Alpha females are strong, resilient, know what they want and go for it aggressively. Not only do I admire them, but I was lucky to be raised by one. Being taught life lessons by an Alpha female is a little different than usual, but still priceless nonetheless. Here are 10 things my incredible fierce mom taught me that I’m so thankful for:
Be Self-Reliant. Independence is probably the most valuable lesson my Alpha mom taught me. While there would be people in my life like friends family and eventually a significant other, it was important that I had the ability to rely on myself. Not only would I be able to sustain in tough situations, but I’d also be able to lend a hand to anyone else around me that was struggling.
Emotion Does Not Equal Weakness. Being strong didn’t mean holding back your feelings. It was okay to cry out of sadness, anger, or frustration if things got tough. After you’ve cried it all out, you don’t wallow in it; you leave it behind. A brief breakdown is ultimately meant to build you back up, not make you weaker.
Confidence Comes From Within. Growing up, I mistakenly relied on what I saw girls my age doing to feel confident: clothes, hair, makeup and so on. I did all of those things and still didn’t feel confident in myself. My mom didn’t spare my feelings when she bluntly told me I wouldn’t find what I was looking for in things or people. I had to find my confidence inside of myself, rooted in who I was and what I loved about me. It was the first real brick in the foundation I built to be comfortable in my skin.
Being A Woman is An Asset. Women are unique, beautiful beings who sense things and view the world completely differently than our male counterparts. I learned that being a woman wasn’t a crutch any more than being a man was. In fact, she saw it as a tremendous asset in day-to-day life, and now so do I.
Sisterhood is So Important. Sometimes, some pretty negative things accompany womanhood. We’ve all experienced cattiness, competition and the ‘mean girl’ syndrome. Instead of fighting fire with fire, I embrace what I learned about fostering sisterhood with the women in my family, friend circle, and even strangers while trying to find common ground.
When You’re Right, Be Unapologetic. My strong willed mama gave me a priceless lesson in confidence and standing up for what you know is right. “Say what you mean and mean what you say” is a quote of hers that comes up anytime I find myself in a situation where I know I’m the right, but the other party wants to discredit me. It’s emboldened me and helped me stand my ground.
Work For What You Want — And Be Aggressive. My mom worked in the great era of powerful career women in the 1980s. In addition to the pumps and giant shoulder pads, she shared many instances of how networking, working hard and highlighting her strengths landed her career opportunities. The landscape (and fashions) have changed since then, but I’ve used her blueprint and found career success of my own.
Love Shouldn’t Complete You, But It Is Nice. I may have forgotten to put this in use during my dating years, but the lesson never left me. While having a partner is nice, you should never look for another person to make you whole. She compared it to filling up a half-empty glass with a full one — no matter how much the water pours back and forth, both glasses are never full. I made sure that I was ‘whole’ before I committed to a serious relationship and was better for it.
Take Misogyny For What It Is — BS. Unfortunately, misogyny has a bad habit of following women from one generation to the next. And while we can see from the past few decades that progress in tearing down gender stereotypes is going pretty well, it still lingers. I love the lesson my mom taught me on dealing with misogyny — “Take it for what it is,” she said with a shrug. “BS.”
It’s Okay To Let Your Guard Down. There’s nothing wrong with looking out for yourself and others around you, but to have your guard up too much is to miss out on letting some unique people in your life. I had my guard up in my early 20s when I didn’t want to make new friends after most of my high school pals had moved on. At her suggestion, I started to soften up and ended up meeting some amazing people, including my now-husband.
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