Trying to navigate a heart-wrenching breakup, challenges with a new business, or a personal struggle? Master life coach, podcaster, and author Cara Alwill Leyba believes that helping someone else might be just the ticket to getting out of your head and overcoming your own obstacles — all while doing some meaningful good. Chances are that you love to help other women whenever you can anyway, so we chatted with Alwill Leyba about the power of community and how mastering the art of give and take can help produce a movement that makes a big difference.
Brit + Co: We recently heard about your book Girl Code and love how you emphasize connecting with and helping other women while navigating your own journey. Can you tell us more about what inspired you to write the book?
Cara Alwill Leyba: About a year ago, I created a community for my clients and readers to connect with one another. Call it a girl gang, a support network, or whatever you will, but the power of this group of women is massive. We meet daily on Facebook in a group called The Slay Baby Collective, and I’ve hosted meet-ups around in cities like New York, London, and Chicago. I encourage the ladies in the group to host their own meet-ups and set up local coffee dates with one another — and they do. I love watching complete strangers come together to lift each other up, cheer each other on, and often times just show up with an open heart and an open mind and listen to one another. It inspired me.
B+C: We believe that kindness multiplies. Do you find that helping others with their struggle helps you too?
CAL: Whether it’s relationship advice (helping heal someone else’s broken heart is a great remedy for healing your own!), career advice (never underestimate the power of a good mentor), or simple tips on living and thinking better, I’ve witnessed the amazing women in my community inspire each other day in and day out. Ultimately, they achieve success in their own lives as a result. They say that this comes from increased feelings of confidence and happiness after helping someone else, which I love.
B+C: What a powerful reminder that we all have something valuable to give, even when it seems like we don’t have much to offer. You talk about “girl power” in your book; can you tell us what it means to you and where you think it’ll fit in the future?
CAL: “Girl power” is a popular term these days, and you’ve probably caught hashtags or mantras like #WomenSupportingWomen, #WomenEmpoweringWomen, and #CommunityOverCompetition online. I like these terms, but we need to make sure they become *more* than hashtags — this shouldn’t be a trend. To do this effectively, we all should be sure we’re actually showing up and serving others, because that’s what it’s really all about. To communicate this idea, I created a mantra for myself and for my readers: “In a world full of ‘look at me’ girls, be a ‘come with me’ girl.” I can promise that when you focus your energy on supporting the women around you, you’ll also find a renewed sense of purpose when it comes to your goals too.
B+C: So empowering! Can you share a few of your favorite ways to help, support, and inspire others with us?
1. Create a sisterhood circle. Whether it’s three women or 30, start an online group or a monthly meet-up in your neighborhood. Invite women who are looking for support in any area of their life, and go out for coffee, drinks, or dinner every few weeks and check in on each other’s goals.
2. Perform a random act of kindness. Little things go a long way and create a chain reaction of positive energy. Send flowers to a friend who could use a pick-me-up. Pay for someone’s coffee in line behind you. Smile at a stranger.
3. Remove yourself from toxic conversations. If you find yourself in a conversation that tears another woman down, leave it. Lead by example, and choose to focus on conversations that inspire and energize you, as well as the people around you.
4. Volunteer as a mentor. Call a local high school or college and ask if they’re looking for mentors. Volunteer a few hours a month to help a younger woman who could use a little guidance and love.
How do you support others? Share your favorite ways with us on Twitter @BritandCo.
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