To me, being a strong, independent woman means that you’re able to find happiness on your own. Now, listen up, ladies: you do not need to learn how to fit in to a certain mold. What you need to learn is how to embrace the woman you are and who you want to become. Here’s my guide to becoming the woman everyone aspires to be:
Put yourself first.
When you notice yourself needing something, give yourself what you need. If you need some attention, have a day of pampering yourself. Whether that’s a day of binging your favourite Netflix show with your favourite foods, or having your hair, eyebrows and nails done. If you need some intimacy, take some time to read, write, or go on an adventure to a nearby woods. If you need some affection, stand in front of the mirror and think about what you love about yourself. You could even take yourself to the cinema or to a restaurant. There’s no shame in treating yourself and having some you time.
Don’t give into fear.
If you’re like me, then you’re a perfectionist. You like to make sure you’re going to succeed before you try. You like to make a list of prod and cons to balance the risk, just in case. Does this sound like you. Well, STOP! We should go after the things that we fear. We should never be afraid to try something and fail. Besides, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? So whatever, you’re putting off, JUST DO IT! Listen to Shia, ladies.
Don’t compare yourself to other women.
You have a female role model? That’s great. But don’t allow yourself to be sucked into the never-ending evil vortex of comparing yourself to them. There’s no reason why you can’t be just as great as them, or even better. But you should be your own inspiration. You are you. No-one else can be you. You are unique and that’s what makes you so great. Believe in yourself and what you’re doing. Keep on doing you, bird.
Don’t crumble over criticism.
Being resilient is key to being a strong, independent woman. When I first started Sixth Form, I was told that I wouldn’t achieve any higher than CCC. I left Sixth Form with A*AA and I’m now at one of the best universities in the country. Never let anyone put you down and make you feel worth less than you are. Believe in yourself. Believe in what you do. Again, just keep on doing you and never let anyone hold you back.
Stand up for yourself.
Whether you’re a man or a woman, you’re going to have to learn to fend for yourself in the real world if you want to avoid being taken advantage of. You have to learn how to assert yourself, whether it be at school, work or in your social life. And remember to never apologise for asserting yourself. If you feel ignore by someone, tell them. If you feel that someone has disrespected you, tell them. Stop accommodating other people before yourself. People might call you a ‘bitch’, but guess what? Bitches get stuff done.
Don’t be afraid to look for help.
Being a strong, independent woman doesn’t necessarily mean exclusively relying on yourself. You should surround yourself with great friends and family who can ease your challenges in everyday life. Behind every strong, independent woman is a group chat or group phone call. Every Lesley Knope should have their very own Ann Perkins.
Take charge of your sexuality.
Be comfortable with your body. It can be difficult to be comfortable with how you look, but focus on something that you like. Focus less on what your body looks like, and more on what it can do, and if someone is critical, take their opinion with a pinch of salt. What matters is you loving you.
Don’t lose your passion.
Being passionate about your goals and the woman you want to be will make others believe in you too. Your passion is your drive. Study want you want to study. Follow the vocation that you want. Don’t be influenced by societal norms. Similarly, embrace your own style. Dress how you want to dress. You want to wear booty shorts? Good for you! You want to wear a huge woolly jumper? Good for you! BE YOU.
Support other women.
Women should uplift and empower each other. We shouldn’t be going round calling each other bitches and putting one another down. Love your fellow women and teach them how to be independent too.
Don’t lose yourself.
Never lose sight of yourself and who you are. Remember that, contrary to popular belief, it is possible to be a strong, independent woman both when you’re single and married. You just need to remember to never lose your passions, your goals, your compassion and your womanhood. Never stop loving yourself.
I’ll leave you ladies with this from my fave film.