If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably found yourself craving approval from others at some point — whether it’s from friends, family, or even strangers on social media.
But guess what? I’ve got a circle of fiercely strong women in my life, and they’ve taught me a thing or two about standing on my own two feet.
These women don’t wait for a pat on the back or a thumbs-up emoji to know they’re awesome.
And you know what? Their confidence is contagious!
So, if you’re ready to become a self-assured woman who doesn’t need external validation, stick around. This one’s for you.
One of the most incredible things I’ve noticed about the strong women in my life is their habit of self-reflection.
These women don’t just go through the motions; they take time to sit with their thoughts and feelings, examining the ‘why’ behind their actions and choices.
I remember one friend, in particular, who’d always carry a small journal with her. Whenever she had a moment of downtime, she’d jot down her thoughts or any valuable lessons she learned that day.
This practice helps her understand herself on a deeper level, and she never needs someone else to validate her feelings or decisions.
If you’re like me and sometimes find it hard to separate the noise from what truly matters, try setting aside a few minutes each day for self-reflection.
Whether it’s journaling or simply sitting in quiet contemplation, this small habit can transform the way you view yourself and your place in the world.
And when you truly know yourself, you don’t need anyone else to tell you you’re doing just fine.
2) Assertive communication
I used to think that being assertive meant you had to be confrontational, but my strong-willed friends have shown me that it’s all about expressing yourself clearly and respectfully.
One of my friends is a pro at this. If she’s unhappy with something, she’ll let you know, but in a way that respects both her feelings and yours.
There’s no beating around the bush, no passive-aggressive hints. Just straightforward, honest communication.
So what’s the trick to mastering assertive communication?
Well, it starts by understanding your own worth. When you value yourself, you naturally seek to preserve your rights and voice your needs.
But remember, this isn’t about being combative; it’s about being clear and respectful.
If you’ve struggled with speaking your mind like I have, try practicing assertive communication in low-stakes situations first. Maybe voice your preference when a friend asks where you want to eat, or politely ask someone who’s hogging two parking spaces to correct their parking.
As you get more comfortable, you’ll find that you don’t need validation from others to express yourself; your voice alone is enough.
Self-care is a term that gets tossed around so much these days, but when done right, it’s a game-changer.
The strong women I know take self-care seriously, and it’s not just about bubble baths and spa days (though those are great too!).
One of them has a self-care ritual that she strictly adheres to. Every Sunday, it’s like she has an appointment with herself — she’ll read a book, go for a walk, or sometimes even disconnect from social media for the entire day.
For her, self-care is a form of self-respect, and she doesn’t need anyone’s permission or approval to take time off for herself.
This habit resonated with me because I often felt guilty about taking time out just for me, thinking it was selfish or a luxury I couldn’t afford. But seeing my friend prioritize her well-being inspired me to do the same.
So if you’re someone who waits for a ‘good time’ to indulge in self-care, remember this: Taking care of yourself is not just good for you; it’s essential.
4) Setting boundaries
There’s a saying that goes, “You teach people how to treat you,” and boundaries do exactly that.
They are your non-negotiables, the lines that you draw to protect your time, energy, and emotional well-being.
I have a friend who’s an absolute queen at this.
Whether it’s saying ‘no’ to an extra project at work that she can’t take on, or declining a social event when she’d rather have a quiet evening at home, she’s clear about her limits.
And you know what? People respect her for it.
Before I got the hang of setting my own boundaries, I would often overcommit and drain myself. I thought saying ‘no’ would make me less likable or that I’d miss out on opportunities.
But seeing my friend in action made me realize that boundaries aren’t restrictions; they’re a sign of self-respect.
If you’re still on the fence about this, start small.
Next time someone asks you to do something that you don’t have the time or energy for, politely decline.
Or if you find that scrolling through social media first thing in the morning disrupts your day, set a boundary with yourself to not check your phone until you’ve had your breakfast or done some morning stretches.
5) Independent decision-making
I’ve watched in awe as my inspiring female friends have made bold choices in their lives, completely unswayed by societal expectations or the opinions of others.
One friend, for example, chose to travel solo for a year. Many questioned her decision, citing safety concerns or throwing her career away.
But she knew what she wanted and went for it, experiencing life on her own terms. That kind of conviction left a lasting impression on me.
When you make decisions based on your own needs, values, and aspirations, you step into a realm of true independence.
This doesn’t mean you never seek advice or ignore the perspectives of people you trust; it means that at the end of the day, the choice is yours and yours alone.
If this is a habit you’re still working on, try it out on smaller decisions first. Next time you’re choosing between two job offers, or deciding whether or not to go on a second date, pause and ask yourself, “What do I really want?”
Remove the outside noise and really listen to your own voice.
6) Being authentic
We all want to be authentic, but it’s easier said than done, right? Yet, the strong women in my life make it look so simple.
They are unapologetically themselves, whether that means speaking their mind, pursuing unconventional careers, or simply wearing what they feel best in.
Take one friend of mine, for instance. She embraces her quirks and odd sense of humor without hesitation. Initially, I found myself holding back, worried about what people might think.
But watching her be so genuine made me realize that being authentic is the ultimate form of self-validation.
So how can you practice authenticity in your own life? Identify the moments you feel most like yourself and seek more of them.
Let go of the need to fit into someone else’s mold or to seek external validation for your worth.
The more you practice being your authentic self, the less you’ll rely on others to tell you you’re “good enough.” You already know you are.
7) Continuous learning
Continuous learning is a habit close to the hearts of the strong women I know. They’re always seeking to grow, not for anyone else, but for themselves.
One friend never seems to stop; she’s either picking up a new language, diving into a hobby, or advancing in her career.
But it’s not about accumulating random knowledge or skills to impress others, or never allowing yourself time to relax. It’s about fulfilling their own curiosity and stretching their own boundaries. This intrinsic drive to learn and grow makes them naturally resilient and adaptable.
So, what’s a simple way to incorporate continuous learning into your life? Pick a topic that piques your interest and dedicate even just a few minutes a day to it.
Whether it’s reading articles, taking online courses, or engaging in practical hands-on experiences, the key is consistency.
The beauty of continuous learning is that it builds confidence over time. You’re investing in yourself, and the returns are immeasurable.
When you make growth a priority, you’ll find you don’t seek validation; you become your own best advocate.
Unleash your inner power
Ladies, we’ve covered a lot today, from the importance of self-reflection to the joy of continuous learning.
The strong women in my life have taught me that you don’t need external validation when you’re filling your life with habits that empower you.
Remember, you are the author of your own story, and you don’t need anyone else’s approval to make it a bestseller.
Take these habits to heart, make them your own, and watch how your life transforms for the better. You’ve got this, and you’re more than enough just as you are.