What’s a strong woman?
Is she the one who’s successful? The one who has it all? The one who can make men tremble?
A strong woman is simply a woman who takes charge of her life and her destiny.
She’s resilient, ambitious, and unstoppable.
And she’s like this because she never allow these 12 things to hold her back.
1) A tough start in life
Hilary Swank grew up in poverty. Her family lived in a trailer park and only had $75 in savings.
Charlize Theron had a traumatic childhood that led her mother to go to jail.
And Oprah Winfrey grew up with welts on her back because her grandma used to whip her so hard.
What they all have in common is that they didn’t let their situation limit them. In fact, they used it to motivate them to dream big and take big risks.
2) Social norms
As women, we’re expected to “act and think like a woman.”
We’re put in this big “WOMAN” box the moment we’re born and society tells us to stay in that box until we die.
As young girls, we’re supposed to be responsible and well-behaved students.
As teens, we’re supposed to look pretty and act “decent”.
As adults, we’re supposed to find a “lazy girl job”, get married, raise kids, and become everybody’s nurturer.
Strong women don’t subscribe to any of that!
As far as they’re concerned, they’re just people (not women), and they’d live their life the way they please—whether that’s being a fur mama or managing a firm.
3) Past failures
Strong women are the type of women who constantly try. After all, they’re very ambitious!
They have strong determination—and a bit of delusion—that they can achieve anything they set their mind to.
Of course, with this kind of passion, “failures” are inevitable.
But unlike most people, strong women are not affected by failures at all. They don’t go “Bah, I’m really bad at this.” or “Ugh, maybe I’m really just not really meant for success.”
That’s because strong women see failures as just a part of their journey to success.
4) Back to back rejections
Again, this is no biggie for strong women.
They don’t expect to get successful on the first, second, or tenth try. They’re hopeful but not entitled! And definitely not immature.
Sure, they get pissed off or frustrated. But discouraged? Absolutely not.
Instead of being discouraged, they get more motivated to succeed on their next attempt.
“I’ll show you” is, after all, one of their favorite mottos.
5) Lack of money and support
So let’s say they only have $100 in their wallet. Would they raise a white flag and say “Okay Universe, I give up? I’m done trying.”
A strong woman would find a way to get what they want. They find solutions to every setback.
They know that they have no choice but to make big strides in order to achieve the life they truly dream of.
If that means they’d be flipping burgers while working on their start-up at night, they’d do that.
If that means they’d have to borrow money from their enemy, they’d do that.
6) Doing things alone
Girls are known to do things together. They go to the toilet together, they attend parties together, they go on roadtrips together.
Well, we can’t really blame them, can we? Aside from it being more fun, the world isn’t such a safe place for women.
But while strong women also do these things with their best friends, what they don’t do is depend on them.
They won’t stop working on their dreams if there’s no one else by their side.
If no one wants to start a project with them, so what? They’d do it alone. In fact, they kinda like it that they have full control over their work.
7) Discouragement from others
“I’ve tried that before. It just doesn’t work.”
“Don’t you want to do something more financially rewarding?”
“Ah yes, you’re still very young. You’ll soon realize what a big mistake you’re about to make.”
These words can cut deep if you let them, that’s why strong women do their best to shield themselves from harsh words.
How do they do it?
If possible, they stay away from people who spout nonsense and negativity.
But if that’s not entirely possible—say, they’re their parents or boss–they’d just mentally protect themself from absorbing other people’s negativity.
8) Fear of being labeled as “bossy”
“Bossy”, when used to describe women, usually means an intolerable, demanding b*tch who doesn’t know what she’s doing.
That’s why strong women won’t even worry about it.
They know that as long as they take on any kind of leadership role, even if they’re the nicest person in the world, people will still have something bad to say about them.
So instead of worrying about how people perceive them, they’d focus on the real goal. That’s the thing that truly matters, after all.
9) Negative feedback
So let’s say they made a movie. And then they see all the bad reviews made by critics on RottenTomatoes and IMDB.
Would it discourage them from making another movie?
For them, it’s only normal to get negative reviews. They might even be glad they actually got reviews (hey, bad publicity is still publicity).
And let’s say they started selling cakes and pastries. And then their friends (and enemies) call them to say they think it’s too sweet or too salty or too sour.
Would they get furious and close their shop?
Hell to the naw!
They see feedback—negative and positive—as necessary tools for growth, not a sign they should stop what they’re doing.
Most of the strong women I know are a bit of a perfectionist.
I figure it’s because they’re a bit of an optimist, too. After all, you won’t demand perfection if you know it’s not possible.
While that’s awesome to some degree, it can also be the cause of crippling self-doubt for some.
Luckily, because they’re strong and sensible, they also know their tendencies and find a way to shush their harsh inner critic.
When their inner critic says “Yikes, this painting would never be hung in a museum”, they’d counter it with “So what? It’s still beautiful for me”.
Then they continue painting.
Since time immemorial, women have been “put in their place” by intimidation.
It can be as overt as someone deliberately telling them to not do certain things, or it can be as subtle as a raise of an eyebrow.
Being the brazen women that they are, strong women are very aware of this as they’ve experienced this many times in the past.
What makes them tough is that they’ve numbed themselves to intimidation.
In fact, they enjoy showing others that they’re not afraid of anything at all.
They also see this as a sign that they’re in the right direction. After all, why would people want to intimidate them? There must be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
12) Gossip and personal attacks
Gossip can affect the weak. But strong women are totally indifferent to gossip.
They also think it’s a waste of time and brain cells.
So even if they hear the worst things people can invent about them —that they’re sleeping with the client, for example—they’d shrug it off.
Sometimes, they’d even laugh about it because it’s so ridiculous.
A strong woman knows that she has no time to waste on foolishness. She’d rather try to save the world, or you know—sleep, than deal with gossip.
Strong women are not born strong.
They become strong by not allowing things to hold them back.
So if you want to be a bit stronger yourself, it’s easy. Just follow what they’re doing. Don’t give a damn about others, stay hopeful, and become your own cheerleader.
Listen. You’re meant to achieve great things. It’s true.
But first you have to break free from the chains that you, your family, and society has put around you.