Being a woman in the world today can be trying. It can beat you down and send you running home to your Netflix and your comfortable clothes, and sometimes (when we ask, and when we’re in the mood), pieces of well-meaning and classic advice are worth being repeated.
Here are 14 things women (and everyone, really) would do well to keep in mind – especially on those hardest of days.
14. Only throw short pity parties.
“’You can sit on your pity potty for as long as you want, but always flush when you get up.’ — my lovely English teacher (who originally heard it from her grandmother).”
13. Keep trying.
“Summer swim team wasn’t my favorite in high school. I knew I didn’t have the talent or conditioning to win an upcoming race, so I asked my friend, ‘What’s the point of even trying? I’ll just come in last!’
She grabbed me by my shoulders, forced me to look at her, and said, ‘Second to last. Try for second to last.’ I ended up getting third place!
I doubt myself a LOT due to clinical depression, and those words always remind me to push myself to exceed my own expectations — you never know what will happen.”
12. Expect to be paid what you’re worth.
“When negotiating your salary, ask for $5,000 more than what you were thinking. Because you are worth it!”
11. Love yourself.
“My favorite teacher in high school, Mrs. Cobb, told us ‘Get used to being alone.’ It sounds harsh, but she didn’t say it to be mean or shady! She explained that there were going to be times in our lives where we didn’t have parents, friends, or lovers to guide us or shelter us.
We had to learn to enjoy and love ourselves fully as individuals in order to lead fulfilling and meaningful lives. I’ve remembered that lesson of hers far longer than her Spanish lessons!”
10. Don’t get married until you find someone who encourages you to be your best (and true) self.
“My grandmother told me to marry someone that makes you laugh and that you can talk to, because nothing else lasts.”
9. It’s okay to make mistakes.
“One of my first jobs was at a cookie bakery. On the first day my supervisor told me, ‘You WILL burn the cookies. You’ll undercook them. You will bake too many. You won’t bake enough — and it’s going to be okay.’
As someone who is constantly worried that I’m not good enough or messing everything up, now when I make a mistake I remind myself, ‘I burned the cookies. But it’s going to be okay.'”
“Vote. Too many women fought for you to be apathetic.”
7. Believe in yourself.
“When I was nervous about taking a new job I thought was too much for me, one of my good friends said, ‘Would a man ever be this concerned with whether or not he could do the job or be successful? No. So own it!’
That spoke to me.”
6. Learn how to take a compliment.
“My mom told me to learn to take a compliment. Learn to accept the compliment and simply say thank you without a justification or explanation.”
5. Be kind to yourself.
“Someone once told me that if I wouldn’t say it about my best friend not to say it about myself.
It gave me a whole new outlook on body positivity and feeling better about myself.”
4. Remember how smart you are.
“‘Remember how smart you are.’ A friend told me this the day before I took my Occupational Therapy certification exam.
It was a great reminder that there’s a reason I’ve come so far and accomplished so much, and I should have faith in myself and my ability to achieve my goals.”
3. Only apologize when it’s warranted.
“When I was at the 2017 Women’s March in D.C., my mom had to be in a wheelchair, and whoever was pushing her often had to apologize for nearly bumping into someone or needing to scurry past. Near the Washington Memorial, a woman I apologized to turned around, looked me in the eyes, and said, ‘No more sorry’s! Women apologize enough, it’s time to stop being sorry.’ She got a full look at me and my mom her chair. “‘You’re helping a disabled woman. You should never apologize for that. You don’t have to be polite!’
Due to habit, I kept saying sorry the rest of the day, but since then, I’ve been trying to reserve my sorrys for when it’s truly necessary and I truly mean it. She’s right, women are all too often apologizing because we need to be more polite than anyone else. It’s time to stop being sorry.”
2. Be your own biggest cheerleader.
“You have to toot your own horn because no one will do it for you.’ — my aunt Toots (no pun intended, that’s what we really called her.)”
1. Strive for financial independence.
My mom says you should always be able to make and manage your own money — it’s the key to independence. Even if you’re married and share financial responsibilities, you should be able to stand on your own two feet if you need to.
Women have been kept down, and kept in bad relationships for centuries because of their financial dependence on men.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to kick life right in the face!
If you were having a day or week where you needed some reminders, I hope these did it for you, too!