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9 power tools for women from author Gloria Feldt

Author Gloria Feldt offers nine "power tools" for women:

1. Know your history: Learn your own family history and the history of trailblazing women before you, so you can better recognize your own role and the responsibility of your choices.

2. Define your own terms first - before anyone else does: "Whoever sets the terms of the debate usually wins it," Ms. Feldt says. "Don't apologize for having ideas or expectations, and don't end every sentence with an intonation rise as though it were a question."

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3. Use what you've got: Assess your talents, skills, experiences and abilities. Ask yourself: What resources and solutions are right in front of you?

4. Embrace controversy: Don't avoid it. "If you project strength, not fear, then your actions will compel others to reexamine their beliefs and clarify their values," Ms. Feldt says.

5. Carpe the Chaos: When there's chaos, there's opportunity. Boundaries become more flexible during times of change, which opens people up to new ways of thinking.

6. Wear the shirt: Stand up for what you believe, and make a public commitment about it. It's the fastest route to self-esteem, Ms. Feldt says.

7. Take Action; Create a Movement: "Things don't just happen; people make things happen in a deliberate way," she says. And "if you don't think you've been heard the first time, say it again, and again, until your message gets across."

8. Employ every medium: Take advantage of personal, social and traditional media to speak your mind and find a community of people who share your problems and passions.

9. Tell your story: Swapping stories is a tool for self-help, and to help others.

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About the Author

Wency Leung is a general assignment reporter for the Life section. Before joining The Globe in early 2010, she has worked as a reporter in Vancouver, Prague, and Phnom Penh. More

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