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15 Things Mentally Strong Women Understand

15 Things Mentally Strong Women Understand

Whether you’re 14 years old or 94, there’s something in this article for all women. This piece was written to encourage and empower women everywhere and from all walks of life to pursue their dreams and make a positive difference in the world.

1. It’s okay to be successful

You have as much right as anybody else in the world to thrive, succeed, and be happy. Never apologize for being successful. Rather, you should embrace your successes–every single one of them–and know that you’re doing the world a favor by being the successful, thriving woman you were always meant to be. So what does it mean to be successful? That’s completely up to you.

2. Don’t compare yourself to other women

I’ll admit, it’s not easy not to compare yourself to other women, whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or a woman in the workforce. The dangerous downside to asking yourself who’s better than who is that it inevitably promotes a what-I-don’t-have mentality, rather than a what-I-do-have way of thinking. On the flip side, you should ask yourself, which of this person’s positive qualities can I develop to make myself a better person?

3. Because it’s all right to be different

Besides, what’s the fun in being a cookie-cutter wannabe?

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4. Don’t be afraid to express your feelings and emotions

By opening up emotionally, you become happier and live longer; even scientific studies say so. While this is a well-known fact, in Western societies, especially in the United States, being openly expressive is still often seen as a sign of weakness, for women as well as for men, when in reality it can be a sign of confidence and emotional strength and stability.

5. But don’t let your emotions govern your actions

While it’s okay to be emotionally expressive, being in control of those emotions is equally important. Emotions are a powerful human mechanism that, if left uncontrolled, can overpower a person to the point of completely governing their actions, more often than not with very negative consequences. While keeping one’s emotions in check can be more difficult for some than others, this is an ability that anyone can develop and use to prevent a lot of future problems and heartache.

6. Being strong and independent means not relying on a relationship to make you happy

Ever heard of the “overly attached girlfriend”? That’s the exact epitome of what you shouldn’t be. In a relationship, the two people are meant to complement each other, not define one another. If you’re one of those people who have yet to find that special someone, don’t fret. Just focus on being the best version of yourself, and everything that’s meant to be will be.

7. It also means not asking permission to do what you want to do

It’s your life. You do what you like (so long as you’re considerate of other people!). While some, if not many, people will disapprove of what you do and perhaps even try to discourage you, it’s not they who own you! (It’s you, in fact.)

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8. Stand up for yourself

It goes without saying that in order to overcome the skeptics, the discouragers, the haters, etc. you must first learn to stand up for yourself. Oftentimes, your parents or your closest friends won’t be there to hold your hand. Therefore, you must learn to hold your own (pun intended, maybe).

Maybe you’re not as naturally thick skinned as other women. The good news is that any woman can build and develop her self-confidence, although it may take quite a bit of time and effort. If you want to know more about developing your self-confidence here’s an article you should read.

9. But help other women too

So now that you’ve learned to stand up for yourself, now the hard part: learn to stand up for other women too. There’s nothing that shows self-confidence better than offering another woman a helping hand (when you more easily could’ve dragged her down), and there’s nothing like building a bridge, when you’ve helped a fellow woman, that you know you can always cross over when you yourself need help.

10. And uplift them

Be a mentor. Show them their potential. Let them know they’re invaluable. Let them know they can do anything they put their heart into. You get the gist.

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11. Be educated

And no, I don’t mean go to college. While a bachelor’s degree can nicely decorate your resume, it’s not the golden ticket to success (and this is coming from a current college student!). Just be knowledgeable about your stuff, whatever that may be, so that you can work effectively and, just as importantly, be taken seriously.

12. Stay physically healthy

Good physical health almost always correlates with good mental health, and with a strong and healthy mind, you’re bound to do many great things in life.

13. Be financially independent

What if, for example, the person you’re financially reliant on gets sick or dies unexpectedly? Well, I guess you always could ask someone else for money (which, of course, I don’t mean seriously!).

14. We still live in a male-dominated society

Unfortunately, despite having more college degrees than men, women still earn significantly less–78 cents for every dollar a man earns–and frequently face gender discrimination. Fortunately, however, we are a far cry from where we were decades ago and are succeeding every day in making the world a better place for women, albeit just a little slowly.

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15. For that reason, we need mentally strong women like you

After all, there’s only one of you, which means the world doesn’t have enough of you. Make yourself count, and remember, it’s okay to be successful.

Featured photo credit: Politically Incorrect via img.4plebs.org

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Last Updated on January 24, 2021

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

    Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

    Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

    6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

    If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

    Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

    Final Thoughts

    Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

    Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

    Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

    More Tips on How to Say No

    Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
    [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
    [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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