Every woman has a story.
“This story is also what leads us to finding our purpose, our reason for being and our way of serving the world,” said Alys Smith, an NOSW board member who recently led an online workshop on personal empowerment for NOSW staff, graduates and newcomers.
“The wise and powerful woman has a colorful story to tell.”
Most women have lived through hundreds of razor cuts or slights that over time have diminished their self-worth and their strength, Alys explained. And as nurturing caregivers, women often put everyone else’s needs first.
Women in the workshop described how the roles and messages they’ve been handed by others have kept them from pursuing their dreams. And how their inner critic has told them over and over that they can’t succeed.
Alys encouraged them to think about their purpose in life, what makes them feel “lit up.” This personal purpose is different from roles or obligations imposed by others. Identifying your purpose:
- Helps you focus on what’s important in your life
- Enables you to prioritize what matters over what doesn’t
- Gives you a reason to get up in the morning
- Aligns you with the right people and opportunities
- Energizes you to learn and grow
- Gives you the life that fulfills you
The women explored a list of purpose phrases such as “giving care,” “making connections,” “solving problems” and “bringing joy” to help them craft a personal purpose statement. They also discussed what’s keeping them from meeting an important goal, and each woman left the workshop with action steps to help her reach that goal.
Alys Smith is an attorney and co-founder of Wing 2 Wing Foundation and is involved with the Ascend WV initiative, as well as the Brad And Alys Smith Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative through West Virginia University. Alys Smith lives with her husband, Brad Smith, in Menlo Park, California.