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Why It's Essential For Women To Empower Other Women

Nancy O'Reilly, PsyD
Speaker & Philanthropist By Nancy O'Reilly, PsyD
Speaker & Philanthropist
Nancy D. O’Reilly, PsyD is a licensed psychologist, motivational speaker, and women’s empowerment expert. She is the author of "Leading Women: 20 Influential Women Share Their Secrets to Leadership, Business, and Life."
Why It's Essential For Women To Empower Other Women

My mission is to help women connect with each other to make the world a better place. I have a vision of building a global community of strong women who will help one another succeed, and mentor girls ascending the ladder into adulthood.

It's easy to forget the difference small gestures and connections can make. Here are four reasons I believe that women should work to empower other women, daily.

1. It's our nature and brings out the best in all of us.

Believe it or not, part of our survival instinct is to help each other. As a crisis team leader, I have worked with others to help the victims of 911, Hurricane Katrina, and other catastrophes. In those situations, it always amazes me to watch people who have lost everything turn to help other people. The worst circumstances seem to bring out the best in us. But we shouldn't wait for a catastrophe to help others.

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2. It is the greatest gift you can give (and it doesn't cost a dime).

When you show someone else love and compassion, you can transform her life. I remember hearing a story that author Marcia Reynolds once told about the lowest point in her life, when she found herself in jail. She connected with a fellow inmate who shook her awake and challenged her to figure out who she was. This is an extreme example, but one person reaching out to another always has the capacity to make a real difference. Kindness is portable, and always available to us. We just have to make the choice to tap into it.

3. It's rewarding.

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We've all heard the adage, "It's better to give than to receive." Now science is backing that up. When giving is accompanied by selfless feelings, it actually activates the pleasure centers of the brain, releasing endorphins. Positive social interactions, such as "lifting each other up," can therefore make us feel a little happier and less stressed.

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4. There's no limit to how much it can accomplish.

The greatest feats of activist efforts throughout history, across the globe, have come from community and connection. It's time for all of us to get connected, reach out, and lift up each other. You can start with a kind word, a helping hand, or just by acknowledging the importance of all the women you meet.

Women helping women: it can be a real movement to grow a sisterhood for a better tomorrow.

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