Together We Are Unstoppable: Tara Gilvar on B.I.G and the Power of Female Empowerment
From an early age it seems like women are pitted against each other. Who’s the prettiest? The smartest? The most popular? It’s like society doesn’t give women enough room to be more than one thing; or, if they are placed in a category, they have to be the best at it. It’s a superficial competition that’s embedded within us as we grow-up. But, this mentality leaves us alone and with a bunch of limitations. We become limited by the role society gives us. Simplified to just a mom, a wife, a boss, teacher, etc. These limitations obscure us from who we want to be. We abandon our ambitions for fear of breaking the status quo. We tell ourselves that our dreams are gone. But, they are not. Our dreams are who we are.
Tara Gilvar and Self Discovery through Female Empowerment
Tara Gilvar, like most women, strayed away from the dreams she once held close. Her dreams became distant memories, unattainable and non-existent, fading further away from her present self. Despite her feeling lost, she still knew she was meant for something more. All it took was a small bumper sticker on the back of a parked car to make her realize her dream. It read: “Remember who you wanted to be.” For Tara, that was her call to action. She, being the natural connector between all the women in her town, decided to form a group of like-minded women who wanted to start their own businesses. These women, like her, were sitting on the sidelines, trying to figure out what they want to be when they grow up in their late 30s, 40s, and 50s. They had no place to project their frustration and turn it into something useful. So Tara sent an email after seeing the bumper sticker and said, “we’re still smart and we should figure out how to be professionally fulfilled in our life and keep our families and our personal commitments sacred, because there was no other thing out there for us.” She emailed it to every single person she knew – the people in church, the third-grade room parents, every person in her database that she thought lived nearby. And 42 women showed up in her living room.
Tara knew right then and there that she had hit a chord, and if there are 42 in her small town, then there must be 42 million across the country. That meeting in her living room led her to start the women’s empowerment organization, Believe, Inspire and Grow (B.I.G). Tara wanted to create a community of smart, diverse and positive women that could help one another live out their dreams. The women of B.I.G share their unique talents and skills with each other through online meetings, workshops and coaching sessions. Whether it’s building a business or building a healthy family, B.I.G provides women with the tools and resources that can enable them to succeed. The B.I.G community’s motto is “Better Together.” Tara believes that the key to an individual woman’s success is helping other women.
When We Support Other Women We Make Space for All of Our Dreams to Exist
Who are you? Who are you now? Who do you want to be, and why are you struggling to get there? These questions represent a universal struggle for women. It doesn’t matter what your circumstances are, we all assume our dreams are gone because of the circumstances we are in. We think “I wanted to do this and then this happened to me, and now I can’t do any of it.” We feel alone in our experiences, when in reality we are part of a collective. When we embrace female unity, we learn to embrace not only each other’s differences but also our own individuality. We see that no matter what sets us apart, we can support each other. This sense of awareness to a collective range of experiences unifies women beyond a communal level – it becomes a sisterhood. Where we come together we give each other space to exist and simply be. We allow each other to be unapologetically who we want to be. We welcome each other as we are and embrace that you can be “this” but also aspire to be “that.” This type of empowerment and acknowledgement is the root for inspiration.
Women Need Inspiration
We need constant inspiration and this comes from having a sense of community. It’s a natural human tendency to become inspired by what other people do. All great art derives from the works of previous artists. And as women, we should treat ourselves like priceless works of art. We should embrace the process of reinvention and not give in to the limitations society dictates we should have. If we give in we won’t ever be able to see who we want to be. That’s why women need to help other women. Women need to know there are women out there that are like them, that get them, and have their best interests in mind.