How do you recognize a strong woman? How does a woman know if she is one? And what does it mean to be strong anyway? Is strength synonymous with professional and/or financial success? Or with toughness, discipline, stamina? Or is it physical, muscular strength? Or even our capacity for suffering that makes us strong?
In fact, many of us are not even aware of our personal strength. It is only through tragedy, traumatic or life-changing experiences that we are able to reflect on ourselves. Or have the mirror held up to us by third parties – friends, family members, work colleagues. This is often preceded by situations that push us to the edge of what we can bear. That make us scream, rage, cry, hate and be angry. That demand everything from us.
How you get out of these situations, literally fight your way out of them, is crucial. And is decisive for your personal strength.
Strength is not synonymous with struggle. Because struggle hardens, but it does not make us an Amazon. No one should be the tough, hardened version of themselves. Being tough often means closing yourself off. To become cautious. Not trusting anyone, not opening up anymore. Yet opening up at this stage is so extremely important, because through it we broaden our horizons, meet people who are good for us and who come into our lives so that we can learn from them. Kindness, love, friendship, mindfulness – all this makes us happy again. People of the heart, best friends, people who spontaneously take you in their arms. Because yes, even strong women need to be embraced. They need to be able to cry and let themselves go in order to feel freer afterwards. They need to learn to let go and believe in themselves. They need to learn to put their needs and themselves first. Not in the selfish way, in the loving way. Being at peace with yourself, doing things that make you feel good, that make us feel better like meditation, sports, a trip or a glass of wine with your best friend.
Part of being strong is also being able to get rid of the negative feelings and at the same time allow positive ones. Because everything that is negative in us makes us sick in the long run. It is like a sore that needs to be cleared from the body so that it does not develop into something worse. To do this, we must learn to turn off the emotions for a moment and rationally consider what is best. The best for us, but also the best for our family. To pause, take a deep breath and calm down. To push away the bad thoughts and reflect on what is most important.
Being strong also means believing in ourselves. To have confidence in your own abilities. To be independent and enjoy spending time with yourself – and only yourself, not digital distractions. To take care of one’s karma. To believe that fate means well with you. That what happened was a lesson that will make us grow, make us bigger. And that things will soon start to get better again.
But strength is also admitting to yourself that you are not perfect. To accept your feelings, even the negative ones, your weaknesses, your „mistakes“. Accepting that you also had your share in the failure of a relationship. Or that things didn’t work out with your colleagues at work because you didn’t go about it the right way. Or that you are simply overwhelmed by the situation. And after this first step, acceptance, to take the second and forgive ourselves.
And last but not least: Being strong means in particular accepting any help that is offered to you. This can come from a friend, the family or a therapist. We don’t have to be ashamed to ask for it. We do it because we care about ourselves and because we want to feel better. Because being strong also means loving ourselves.