Being a strong, independent woman is living the dream, right? Well, kind of. Sometimes it means you can eat ice cream for breakfast, but other times it means you need to put on your big girl pants and force a smile when the world just seems to have it out for you. Here’s what it definitely always means: you’re bound to learn a lot of valuable lessons as you go along.
Life isn’t fair.
From the wage gap to our biological clocks ticking louder and louder, we simply have to deal with issues that men don’t. The best approach is to accept that life just isn’t fair, and that we’ll need to work twice as hard because of it.
Men can be insecure.
Not all men value strength and intelligence. There are a lot of great guys out there who are looking for unique and challenging women but there are also plenty of guys who are terrified that they won’t measure up. Keep your chin up and remember that the guys who are looking for someone simple and easy really wouldn’t be a good match for you, anyway.
You need to be your own advocate.
If you wait around for people to notice how great you are, you’ll be waiting forever. This is especially true at work, where performing well isn’t enough on its own. You need to speak up, point out your victories to your boss, and for fight for your interests.
Friends can get jealous.
If you have friends who are struggling while you’re succeeding, you may notice a rift start to develop between the two of you. A friend that only wants to be there for you when your life is falling apart isn’t a true friend. You’re better off cutting those toxic ties.
No matter how much you value your independence, you need to develop a strong support network.
We all need someone we can ask for a favor when we need an extra hand. With a group of friends who are also strong and independent at your side, there’s nothing you won’t be able to accomplish.
You will never ever regret helping another woman.
Someone else’s gain is not your loss. Life isn’t a zero-sum game, and helping another woman in your network become more accomplished is something that can only help you in the future. Help out fellow women anywhere and everywhere you can.
Gender bias is real.
I guarantee you that you will at some point be asked to make coffee for a male coworker in a job where making coffee is most definitely not part of your job description. There are many ways to deal with it, but sometimes the easiest is to suck it up and do it with a smile, and try not to hate yourself afterward.
You have to ask for what you want.
Seriously. Sometimes all you have to do is ask. You’d be surprised at how many people are willing to help you out or accommodate you when they can.
Balance is important.
When you’re capable of a lot and have big dreams, there aren’t enough hours in the day to get to everything. It’s important to prioritize, and to leave room to attend to your personal life.
The only person you have to answer to is yourself.
Everyone (seriously, everyone) will feel like they get to have a say in how you live your life. They don’t. At the end of the day, nobody cares about you as much as you. Do what you have to do to make yourself happy.
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