Do you consider yourself strong? I don’t mean physically strong but mentally, emotionally, and intellectually strong. All the time, I hear the term “strong women” like it is a rarity or some phenomenon. So, I started thinking about what it is to be strong and then applied that to women. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, strong has a multitude of definitions, but only a few describe mental state, emotion, or intellect. Those that did were “well established” and “having moral or intellectual power.” The remainder adjectives were more physical or applied to other elements.
Realizing that we want women to be strong and be referred to as strong women, I wanted to see what that truly meant. In my view, a strong woman does not necessarily need validation from society. We certainly want validation from those we love but do not need it from people in our lives who are on the periphery. It is a woman who understands how things work and what is expected but sets her own parameters. She walks her own path and hopes others walk with her. However, if she walks it on her own, she is OK with that as well.
A strong woman is a powerful woman. Women have a strength and a power that is mighty and can be used if we tap into it. However, a strong woman does not use this power as a weapon or to hold over others. She sees how her power can be used for good and yields it accordingly.
A strong woman is one with a capacity to love, grow, evolve, and flourish. She does not let others determine her way of being, yet she does not allow her way of being to diminish someone else either. She builds up and never does anything that might break down others or herself.
1. She Spends Little Time Feeling Sorry for Herself
A strong woman understands that she has flaws; things won’t always go her way, and there will be bumps in the road. She does not waste time feeling sorry for herself, wondering about the whys and hows. Instead, she faces them head-on, fixes what needs to be fixed, and moves on.
2. She Does Not Try to Please Everyone
Strong women after 50 know what needs to happen, how to get there, and do not worry about how everyone is feeling. She is not cold-hearted, but she does not allow how others feel about her to be a primary guide in what she is doing.
3. She Does Not Try to Control Things She Knows She Can’t
A strong woman knows when she cannot change something. She accepts this and does not waste time trying. If this unchangeable thing becomes an obstacle, she simply finds a way around it.
4. She Does Not Let Others Speak for Her
Strong women after 50 have a voice and know this. This woman speaks up when she feels it is necessary. She is straightforward and to the point. She has her own thoughts, ideas, and opinions — and is not afraid to voice them.
5. She Does Not Put Others Down
A strong woman does not need to break others down to build herself up. Actually, the opposite is quite true — when she builds others up, she feels strong! She does not belittle or “talk around” others. She sees another person’s value and embraces that but never puts others down.
6. She Does Not Shy Away from Risks
A strong woman does not avoid taking risks, whether in her personal life or professional life. She isn’t afraid to fail at trying. She sees a job she wants; she tries for it. She sees some new adventure to take; she goes for it. She does not shy away from a challenge. She is also not afraid to express her own personality in how she dresses, wears her hair, her hobbies, etc. A strong woman is not confined by the boxes that society normally puts “older” women in.
7. She Does Not Try to Do Everything on Her Own
In society, being vulnerable is seen as a weakness, so many people hesitate to ask for help. A strong woman realizes her weaknesses and limitations and is not afraid to ask for help. She knows her weakness is someone else’s strength. A strong woman knows the courage it takes to admit she can’t do it all on her own and has the strength to ask others for help.
Every woman has the ability to be a strong woman. We are socialized to hide that side of us for fear of not seeming feminine enough. Women who are strong often get negative stigmas attached to themselves, but you know what? Who cares! Women can be strong and still be feminine. We can be strong and still be soft, kind, generous, and amazing. Find your inner strength and cultivate it. It might be a bit scary at first, but I promise you will love that woman once you meet her!