Women are incredibly strong when they step into their power.
And no, when I talk about powerful women, I don’t just mean those who are CEOs of multimillionaire companies, investing masterminds, or very fit soldiers.
I mean all women, from gardeners, teachers, and bartenders to doctors, cashiers, and housewives.
It doesn’t matter what your career path is or how you look. We can all tap into our feminine power and be stronger for it.
So, how can you harness this power, I hear you ask?
Here’s where your principles and standards come in.
These are the 10 behaviors a strong woman would never tolerate from herself.
1) Turning a love interest into her Sun
I’ll be the first person to admit I’ve been guilty of this.
When I was a teen girl, I was not only in love with boys but more so with the idea of a romantic relationship.
I wanted to commit myself to someone 100%, give them all my love, foster a connection that would survive any challenge life threw our way, and build my entire world around them.
Only I forgot to add two important factors to the equation. First, the boys had to feel the same. Second, if they broke up with me, my whole identity shattered.
Fast forward to ten years later, and my rules for love are significantly different. I have spent years building my identity on the basis of self-love, self-reliance, friendships, fulfilling career plans, and hobbies.
If a man decides to join me and make my life even better, hurray!
But if things don’t work out… that’s okay, too. Because no matter what happens, I will always have my back.
So, rule number one: don’t turn your love interest into your Sun. The Sun can burn out and leave you freezing.
Be your own source of light.
2) Letting her fears stand in the way of reaching her potential
Do you know what the biggest obstacle between you and your potential is?
Your own mind.
The second thing a strong woman would never tolerate from herself is giving your fears so much power that you never venture outside your comfort zone.
Just five years ago, I suffered from such severe social anxiety that the idea of going on a date or even making a new friend terrified me. I spent years shut inside my little bubble, too afraid to end the misery and get out into the world.
When I finally left my comfort zone, I was hit by the realization that the real world was never as scary as I’d made it out to be. The whole time, I’d been overcome by fear that only ever existed in my head.
The more you expose yourself to real-life experiences and face your fears, the easier it becomes to grow in confidence and strength.
3) Giving up when things are tough
The way I see it, life was never meant to be easy. It simply wouldn’t make for a good story.
Strong women know that when everything goes up in flames, a new life will rise out of the ashes. All they need is to keep going, keep believing in themselves, and keep looking forward to the better days that inevitably lie ahead.
Each time I encounter a challenge, I think of it as a test. The Universe is simply trying to see if I’m up to the task.
My job is to take that chance and grow through it, no matter how uncomfortable or scary it feels.
4) Blaming herself for everything
I’ve met women so apologetic about who they are that they almost think it’s their fault when it rains.
And I’d be lying if I said I never fall prey to this mindset myself. Sometimes, it’s oh so easy to think that if you just worked hard enough, if you did this and that, if you were at the right place at the right time… things wouldn’t have turned out the way they did.
But guess what?
You are exactly where you’re meant to be. If something didn’t work out, it’s not because you failed. It’s because it wasn’t meant for you in the first place.
There is only so much you can do.
While blaming yourself gives you some sense of power over the narrative, it’s vital to realize that these kinds of thoughts actually go against real feminine power – the power of accepting and letting go.
5) Playing the victim
The complete opposite of thinking everything’s your fault is blaming anyone but yourself.
A strong woman is highly self-aware. She has the humility to recognize her shortcomings and the self-compassion to work on her weaknesses with kindness and patience.
Think of a recent argument you had with your loved one. Yes, they said some hurtful things. Yes, their behavior was unacceptable. Yes, they should definitely change and learn from their mistakes.
But is there truly nothing you did wrong? Is there nothing you can learn from, too?
(Please note: This does not apply to situations where any kind of violence is committed against you.)
6) Letting her emotions rob her of dignity
What do you think is more powerful?
Is it screaming in anger, shouting insults, storming out, and hitting people where they’re weak?
Or is it detaching yourself, leaving in peace with your head held high, and keeping your dignity intact?
I’m not saying you should let people hurt you and then hug them goodbye with a smile on your face. What I am saying is that remaining graceful and truthful to who you are shows much more strength than losing yourself in all the pain.
If your boyfriend cheats on you, it might feel satisfying to slash his tires, throw all his clothes in the bin, and switch up the containers for salt and sugar in his kitchen, but the truth is, these attacks are only a temporary inconvenience for him. What’s more, they show just how much you care and they give him a reason to be angry with you.
It is much more powerful to simply walk away and live your best life while he’s ruminating on what he’s lost.
You know what they say: “The opposite of love isn’t hate. It’s indifference.”
Detachment is power.
7) Disregarding her needs just to make everyone happy
A strong woman knows that the only person who will always have her back no matter what happens is herself.
People will come and go. Career paths will change. Material possessions will get lost.
But the sense of peace you nurture within yourself is forever.
Look, it’s good to be kind. It’s good to be warm and welcoming and willing to compromise. Don’t let anyone tell you that showing love is a weakness.
However, you can’t pour from an empty cup. All that love and effort you give the world around you?
Give it to yourself, too. You deserve all that energy more than anybody else.
8) Comparing herself to other people
Someone may settle down at 21 and devote their 20s and 30s to raising their children.
Someone might work towards their Ph.D. until they’re 35 and find the love of their life a year later.
Someone may inherit a lot of wealth at 18 but struggle with depression until they’re 50.
Everyone has their own struggles that relate to their specific circumstances. This inherently means that everyone is on their unique timeline.
Strong women don’t put unnecessary pressure on themselves when they see others succeed. They aren’t jealous. Instead, they feel inspired to continue building their own dream lives.
9) Staying silent just to avoid drama
I used to be terrified of conflict. Every time someone hurt me, I tried really hard to hide the pain and rationalize it away.
This meant that I spent years suppressing a lot of anger and resentment, something that eventually led to the collapse of some important relationships and a lot of stress.
The truth is, staying silent just to avoid “causing a scene” is not sustainable in the long term. A strong woman knows that she needs to assert herself, voice her concerns, and tell her story in order to build successful and healthy relationships.
You deserve to be heard.
10) Letting hardship turn her into someone she’s not
You’ve probably gone through some tough stuff.
We all have – it’s just the form it takes and the degree of it that differ from person to person.
If you look back on your life, there are likely a lot of reasons that would lead you to close yourself off and transform into a stone-cold woman.
But if that’s not in your nature, the strongest thing you can do is to keep being your authentic self.
I love warmth. I love laughter and genuine connections and silliness. I love expressing love and acting cheery and feeling hopeful. And if I let any disappointments or painful experiences take that away from me, it wouldn’t be an expression of strength.
Because in the end, strength is the ability to believe in the beauty of love even after you’ve been let down so many times.
You are incredible just as you are, and the right people will cherish you in your entirety. Don’t ever forget that.