How Encouraging Your Girl to be the Best Version of Herself Re-Positions Her Place in the World
Contributed by: Allyson Garcia
This year I set my New Year’s Resolutions untraditionally late. I didn’t come into 2018 knowing what goals I wanted to set for myself for the New Year, but it’s never too late to decide that you want to make changes in your life. So, in February I decided my New Year resolution would be to live each day intentionally trying to be the best version of myself.
What does that mean exactly? I didn’t say be the best in my class, or the best friend ever, or the best daughter. I know that traditionally, specific goals are better than vague ones like this, but there is something to be said of it still.
Encouraging the girls in your life to be the best version of themselves, rather than the best student in class, positions her in a new way. She will get to define what success means to her, what her goals are, and what kind of person she intentionally wants to be. Those other goals position girls in comparison to other people–her performance is dependant on others’ and therefore her viewpoint of herself will form in relation to others. This framing places girls in relation to others’ actions, needs, and expectations, which places a lot of pressure on young girls, and can result in them living in a way that is inauthentic to themselves. It can even be limiting, because while a girl is trying be the best in all these traditional areas, she can be cutting herself off from giving herself time to delve into new interests that represent her true self.
Something to try: When giving girls encouragement, inspire them to be the best version of themselves in everything they do–independent of how those around her are acting. The difficult part may be doing away with the concept of comparison while she navigates the world. In the little time that I have been practicing this concept, I have seen a difference in how I engage with my responsibilities and interact with people around me.
Small changes in the ways we engage our girls to view themselves and their world can have large impacts on how they feel about themselves and others! Encourage your girl to be the best version of herself and see what new ways she might interact in her world.
“Personality begins where comparison leaves off. Be unique. Be memorable. Be confident. Be proud.”
― Shannon L. Alder