Influential Women: The Why Behind the Series
Many of you know that I started a brand new series a month or so ago called the Influential Women Series, and first I just want to say thank you for following along! I am so excited about this series, and I've heard from many of you that I'm not alone in the excitement for this series!
I thought it would be beneficial to take a break from featuring anyone this week so that I can take a step back and explain to you my heart behind this series.
First and foremost, I am inspired daily by the women I have in my life who are living their lives beautifully and doing really awesome things impacting their communities. This whole series came to mind when I was sitting in a room full of those women and I realized that all of them are giving back in some way or another and I thought that these stories deserve to be shared.
Second, I thought that if I am inspired by reading these stories, that other people might be inspired by reading them too. I know that since I'm a videographer, this series really doesn't have a whole lot to do with my business. BUT it does have a lot to do with my life in general. While this series is not about videos, or weddings, or new gear, it is about being inspired to be the best version of ourselves. It's about striving to reach your full potential. It's about being part of something greater than yourself.
So who IS an influential woman, and what do I mean when I use the word community?
Being an influential woman can look a lot of different ways. An influential woman can be a a dedicated teacher working in a special needs classroom, or a female police officer putting her life on the line every day, or a photographer who uses her talents for a cause she is passionate about, or a social worker who helps children and teens out of bad situations, or a stay at home mom who is committed to raising her children into positive and caring adults.
An influential woman can be a lot of things, but the defining characteristic is that she wants to be part of something bigger than herself. She cares for others, is passionate, and is a positive role model.
This brings me to the next point I wanted to address, and this is what I mean when I talk about community.
For the first three women featured, I talked a lot about how those women are impacting their communities. I realize that I never shared with you that the word community does not exclusively refer to your zip code.
While the word community can refer to the people who share the same zip code, it can also be so much more than that. If you look at the definition of the word community you'll notice that it has two meanings.
The first is a "group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common." For example, a group of people living in Milwaukee, WI. Or you can get even more specific and say a group of people living on one street block in Milwaukee, WI.
But the second meaning of the word is "a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals". So community can also refer to people who share a feeling of fellowship based on common interests or goals.
This opens up the meaning of impacting your community to meaning a whole lot more than doing something influential in your city or residential area. It can also be impacting others who you might rub shoulders with because of shared beliefs or common interests.
When I talk about impacting the community, it doesn't even have to be in a huge way. Sometimes the most influential people can be those who quietly serve in the background. You might not even notice that they are impacting their community. In my life, one of the most influential women I've met was a lunch lady in a nursing home. But she was incredibly influential because she treated her whole life like a time of service to others. I don't mean that she lacked in self-care because you definitely need a balance to stay healthy, but she understood that her life was a gift worth sharing, and that there is so much more to gain when you serve than when you take. She had intentional conversations with me and other young women and influenced my life in incredible ways, all while dishing up hot food to the elderly.
Being an influential woman does not always look like you think it will.
I'm so excited to continue with this series, but I thought this blog post was important because I want you to broaden your understanding of what it means to be an influential woman. I don't want you to think that to be influential, you have to fit into a certain mold. You don't! If you leave this series having only learned one thing, I hope it's that being an influential woman looks differently for everyone.
So I hope you stay tuned! If you know of anyone you think I should feature, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org I'm looking to get the schedule set for the next few months and I need some more inspiring stories to share!