This post has been sponsored in partnership with Zenni Optical. All opinions are my own. 5 Myths About Strong Women: What People Don’t Know About My Sister + A Giveaway #ZenniStyle

strong women

Meet my sister, Joelle! I don’t talk about my sisters nearly as much as I should. Joelle and my sister Sarah both live in a Oregon, and the physical distance between us makes it hard for me to see them outside of Facebook. When I partnered with Zenni Optical, they asked me to write about someone who inspires me, using a theme of strong women. This was no easy task because I am surrounded by them. I learned to surround myself with strong women, because they make me stronger. In my personal and business life, this remains true. Of course, I had a huge list of women to choose from, but I decided to talk about Joelle, without doubt. I have equal reason to talk about Sarah, but I don’t want to distract you from getting to know Joelle. So, stay tuned for a long-overdue introduction to Sarah in the near future. They are each very different, but both uniquely strong.

One of the reasons I picked Joelle is because I KNEW I could surprise her by writing about her, under assumed permission, rummage through her Facebook pictures, share them here, and she wouldn’t say a word. Assumed permission. That’s right. It’s a thing. Now, I don’t suggest you ever do that unless you truly have a Joelle in your life! It’s important to realize that I am the oldest of my sisters. I’ve always wanted to protect them. Wanting to protect the people we love, such as our extended family or children is normal. Unfortunately, that can sometimes come across as having a lack of faith in those people, even if that’s not the case. Just because we know someone can handle something difficult doesn’t mean we want them to have to.

I don’t ever want Joelle to suffer, and she has, but I also never underestimate her strength. Unfortunately, people like Joelle are underestimated all the time. Joelle wears her girl-power shield differently. In fact, people are sometimes quick to mistake her strengths as weaknesses. Here are some of the most common misconceptions about strong women, and how Joelle busts these myths. It’s not that the sentiments are completely, wrong, but the myths lays in the fact that we often believe that only these type of women are strong. There is strength beyond traditional definitions, for women and all people! After you enter the giveaway, check out my popular post on 7 Things You Should Never Tell The Parent of A Child With Autism.

  • Strong women don’t let what other people think get to them.

While that may be true about some strong women, it is completely the opposite for others. Joelle is the other. She cares deeply about what people think about her. It hurts her when people are mean to her or have a negative opinion. Sometimes I think she wishes she could be the kind of strong woman who does not care, but that’s not her. Honestly, in the past I tried to encourage her to be just like that. She can’t. So, she works through the pain of what others might put on her, because she is strong. She’s not afraid to feel or hurt or cry or break. She is fearless. She often uses art to work through hurt, and even her skill is stronger, now.

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Ha! Joelle is often clumsy and well… not so graceful, in the traditional sense. You know, she’s a mom of boys. So, she’s down with passing gas, burping, and other generally icky contests. Also, swears like a sailor. Joelle’s fun spirit and willingness to be so carefree is her grace. 

  • Strong women are serious.

Joelle is silly. So silly! She is the perfect example that we should not take ourselves too seriously.

strong women: sister

  • Strong women don’t air their dirty laundry.

Who are we to judge? For a long time, I did. I practically criticized Joelle for always putting her personal life out on social media. Of course, I did so in the name of loving her, but that doesn’t make it right. Sometimes, while we might think we are protecting someone, we are actually inhibiting them and making it harder to just be themselves. It takes a strong woman to put it all on the line, and be transparent! Joelle connects with people quickly because they are attracted to her transparency. It’s one of her greatest strengths.

  • Strong women choose their friends wisely.

Joelle doesn’t choose her friends. She just is a friend, to anyone who needs one. They don’t have to earn her friendship or deserve it. She just doesn’t put conditions on extending friendship to someone. Of course, again as her big sister, there are times I’ve wished she would, but that’s not her. Luckily, she has a super-strength, which comes in handy when she befriends less than deserving people; it’s called forgiveness. 

joelle and glasses

Joelle is a strong woman and I’m so glad that I could introduce you to her, thanks to Zenni Optical. Women leaders are everywhere. They see the big picture for success – for themselves or others – and have the courage and strength to get the job done. Zenni recognizes these women and wants them to see their strength through the lenses of the stylish and affordable executive collection. And, Zenni encourages other women influencers to share their vision. I’m excited to giveaway 1 pair of Zenni lenses to one lucky reader! Enter the giveaway contest below! Be sure to check out the website to see the stylish and affordable variety Zenni Optical has to offer!

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Help me celebrate strong women by sharing this contest and getting the conversation going, so we can continue to break myths and honor strong women, everywhere! You can also hear more stories about strong women by following Zenni Optical on Facebook and Twitter.

By: Alicia Gonzalez