Fierce: A New Generation of Female Empowerment

FIERCE Fridays: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Welcome to week three of sharing excerpts from the book, Fierce: A New Generation of Female Empowerment. This book is for those who have a desire to get the most out of life. Those who want to make positive change, but are not sure how to make it happen. It is for young women who will soon be out of high school and on their way to college or some other adventure. It is also for women of any age who needs a reminder of how fierce she can be.  My hope is that you will share these posts with all the girls and women in your life. Let them know the book can be read for free online or a a soft cover book is available for sale at Bookemon.com. Enjoy!

I don’t think anybody anywhere can talk about the future of their people or of an organization without talking about education. Whoever controls the education of our children controls our future. -Wilma Mankiller

Critical Thinking

  Critical thinking is using rational, clear minded thought along with unbiased evidence. You can teach yourself this by asking questions. That is one action we can always take to create our own opinions and to find solutions. Everyone has an opinion and many people want others to think just like them. Those who are in power are very often willing to spin facts into half truths or tell flat out lies so they can keep their authority and power.

We do not have to automatically believe what we are told or shown. We are each capable of questioning, researching, and evaluating what we learn. The world we inhabit is not stuck in place, right and wrong, or black and white. New information is brought to our attention on a constant basis. We are always evolving. Change is an important, valuable, and inevitable gift of life. Critical thinking is a must for our society to progress.  Question, Research, Evaluate and Decide for yourself.

Question: Why is it important? Who told you? Where did you get your information?  What is your evidence?

Research:  Look up your questions at the library, online, and ask experts. Who says this is true? Who paid for this study? What do they have to gain? It is biased? Why is it important to know this? In a world where people will tell lies to make a profit, always ask the question “Where did you get your information?”

Evaluate: Compare disagreeing sources. Does it all fit together? Are there holes in the argument? Is this an issue based on personal experience, religious beliefs, or scientific fact?

THINK for yourself.

 

Problem Solving 

  Problems can seem unattainable when another person is involved. Below is an action plan you can use to keep situations from blowing up into a bigger problem and to keep feelings and egos from being hurt. This action plan is one I use and was created from my education and experiences. If you can master the first step of neutralizing your emotions instead of becoming defensive or angry the other steps will be easier because then you are thinking with a clear mind.

  1. Calm your emotions.
  2. Identify the root of the problem.
  3. Control the argument before it escalates.
  4. Find a solution or compromise.
  5. Walk away without burning bridges.

1) Calm Your Emotions. Consciously make a choice to calm yourself and neutralize your emotions. Allowing your emotions to run wild can cause you to become irrational. Focus on the root of the problem, the real issue at hand. In the beginning it is important to not get caught up in drama or all the little points. Focus on the biggest point and go from there. Don’t get caught up in fighting a war. Instead neutralize the battle and turn it into a discussion.

Ask yourself:

  • What do I have at stake?
  • Is this an argument I can win?
  • Do I need to win this time or can I walk away with a loss that won’t ruin everything else?
  • Will this turn into a long term problem?
  • Is it only a problem in the short term?
  • Does this remind me of a problem before that went unresolved?
  • If so, how could I have resolved that problem?

2) Identify The Root. Start by figuring out if the problem is caused by a situation or person. We all have bad days or moods that can cause a simple problem or disagreement to grow into a huge storm. Sometimes we are forced to deal with someone who is either creating a problem or escalating it.

  • Is this situation causing problems?
  • Is a person creating a problem?
  • Is the other person being mean or just reacting to the problem?
  • Is the other person acting difficult and arguing because this is how they solve their problems?
  • Is this a person who is always difficult?
  • Are they in a position of power and used to taking what they want no matter what?
  • Are they purposely making the problem worse?

3) Control the argument or problem from escalating. Start a dialogue. Ask the other person to explain their side instead of simply attacking. Then explain your side. If the person is threatening you it might be time to move to a safe space or a neutral environment. Empathize with the other person instead of opposing them. Ask them questions. Giving someone a chance to explain their story may not be our first instinct so it has both the element of surprise and allows other people to feel like they are being heard.  Not everybody is going to want to talk it out and in that case you need to move on finding a solution, a compromise, or walking away.

  • What do you feel is wrong?
  • Why is this important to you?
  • What do you fear to lose if this doesn’t go your way?
  • Does this remind you of a problem before that went unresolved?
  • If so how could you have solved that problem?
  • Can you control the outcome by changing your view?
  • If this problem does not need to be solved immediately, can you take some time to reach out and ask for assistance?
  • Who are your allies?
  • Who can you ask that is neutral on the subject?
  • Can you find a mediator?
  • Can you ask a supervisor?

4) Find a Solution and Compromise. If you were able to start a dialogue and see the problem from different viewpoints than it is time to find the solution that works best for everyone.

Find a Solution

  • What are all our options?
  • What would be the pros and cons of doing it this way or that way?
  • What if we took part of the problem away? Then could we find a solution to the rest of the problem?
  • Ask each other, what would you do in the other person’s position?
  • How will this solution keep the problem from worsening?

Compromise

Can you find an alternative solution?

Can both of you find something to let go of?

What can we do differently to keep this from happening again?

5) Walk away. Some problems cannot be solved right away. There are times when we or another person aren’t willing to budge. We all have bad days, so don’t be too harsh. On the other hand some people are not willing to find solutions or compromise. If this is the case you may want to walk away and stay clear of them. If both of you have reviewed all the options and cannot agree on a solution or compromise than it is time to take a break.…Continue reading at Bookemon.com

 

Fierce: A New Generation of Female Empowerment

FIERCE Fridays: Introduction

In honor of my recently published book, over the next few months Fridays will be devoted to excerpts from, Fierce: A New Generation of Female Empowerment. I wrote this as a follow up to More Than Just a Girl with all the information I didn’t add in there. It was written to inform and empower tween and teen girls. Where as Fierce is for those who have a desire to get the most out of life. They want to make positive change, but are not sure how to make it happen. It is for young women who will soon be out of high school and on their way to college or some other adventure.  My hope is that you will share these posts with all the girls and women in your life. Let them know the book can be read for free online or a a soft cover book is available for sale at Bookemon.com.

Fierce: A New Generation of Female Empowerment, feminist books for teenage girls

Fierce is more than just girl power and aggression. It is a state of being that allows anyone to shine. The book starts with problem solving and critical thinking skills, tools we all need to survive no matter our gender, race or class. Then it delves into important issues such as women’s rights, health, violence prevention, education, and activism. Every section has examples of positive role models to look up to and questions to ponder. It concludes with resources and references so readers can decide for themselves how they can use their inner fierce female to survive.  This first post includes the introduction to my book.  It would mean so much to me if you left a comment below.

Danger has been a part of my life ever since I picked up a pen and wrote. Nothing is more perilous than truth in a world that lies. -Nawal El Saadawi

Book Excerpt: Introduction

  It is time for girls to stop believing in this so called “Girl Power” the mass media is selling us, our families and our cultures. It is not power, but simply a play on feminism used to sell products. The media is not just here for our entertainment, but rather exists to make a profit. It sells whatever new trend is around. There is such a thing as girl power, but it is not simultaneously playing sports and looking sexy or being a millionaire actress and fashion icon. Just like being a man isn’t limited to using violence and authority to get what they want, being a woman is not limited to aspiring to be the prettiest and most popular to get what we want. It is time to be fierce and fight for a world where equality, truth and knowledge are our most cherished qualities.

This book is a guide to show you the different ways you can be fierce by focusing on what is important to you. Live in a way so that when you get knocked down you know inside that you are capable of recovering and continuing on your own journey. You have the power to be a changemaker. It is possible to make a difference in our world and isn’t only for those with immense wealth or celebrity status.

This is a collection of information and resources so you can empower yourself and then empower others. It is information that I learned first hand as well as from watching others live their lives and make changes that I never knew were possible. This book may not change your life, but my hope is that it gives you a new way to look at the world. I want you to see a world where each and every one of us has the power to create positive change in our communities and the world as well as have basic information about health and rights. Decide for yourself what you use from this book and live life in a way that makes you feel good about your choices.

Each section has questions for you to ponder. Learning to follow or lead is often included with doing so blindly. The problem with doing what is expected without question is that we lose an opportunity to find new solutions and to progress. To be a fierce woman is to overcome your fears of asking and wondering what if. What if we try a different method? What will happen if things change? What if I try and fail?  You will fail, it is inevitable. Learn to fail with an open mind and you will learn to succeed in a different way.

Yes, women and other oppressed minorities have made great strides toward equality. It is fantastic that those who were once oppressed and considered second class citizens or not even human have made strides in many countries.

We have abilities such as our right to vote, to become officials in the government, to not be owned, to have a career other than motherhood or servants, and to choose a life we want. In addition to these advancements, we need to continue moving forward. Girls are not sugar and spice or princesses and drama queens. We are aggressive, strong, independent thinkers.

We are as capable as any man. Let’s celebrate these victories, but be aware that we still have a long time until equality for all exists all the time.

Aggressive doesn’t mean you have to be loud, pushy, manipulative, or dominating. You can be quiet and reserved and still be a leader. Leaders are a mix of firm decision making, listening to everybody’s ideas, and knowledge. People who only yell or those who are afraid to speak up are not ideal leaders. We naturally follow charismatic leaders and this is a good thing because in some situations hope and instant results is what we need to survive. However the danger in leading with no fear AND no knowledge is that you only can go so far or go in the wrong direction. It is important to educate yourself before making a decision.

Be aggressive by educating yourself and using that knowledge to stand firm in the face of doubters and haters. Don’t bow down to someone just because they act tough. As women we must learn to stand up and speak up. Rosa Parks was a leader. She was a quiet person who decided that she had experienced enough abuse and would no longer stand for it. She did not yell or throw punches; by sitting on that bus she made a statement of passive resistance. And it worked.

Strong isn’t just about being the smartest, fastest or biggest. Inner strength to overcome our fears and anxieties is inside each of us. We just have to learn to be aware of this fact. Become aware of your unique talents and gifts. Use those to make it through each day and to fight for injustice. The sayings, “Lead by example”, “Be the change you want to see” or “Be a good role model” are all similar.

Telling people what to do sometimes works, but mostly breeds resentment or creates blind followers, aka sheeple. On the other hand showing how or encouraging people to do things and letting them see the results creates lasting change that is made by another person. So to be a strong leader, lead by example and create the positive change our world needs.

We also need to be independent. This is not just about being able to travel alone or have a job and pay our own bills. It is about thinking without a group or traditional mindset. We live in a world with billions of ideas forced on us everyday. What is right or wrong for you will often be different than another. We are told what we should think about sex and how we look to what we should believe and who we should love or hate.

Educate yourself and be open to what is different. When you have an opportunity to learn something new than give it all you got. You may feel nervous or ill equipped at first, but once you get used to an activity it becomes easier…. Continue reading at Bookemon.com.