As a woman, I remember being told time and time again to be strong and tough. And yeah, I do need to be that if I want to get somewhere in this crazy world.
But one thing I don’t ever want to forget is that being strong doesn’t mean I can’t be soft, either. It’s actually that part of being a woman that I love – that combination of strength and softness.
Wondering what other things you should always remember as you go on your own journey? Here are 10 things every strong woman needs to keep in mind.
Let’s dive in!
1) You can handle more than you think
Think you don’t have what it takes to handle the curveballs life throws at you? Think again. As Dr. Seuss said…
“Always remember, you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and twice as beautiful as you’ve ever imagined.”
I used to doubt my ability to handle tough situations – I was always fearful as a young girl, and I carried those doubts and anxieties into adulthood.
But for some reason, I always surprised myself. Time and time again, I would prove myself wrong when I would push through my fears and deal with whatever came my way.
And as I hurdled each obstacle, my confidence started to grow, and I became more assertive. Today, I can look back at those difficult times and marvel, “How on earth did I get through all of that? How am I still standing?”
So yeah, you are capable of so much more than you think you are!
That said, you don’t have to be like a bull in a china shop. You can be strong and confident without being forceful!
2) Being strong doesn’t mean being aggressive
There’s always been this misconception that strength equals aggression.
The strongest women in my life are also the most gentle and loving. Because here’s the thing – strength comes in many forms, and it’s not always about being fierce and fiery.
I’ve learned that there’s so much value in being calm and composed under pressure. In facing challenges with grace and poise.
You don’t have to be such a firecracker all the time; you can be the gentle soul who’s just as strong as anyone else out there!
3) You’re not alone in your struggles
We’ve all been in those dark places where it feels like we’re all alone in facing our battles. It’s easy to feel like no one understands what you’re going through.
But guess what?
You’ve got more in common with other people, especially other women, than you think! Our circumstances might not be the same, but one thing’s for sure – we’ve all had our share of tough times.
Remember this – you’re never alone. There’s a whole tribe of people out there who have your back. Sometimes, you just need to reach out and ask for help!
4) It’s okay to ask for help
That’s right, you don’t have to handle everything alone. Even superheroes need a helping hand sometimes.
There’s no shame in asking for help. Many people mistakenly equate asking for help with weakness or failure, but it’s the opposite. It’s actually a sign of strength.
Because, hey, no one’s perfect. No one has all the answers. In fact, asking for help is necessary because other people can give you fresh insights and perspectives. And that’s always a good thing!
Go ahead and reach out to your friends, family, or a professional when you need support. Doing so not only eases your burden but also sets a positive example for other women in your life.
5) Self-care should be a priority
This advice may seem simple, yet it’s incredibly challenging for many women to internalize: taking care of yourself is a necessity.
Look, I get it – women have so much on their plate, from family responsibilities to work to social obligations…it all just gets overwhelming, doesn’t it?
And as a strong woman, you might think, well, I can handle it!
For sure, you can. But if you aren’t taking time out for yourself, you’re also setting yourself up for failure. And I hate to sound like a doomsayer, but you might work yourself to death!
Believe me, stress is no joke. I used to have that mindset of “I can do it all and have it all!” and guess where it landed me?
In the hospital.
So, break free of the idea that you have to just suck it all up and soldier on. When you take care of yourself, you can do more. It’s that simple.
6) Embrace your emotions
Speaking of soldiering on, one thing I’ve noticed that many strong women do is squash their emotions and put on a brave, stoic face.
I can’t blame them; we live in a world where women are already criticized too much for being emotional creatures.
But you know what? I think that we can use our emotions to our advantage if we know how to acknowledge and manage them.
Those soft and tender feelings? They’re perfect for helping us make better and more compassionate decisions in life.
So don’t let people tell you not to feel things. You’ve got every right to be your authentic self!
7) You don’t need to have all the answers
Remember when I said no one has all the answers? That’s right, and you don’t need to.
I used to stress about not knowing everything. That’s the perfectionist in me who wanted to make sure everything went according to plan.
Well, it took me a long time, but eventually, I learned how to be okay with not knowing.
I had to accept the truth that life is full of uncertainty, and I have no control over that. Period.
And the strange thing about knowing that is it gave me a sense of freedom. It set me free to make mistakes, and it helped me to see challenges as a way to learn something new.
I could even say embracing the unknown gave life an extra dose of thrill!
8) Trust your intuition
Women’s intuition is a real thing; we really are more attuned to our feelings and emotions than men are.
That’s a strength, once you know how to harness it.
So, see your intuition as a gift and let it guide you, even when logic might be pulling you in another direction. You never know where your gut might take you!
9) Your worth is not defined by others
Wife, girlfriend, mother, daughter, boss, sister…women have so many roles in society.
And those expectations can be deafening; if you’re not careful, those roles can quickly define you and make you forget who you really are.
So who exactly are you? Only you can define that.
The point is, you don’t need to depend on anyone or anything else to determine your identity. Your thoughts, opinions, needs, and talents are unique…you don’t need to repress them to fit in.
10) Lift up other women
Finally, I’ll leave you with a thought that has given me so much joy throughout the years – Women need to lift up other women.
The sad reality is, many women are programmed to see other women as competition. They engage too much in comparison and in trying to be sexier/prettier/smarter than other women.
Personally, I find this unproductive. We all share the same struggles – discrimination, fair treatment, respect issues…the list goes on and on.
So, it can be disheartening to find strong women pushing one another down instead of being supportive and encouraging.
In contrast, I love it when I see women being one another’s cheerleaders. Even the smallest things matter. For example, saying, “I love your shoes!” to a fellow woman in the subway can do wonders in brightening her day.
Be an advocate for the women around you. Remember, we’re all in this together.
The journey to being a strong, empowered woman is deeply personal. Strength will manifest differently in each one of us.
The important thing is to be true to yourself and never let society tell you who you should be.
If you want to be fierce, go ahead and be fierce. If you want to be gentle, by all means, be the calming presence in your own corner of the world.
Whatever your version of strength is, you can overcome the barriers in front of you and foster a world where every woman can thrive.