Celebrating Powerful Women, with Dr. Sheri

In honor of National Women’s History Month starting on March 1, we asked Dr. Sheri Prentiss, the National Spokesperson for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®, as well as a breast cancer survivor and a walker herself, to share some thoughts about what it means to be a powerful woman.

Susan G. Komen walkers gear up and take on Day 1 for breast cancer awareness.

When you think of the most powerful women you know, who comes to mind? Some of us think of political figures like Hilary Clinton. Perhaps you think of Oprah or Beyonce or other entertainers.

It’s easy to recognize power in celebrity, or status, in those we see on the news, or the ones that write best-sellers or live in the public eye.

But true power is something much more subtle and sublime. Webster’s Dictionary defines powerful as “having power, authority, influence”. According to this definition, being powerful has nothing to do with being a public figure, a millionaire or a politician.

While the world certainly needs revolutionaries, entertainers, and politicians, what the world needs MORE of are everyday women, not using their power to position themselves over others, to re-write history or be rich and famous, but women who will use their power to create awesome lives for themselves and others. Women just like the ones I meet on every Susan G. Komen 3-Day®!

The world is in desperate need of women who channel their power into touching hearts with their authenticity, stirring emotions with their self-expression, and impacting their worlds with their regular lives. In doing these things, we DO change the world, we WILL re-write history and we will be remembered – as women who knew and exercised their power.

What are the secrets of powerful living? How can you invite more power into your life? It’s easier than you think…

1. A powerful woman exercises her authority. This doesn’t mean you go bossing people around, but it does mean you stand up for your values, refuse to be a door-mat, take full responsibility for your life, reject the victim role, refuse to settle for less than you deserve in life and love, and use your power to speak your mind.

2. A powerful woman spots her leaks, and patches them right away. We all have an incredible capacity for power. Think of this capacity as a gas tank, power being the fuel that moves you. When you have a leak—even the tiniest pin-hole— you lose your power. Where in your life do you lose power? What people, activities, obligations, or thought processes drain you of your power? When you find them, patch them by making whatever changes are necessary.

3. A powerful woman surrounds herself with other powerful women. The truth is that you won’t always feel strong and in control. Troubles, fears and real-life problems have a way of draining our power. Women who are connected to other women can share their power. When one friend is low on power, another can siphon some of hers to share. When you’re driving on empty and putter out on the side of life’s highway, a caring friend can pick you up and bring you to the nearest re-fueling station. How many caring friends have you found in our loving Komen 3-Day family?

4. A powerful woman re-fuels regularly. Like fuel, power gets spent the more you move. The more you exercise your power, the more necessary it is to re-fuel. A powerful woman does this by connecting with inspiration on a regular basis. By expressing her creativity, by reading good books, by praying, meditating or exercising. There are a million different ways you can re-power. Pick what appeals to your heart and do it. I don’t know about you but every 3-Day® event that I participate in is a way for me to re-fuel.

5. A powerful woman shares her power. It seems to go against what we think of as powerful, doesn’t it? The good news is, sharing your power doesn’t give you any less power. You can share your power perhaps by mentoring a teenage girl, or by participating in a 3-Day, raising your kids to be strong and independent, or by putting your arm around someone who’s sad and empty—there are countless ways you can share your power. And unlike those dreadful fuel-leak energy-drains, this one actually works in reverse. When you share your power, the world becomes a little brighter, a little more beautiful, and YOU become even more power-filled than you were before.

So my questions to you today are: Where is your point of power? What energizes you? Where do you lose power? How do you re-fill your tank? And how can you share your power?

Today, consider your amazing capacity for a powerful life. And start living it.

– Dr. Sheri

Renew your sense of power by participating in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day. Register through Friday, February 28 for a special registration price of only $50. Don’t wait! The price goes up to $70 on March 1.