From a young age, girls are surrounded by images and words that tell them they should focus on their physical beauty.
According to the Center for Media Literacy, we are exposed to over 2000 ads a day. Many of these are for products encouraging us to have longer eyelashes, poutier lips, less leg hair, bigger boobs and blonder hair. When you add this to the pressure of social media and wanting to “fit in”, it’s easy to see how girls grow up putting such an emphasis on physical beauty.
While there is nothing wrong with wanting to look and feel good, there are many other qualities that have much more permanent and lasting effects on our lives.
These are the traits we want to demonstrate for the little girls watching us and embrace for our own happiness.
Here are 11 qualities that women should crave other than beauty:
1. You Are Brave and Courageous
There are few truly brave and courageous people in this world. Stepping out of your comfort zone and facing your fears in order to help a friend, chase a dream or support your family takes guts. You will achieve more in life when you are willing to be brave.
2. You Are Confident
When you are confident, you don’t need someone to call you “beautiful” to feel beautiful. You know your individuality is special and that shines through in your posture, words and actions. When you are confident, other people will want what you have.
3. You Show Kindness To Everyone
People want to feel that someone cares about them. When you smile at your waiter, give up your seat on the subway, remember a friend’s birthday or bring cookies to your neighbor who lives alone, you are making someone else feel important. We all need a little more of that in our lives.
4. You Are Physically Strong
If you’ve ever done a push-up, run a marathon, been through a Pilates class or pushed that double stroller up a hill, you know the power you feel from your own strength. Showing your kids and peers that you prioritize your health is much more awe-inspiring than putting on the right eye shadow in the morning.
5. You Are Witty In Conversations
When you are at a party, would you rather hang out with the guy who has nothing to say or the guy who keeps you laughing and on your toes with interesting conversation and one-liners? Being witty means you are both smart and funny, two characteristics shown in surveys to be more important than physical beauty.
6. You Love Encouraging Others
Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” When you give others encouragement, you will become someone they enjoy turning to and feel supported by. Being a true friend and better person involves encouraging others.
7. You Are A Reliable Friend and Partner
When you are reliable, you do what you say you are doing to do when you say you are going to do it. You don’t change who you are at the drop of a hat. The biggest difference between close friends and acquaintances is their reliability. When you are reliable, people know they better step up their game because you are going to get things done. Showing up for your friends and loved ones means they will show up for you.
8. You Are Honest
When you live and speak an authentic life, you are showing others you have nothing to hide or apologize for. You demonstrate that you are proud of yourself and the life you are living. Being honest in all of your relationships shows you respect both yourself and the people in your life.
9. You Know How To Be Resourceful
Resourcefulness is defined as the ability and creativity to cope with difficulties or unforeseen situations in your life. When you are driving down a deserted road and run out of gas, you will definitely want to be with a resourceful person. When you are resourceful, you get things done with what you have in front of you.
10. You Are Calm In Stressful Situations
Researchers at Caliper Talent Management recently wanted to find out if there are certain personality traits that are associated with women’s success in the workplace. They found that the more a woman is tolerant of the stress around her, the better she performs. When you are wiling to let go of control, stay calm and just go with the flow, you will be a better leader at work and in your families.
11. You Are Giving
You can be giving of your time, your thoughts, your money, your skills or your words. When you give without asking for anything in return, you show people you don’t need something from them to make the relationship valuable. You give simply because you want to.
Featured photo credit: Jakob Montrasio via imcreator.com