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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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              Last Updated on March 30, 2020

              What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

              What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

              Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

              You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

              This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

              What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

              According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

              Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

              There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

              How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

              When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

              Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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              1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

              One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

              The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

              Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

              2. Be Honest

              A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

              If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

              On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

              Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

              3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

              Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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              If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

              4. Succeed at Something

              When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

              Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

              5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

              Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

              Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

              If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

              If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

              Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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              6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

              Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

              You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

              On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

              You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

              7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

              Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

              Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

              Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

              When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

              Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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              In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

              Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

              It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

              Final Thoughts

              When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

              The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

              Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

              Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

              Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

              More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

              Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

              Reference

              [1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
              [2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
              [3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
              [4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
              [5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
              [6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
              [7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
              [8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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