Strong women, men, people – they’re all necessary. They’re the ones that make things happen. The ones who face whirlwinds and stand strong. Withstand pressure, fall and get up again. Unbreakable? No. They too break and crumble. The difference is though, strong people don’t give up until the very end without first giving it their everything. And after that, they get up again and start over.
So why do I place emphasis on strong women?
Women have often been placed in the roll of the lesser gender since the beginning of time. Men have constantly been portrayed as warriors, the heroes, women the ones who stay home to tend to the family. The battle between genders is still prevalent in many societies and cultures, despite a lot of improvement over the years.
I don’t believe in the difference between sexes in regards to our capabilities or possibilities. There are physiological differences, stereotypes and characteristics that prevail more often in one or the other gender. And that’s okay. But neither gender is less.
What perhaps may be one of the larger challenges is the lack of self-belief among women. For some reason, a lot of fantastic, incredible women stay behind in the shadows, instead of shining bright to their full potential. A stay at home mother may be just as much a hero as a financially successful business leader. Occupationally the two are not directly comparable on any level, though both are titles that can be held by strong women.
My first post on this site was the world needs strong women, a post I still keep coming back to. A lot has changed since I published that post, but not my beliefs.
As a woman, a strong woman if I may, I believe we can do anything we set our minds to. I’m raising three girls, three strong girls, who also believe they can do anything they truly desire. There is not a bone in my body that will allow for them to think differently in regards to what all they can accomplish. I won’t push or force anything upon them, but I will ensure that they know and feel their strength.
In western society, our roads are paved for the most part. Both literally and figuratively. We have certain expectations set upon us from the moment we’re born. And most of us follow those paths, a lot of us without even questioning.
As a Scandinavian woman, born to ambitious, encouraging and enabling parents, my path was pretty easy and smooth. Most rocks, pebbles and potholes were cleared aside before I could reach them. My childhood was full of joy, laughter, travels and adventures. Education was a given, just as a comfortable home, clean clothes, food and more toys and hobbies than a child could dream of.
Then I grew up. I realized that you have to work for smooth roads. Nothing was actually a given, even if they were given to me. My parents set me off on a path of smooth sailing for the duration of my childhood and early adulthood. Of course there were setbacks and disappointments in my life too, but all in all, it was very easy. It wasn’t until it was all on me that I realized I needed to grow some more. Become empowered and strong by myself.
Strong women get up, show up and make a choice
Strong women get up, show up and make a choice. And they repeat. Until they get where they want to be. No, you’re not supposed to be a super-woman. Yes, you can stop and take a breather in between. We all face hurdles, stumbling stones and even mountains every now and then. It’s life.
The difference between being strong and week is quite simple though. It’s a question of attitude and how you face your hurdles.
Everyone fails at times. Again, what counts is what you do when you fail. In all reality, failing sucks. It’s not something that anyone strives for, but it happens. When you’re hit by a slump, you basically have two choices: give up and bury yourself in self-pity, or accept failure, process it, learn from it and get up again. Self-pity is a nasty place to get lost in, if you’re feeling stuck, head over to an older post of mine on self-pity.
- Always get up again. No matter what you’ve been through, small or big, get up. Every day is a new opportunity. If you’re sleep deprived, sleep it off, but in moderation. Wallowing in bed will not get you any further.
- We teach our kids that if they fall off a bike or a horse, the most important thing to do is get back up and try again – so that they won’t begin to fear falling. Do the same for yourself.
- “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
- Show up for yourself, your family, your friends, your business – anyone and anything that truly matters to you.
- Showing up is not about physical presence at every single cat baptism in your neighborhood, it’s about being where it counts. Do the things that are important to you, for accomplishing your goals and dreams.
- Commit to things that matter to you, and stick to them. Even if you’re not feeling your strongest, in the long run, it will be worth it.
- You don’t need to prove anything to anyone, you don’t show up because of others, you show up because of yourself.
Make a choice
- Making a choice can sometimes be extremely difficult, even in the simplest things. We might sit around waiting for a sign, for someone else to choose for us, or simply for the situation to pass. But guess what, it doesn’t work that way. Empower yourself and make a choice that you can stand by.
- If you want to stay at home with your children, make that choice and be proud of it. If you want to pursue a high-end career, go for it and work for your goals. Whatever it is that you are after, it is your choice.
- You are in charge of your happiness, your success, your dreams – do not give away that liberty. It’s your life.
- Being stuck in the middle without a direction can eat away at you. When you’re in a crossing, make a choice, and go with it. If it was the right choice, good for you. If it was the wrong choice, start over. And again, walk on stronger.
Being strong does not equal invincible
As I stated in the beginning, strong women are not unbreakable. Strong women accept that they do not need to be everywhere all the time. They don’t do everything by themselves. Strong women are able to ask for help, support and assistance. They know their boundaries and accept help when necessary.
Personally I am a classic overachiever. It’s not what make me strong, it actually has nothing to do with it. What makes me strong is that even if I know I can do anything, I also know I can’t do everything. Nor am I or you supposed to. That’s why the world is full of other people too. The moment you think you can do everything by yourself, that you are invincible, well, my friend, no. That moment is the first step towards failure. Again, not that there is anything wrong with failing, but intentional failure doesn’t fall under the same category.
Strong women accept themselves for who they are, flaws and all. They are not super beings. But they do not allow anyone or anything to get in their way for achieving their dreams and goals. Strong women stand behind their own happiness and success. x