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The 90’s may have birthed the slogan “Girl Power” but nearly 30 years later, the sentiment is more important than ever. Navigating the landscape of youth is a tough terrain especially in a digital age where hashtags become movements and movements become hashtags. Where social media teaches girls to compare and contrast their bodies, their achievements and to strive for perceived perfection. Here are 5 things every girl should know to harness their girl power!

You don’t have to have it all figured out! Knowing yourself doesn’t happen overnight. Building confidence and a strong sense of self is a long, hard process but we all have to go through it. Part of knowing yourself is knowing what you like and more importantly what you don’t. Take note of what food, music and books you like. Notice how you feel when you spend time one on one and with a large group of friends. Over time all of these little things will make clearer the larger picture of yourself. There is power in saying “Yes, I would like to do that” or “No, I wouldn’t like that at all”. It will come! Tips: Keep a journal! Writing things down helps to solidify information. Keep notes of things that you like (experiences, meals, movies, songs etc) Identify your core values! Write down your priorities in life and why these things are important to you. Take note of what bothers you and what makes you feel joy. This will help to pinpoint what really matters to you at the deepest level.

Knowledge is your best defense! Change begins with education. Don’t dumb down your smarty-pants self just to fit in. And try not to confuse smart with the false appearance of perfection. Smart doesn’t mean you have to know everything. Know what you know and intend to learn what you don’t. The world is at your fingertips. Tip: Find something that interests you and start to become a mini-expert! Try researching what you enjoy and find people who love it too. Not only will these techniques and curiosities help your school work but they will also help to discover things about yourself and the world around you.

Get out of your head and into your gut! What is your body telling you? Learn to trust that innate gut instinct otherwise known as your intuition. There’s a reason why we say “I just had a feeling” about it. Overthinking and trying to reason with your intuition can stop your gut instincts from becoming clear. Tip: To begin to recognize what your body is trying to tell you – start by noticing the sensations in your body. Everyone feels things differently.The next time you just “have a feeling” about something, stop and pinpoint where and what that feeling is so when you feel it again you’ll know it’s your intuition.

Shake off stress (literally)! You might feel like it’s the end of the world but the odds are in your favor that the sun will rise. Every tear shed, every heart broken and every friendship that fades away will rise and set like the sun. One day you’ll look back at your journey and realize how when one chapter came to an end, another miraculously began. Tip: How to get out of a funk? Try movement! Get out for a run or a fun fitness class like Pilates or Dance. Or – just get up and literally shake it out! When we exercise, our bodies release endorphins, which act like little waves of happy hormones sent straight to the brain. These happy waves will help to lessen those negative feelings that you can’t seem to get rid of.

You have a voice! We all have one. It might not be loud or bold or powerful just yet but it’s still there. One day that inner voice will be heard. Until then, nurture it. Listen to it. It will grow stronger and stronger each day, month and year. One day, it will speak up and communicate without hesitation. It will stand up for itself and for others without fear or guilt. It will ask for help when it’s needed and politely decline when not. Tip: Find someone you trust as a role model to help you and others find voice. Ask a school counselor, teacher, coach or another professional to mentor you and grab a couple of friends along the way! One little voice can become many and together, they will sing!

“I want every girl to know her voice can change the world.” – Malala Yousafzai

#GIRLPOWER

Find out about Camp Pilates Project, a one-week movement and mindfulness camp for young girls ages 10 and up. The focus is Girl Power, strong minds and strong bodies.

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By Brielle Brown, Blogger for The Pilates Project