding potential "burnout." 

Now when I take a big step, I remember to honor myself by taking a bath, spending a weekend with my girlfriends, or knowing when to do nothing at all. It is this time off that recharges me and gets me ready for my next big step.

Find Support Through Sisterhood

For years, I have been going on runs down the road outside my house amidst rolling hills and vineyards. There is an uphill incline for the last stretch and still, every time, I am out of breath and unsure if I can make it.

One day, I had a friend over and invited her to join me on my weekly run. On that final stretch, I felt my breath get heavier and I felt like I needed to stop. As I slowed down, my friend passed me to cross the finish. In that moment, everything inside me wanted to give up. I lost hope and lost my stamina. I started walking.

Then something magical happened.

Before she crossed the finish line, she stopped, turned around and started cheering for me. “Woohoo! You can do it!” she yelled. I looked up and smiled to see her cheering me on. Suddenly, I had the energy to keep going. She continued to clap and cheer me on as I crossed the finish line. With a little encouragement, I stopped thinking about my exhaustion, my aches, and my pain. My energy was completely restored.

I realized it was so much easier to cross the finish line when there was a sister there cheering me on. When I actively brought more women into my life, and was willing to share my challenges and struggles, I found the support through other women kept me moving forward. It was in those vulnerable spaces with other women that I gained more strength and courage to step out as a leader.

Have you been avoiding any of your innate feminine qualities?  If so, I invite you to try listening to your intuition, being patient, resting into self-care, and joining with other women to see just what kind of magic will happen in your life.