With feminism making huge waves in recent years, the topic of female empowerment has become an increasingly pertinent issue across many societies and organisations. On a personal level, being an empowered woman starts from changing the way you carry yourself. Instead of compiling a list on what strong women should do (because come on, women can do anything they want!), here’s a list of things a strong woman shouldn’t do.
1. Play yourself down
Humility may be a virtue, but shrugging off compliments or hiding your achievements from others is surely an act of injustice against yourself! You deserve to be proud of your accomplishments and should celebrate them, so go ahead and post your achievements on social media, your LinkedIn page and everywhere else. You worked for it and there’s no harm in letting the world know about your success! Also, don’t dismiss compliments as a “fluke” or “nothing special”. Appreciate the compliment, thank the person and take a moment to let the kind words sink in.
2. Pin the blame on yourself
It is in our nature to be overly harsh on ourselves and accept all the blame when things go right. Learning to be forgive and be kind to yourself is an act of strength that every woman should master. Take a step back and imagine how you would react if you were comforting a friend in that situation and treat yourself with the same gentleness that you would offer someone else. That being said, acknowledging your mistakes when you are genuinely in the wrong is only the mature thing to do and is reflective of a woman who takes ownership of her actions.
3. Keep quiet
This may be one of the hardest habits to break. It’s easy to keep your opinions to yourself and avoid judgment, but it’s important that your let your voice be heard because honestly, many good things can happen if you just speak up! Share your ideas, tell more stories and offer your opinion – there are so many things you can use your voice for that people will appreciate, so don’t hide in silence any longer. You deserve to be heard just like everyone else in the room!
4. Compare yourself to others
It’s almost impossible to not compare yourself to other women around you, especially when you are scrolling through social media and you spot someone who looks prettier or happier or more successful. That’s why it’s important to mentally check yourself when you start to feel the pangs of jealousy – needless comparison never gets you anywhere and only causes unnecessary misery. There’s nothing wrong with looking up to others for inspiration but when these “motivational” figures start making you feel bad about yourself, then it’s time to pull yourself out.
5. Hold yourself back
Problems regarding self-esteem always find a way to get back to us, and it’s our responsibility to reject negativity and prevent self-doubts from holding ourselves back from the success and happiness we deserve. Things may look bleak and the future may seem scary but having confidence and faith in yourself is the only way you are going to pull through and make it to the top of the heap!
Being a strong woman is a choice that any of us can make, but it takes grit and commitment to see it through. It all starts with recognising that a lot of the behavioural stigma exists only in our heads and that changing the way we present and conduct ourselves makes all the difference in how empowered we feel.