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12 Reasons Why You Don’t Need To Apologize For Being A Strong Woman

12 Reasons Why You Don’t Need To Apologize For Being A Strong Woman

I grew up in a family of strong women. Grandma Millie, Grandma Lois, Great Gramma Gertrude, Great Gramma Lola. They were all incredibly tenacious, loving, and resilient. My mom and my sister are both amazing women as well. It seems to be in our genes. I also happen to have a lot of amazing friends who are strong women.

We’re a feisty bunch. Full of passion, creativity, determination, and guts — and we’re not alone. There’s a whole tribe of strong, passionate women who are inextricably linked together and pulling each other up as we go.

You know who you are…

You don’t back down easily. You make fierce friends, mothers, and lovers. You get sh*t done. You’re clear about what you want out of life and you know how to ask for what you need. You know how to say “No.”

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The challenge with being a strong woman is that folks misconstrue your passions, your resolve, and your tenacity for a myriad of other things. Nine times out of ten, it’s the other person’s insecurities, limiting beliefs, and narrow perspectives about what’s possible that has them judging you and the amazing things you’re creating in your world.

Here are 12 reasons why, as a strong woman, you should never have to apologize.

Reason #1: “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.”
wear your confidence

    Tall or short, skinny or full figured, you love yourself and it shows. This doesn’t mean you’re egotistical or arrogant, it means you’re confident in who you are and comfortable in your own skin. For those of you who haven’t quite arrived at this amazing space of self-love, keep looking, it’s in you.

    Reason #2: You know who you are and what you want in your life.

    You’re clear on who you are and what you want out of life. You’re also clear on what is unacceptable, intolerable, and inexcusable. Because of this, your “no” really does mean No. You’re clear on your choices. Unless of course, you choose to change your mind.

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    Reason #3: Yes, you run like a girl (because you ARE a girl). 
    Run like a girl - keep up!

      Just because you’re a woman, doesn’t mean you’re not competitive. Nor does it mean that you don’t like to win. You’re not aggressive, you’re spirited, unwavering, and cunning. And you get to use all of your feminine characteristics to your advantage!

      Reason #4: You’re determined, driven, and focused on your goals.

      In the boys club, this makes men a rock star, successful, and “in demand.” For a woman, it often gets translated to being “bitchy,” or “arrogant.” Being feisty, resolute, and steadfast towards your goals is just the way to get things done.

      Reason #5: You’re hella smart and you have an opinion.

      In today’s world, women have to work harder than men and yet earn just 78 cents for every dollar a man earns. All the while women are now 33% more likely to graduate from college. Because of this disadvantage, you’ve learned to work smarter, you’re assertive, and you aren’t shy about sharing your opinions, knowledge, and expertise with others.

      Reason #6: You’re the glue that holds it all together.

      Just because you’re organized, timely, and neat doesn’t mean you’re a control freak or bossy. It’s because you’re so orderly that you can juggle so many things at once: taking care of the kids, the partner, the employees, and still keeping your head attached to the rest of your body. This is a talent to be admired, not diminished.

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      Reason #7: Your priorities are just that, your priorities.

      Everyone has their own path in life to take. How you walk along your path, based on your passions, purpose, and priorities, is your choice. No matter whether it’s your mother who has an opinion about what steps you should take next or a friend or colleague, you inherently know what is best for you and how to manage your time. Thank them for their input and advice, and keep on moving forward to the beat of your own drum.

      Reason #8: You’re a fierce warrior and a compassionate sister/mother/friend.

      I Am Woman

        As a woman, you have an enormous capacity for love and caring for others. It’s actually coded into your DNA to nurture and build community. You also can be fiercely protective of those you care about, organizations you believe in, or simply fighting for those who are vulnerable to predators. When the momma bear comes out, everyone else should sit up and take note.

        Reason #9: You’re sexy and you know it.

        You’ve heard the saying “it’s a man’s world,” right? Well, it still is in many ways, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring your full feminine power to your career. As a woman, the more comfortable you are in your own skin, the more attractive you become. And when you operate from this more feminine-yet-powerful place, you’ll have everyone in the rooming paying attention.

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        Reason #10: You’re a leader, period.
        Sheryl Sandbert

          As Sheryl Sandberg once said, “ In the future there will be no female leaders. There will only be leaders.”

          The future starts today. You are a leader, a risk taker, a strategic thinker who is happy and capable of going toe-to-toe with any man in the room. You stand up for yourself and you stand up for those around you who need your support, your voice, your guidance, because that’s what leaders do.

          Reason #11: You’re strong and independent, yet soft, sensitive, and intuitive.

          I am a strong woman and proud of it.

            You have learned over the years to depend on yourself, your intuition, and your higher self to guide you along your path. You feel deeply and sense the emotions of those around you, and even simple things can move you to tears. You trust your gut and speak your truth. Your intuition is a tool, use it to your advantage.

            Reason #12: You are authentically, wholeheartedly yourself.
            women-pillars of community

              You know that secretly (or not so secretly) your parents, your family, or even your culture all have expectations about how you are supposed to show up in the world – what kind of career you’ll have, who is the “right” person for you to marry and have kids with, and how life is “supposed” to look for you. You, on the other hand, know who you are authentically and are creating life in your own way, writing your own rules, speaking your truth, and living your life fully — without apology or regret. This is your way to be the best version of you that is happy from the inside out.

              Life is short. Be yourself — without apology.

              Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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              The Gentle Art of Saying No

              The Gentle Art of Saying No

              No!

              It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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              But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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              What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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              But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

              1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
              2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
              3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
              4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
              5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
              6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
              7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
              8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
              9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
              10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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