Continuing her mission to support women, The Real Housewives Of New York star Bethenny Frankel recently created B Strong, a crisis initiative dedicated to helping women get the financial, legal, or mental help they need to be independent and lead successful lives. The program fits under the umbrella of Dress For Success, a charity organization that provides a network of support, professional attire, and the developmental tools to help women thrive in work and in life. Launching B Strong is just one way Frankel is determined to help women live a more confident, independent life.
She recently contributed her own empowerment tips to us, as told to Associate TV Editor Martha Sorren, as part of Bustle's "2017 IRL" initiative to inspire women to lead happier, more fulfilled lives. In addition to checking out the "You IRL" stream in the Bustle App for daily tips on how to have an empowered year ahead, read Frankel's inspiring advice below to have your best year yet.
I don’t make resolutions for a whole entire year; I make resolutions for a day. Do the best that you can with what you have and where you are in that moment. To have a blanket whole year resolution is probably unattainable and tends to make people beat themselves up when they don’t achieve it, so I think you should set realistic goals every day that are definitely attainable.
I think 2017 should be the year to invest in yourself — so, if you’ve been run down a little bit and you get some time away from your kids, [and] get to have a good night’s sleep. Or, if you realize you're dehydrated and you need to drink more water, you should actually just do it. Or, if you have some free time, do something that’s going to be good for you like yoga or take a workout class — something that's just putting energy back into yourself.
It's easy to jump to characterizing someone else based on their actions and say, "You did that, you are that." Instead, try saying, "This is how this makes me feel." Don't go on the attack, but maybe try to be kinder. Being on The Real Housewives, I’ve learned that it’s important to think before you speak, because you might regret it.
I think compassion to see what someone is actually going through is so important. Most people aren’t inherently evil. If you can see why someone might be doing something, it can help you be a little more compassionate. There have definitely been some times that I've joined in on the negativity during The Real Housewives. Maybe there’s something that everybody wants to say and no one’s said it — I am the unfiltered, unedited one who says it. But, I don’t always need to be that person. I can just sit back. Sometimes I haven’t thought about exactly what someone must be going through and reasons for their actions. Just trying to understand the problem more can help.
Being able to say, "I’m depressed," or "I'm going through a really hard time," or "I’m having financial problems," is really hard. But, I think having that dialogue is really powerful. I definitely have been a woman in crisis, and I think that the fact B Strong even uses the term "women in crisis" outloud can inform the conversation in a big way.
I live by that motto. That’s how I’ve created my success and that’s the culture that I try to breed through the people that work around me. Surprisingly, it's a concept that takes getting used to and adjustment, because people come to me and say, "We can’t do this; this can’t happen." I don’t want to hear what can’t happen, I want to hear what can happen. There’s point A and point B, and if you keep trying to go on the same road that doesn't work, then you won't get there. But take a deep breath, sit back, and find a new road — because you can get there. Ninety-five percent of the time, whatever you're stuck on is doable in some way.
As women, we often beat ourselves up rather than embrace who we are. If you're miserable and you want to not be miserable you might have to change some things about yourself, but you don’t have to go so drastically and be a completely different person. If you're trying to go from not sitting on the couch so much, you don't have to go and be a person who's in leg warmers all day at a boot camp class. If you don’t like the gym, don’t go to a gym. Go bundle up and take a walk outside or go on a vacation and snowshoe or ski. I don’t work out in New York City; I don’t know why — maybe I just associate it with work. But, I don’t beat myself up about it. Instead, when I go out to my place in the Hamptons when I’m on vacation, I make sure I walk on the beach every day. Find what works for you. I think that people have to be realistic.
If you don't need the B Strong services, you can still help by donating at this link and spreading the word. And, if you work at a law firm or if you know somebody who does counseling, find a way to volunteer your services. My goal for 2017 is to raise a reasonable amount of money — to raise six figures this year, to raise double that next year, to get the first group of women started with this counseling and legal advice and these tools. B Strong aims to help all women. It could be someone who’s been evicted, someone with medical issues, someone who’s going through a very nasty divorce, someone who’s being emotionally or physically abused. Any woman who feels like she is at her breaking point deserves the help she needs to become independent. And, remember, 2017 is the year to invest in yourself. Just start small, one day at a time.