In the song Get Your Shine On by the country rock group Florida-Georgia Line, one passage in the lyrics is “Summer sky dripped in rhinestones. Turn your party lights on. Baby get your shine on, shine on!” With an upbeat style that goes down nice and easy, this breezy song inspires women to shine bright.

In everyday life, letting our inner light beam is of vital significance in all our relationships. Our attitudes determine the impressions we make on others—often before we say a word. With surprising accuracy, almost anyone can pick up on our energy level, enthusiasm, and desire to connect through our facial expressions and body language.

When we learn to develop a prevailing attitude that shines, we uncover vast new opportunities for the realization of our desires, needs and objectives. Our can do confidence signals our availability, openness and connectedness to the universe. Whether it’s intentional or not, an important aspect of our personalities as revealed by our attitudes is our self-esteem. Author Isrealmore Avivor said, “Self-esteem is the switch in the circuit of your life that dims or brightens your future. Bring it low and you don’t shine your light; raise it up and you brighten the corner where you are.”  To transmit our high voltage, we need to shine.

And yet many women and men have experienced some sort of sabotage to damage their self-concept. We aren’t all born into perfect families. Even loving parents may undermine our self-image with unrealistic expectations, comparisons to siblings, and lack of understanding and attention. In school, bullying is a universal issue. And when we graduate with hopes of conquering the world, our well-meaning dreams can be shattered—at least on first try.  We need strength to pull together and try again to achieve any amount of success on our own terms. This can require a little lightening up—instead of stressful overthinking—in order to radiate our ability to overcome challenges.

The simplest and most effective action we can adopt in reaching out is a smile. Some may think that’s too easy, or it’s manipulative. I’ve heard women claiming that they resent it when others—in particular men—tell them to smile. While none of us like to be told what to do or how to present ourselves, we also seem to have an aversion to smiling, because we don’t want to appear submissive or seem like we’re trying to win men’s approval. This is understandable, but it harkens back to our history of discrimination—including the days when we were told to promise to “love, honor and obey” our husbands.

Let’s fast forward to today as we assume our equal status with men. A smile can signify our comfort within our own skin. It can be inviting, startling, and blindingly beautiful on a woman’s countenance. It makes us shine, especially when it’s authentic and comes deep from within. Granted, when we first practice smiling as a way of communicating to others that we’re self-assured, it may not feel natural. But it becomes more genuine as we notice others smiling back at us. When a relationship starts with a mutual smile, it has a real chance of leading into a conversation that’s enjoyable and productive for both parties.

Instead of resisting any mannerisms that we think might make us appear vulnerable, we can practice buffing our shine to a warm and steady glow. The paradox is that when we let ourselves be real and acknowledge our humanity with an acquiescent smile, we actually grow in strength. Love requires more courage than withdrawal.

It’s helpful to practice smiling on a consistent basis, because our current needs to be strong enough to withstand any efforts to dim our light. Remember what philosopher Rumi observed: If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?” You don’t need to be a believer at first. You can test my theories any time and in any circumstance. All you need to do is smile. If the person receiving your glowing warmth remains grim-faced, don’t take it personally. Just repeat the word next in your mind and move on. The smiles you receive in return for yours will far outshine any  petty rejections.

Besides, despite the outcome, getting your shine on will make you feel fantastic from within.

Mary Kathryn “M.K.” Jones