Being a strong, independent woman doesn’t necessarily require that you be a die-hard feminist. Rather, it means learning to express who you are at your core, whether you are shy and soft-spoken or loud and assertive, without trying to fit a certain mold implied by your being a female.
- Stand up for yourself. Whether you are a man or a woman, you will have to learn to fend for yourself in the real world if you want to avoid being taken advantage of. You must learn how to stand up for yourself at school, at work, and in your social life.
- Stay educated. Being educated not only gives you the skills and knowledge you will need to pursue your career, it also makes you more well-respected by the people you encounter in your life. Your level of education (whether formal or informal) reflects your intelligence and shows others that you care about things other than your own personal life.
Don’t compare yourself to other women. While there is nothing wrong with having a female role model to look up to, constantly feeling jealous of other women will leave you feeling horrible about yourself. Though jealousy is natural to some degree, western society tends to exacerbate female jealousy through advertisements and films that feature unrealistic standards of beauty. The result is a culture of women who feel insecure and unhappy with their own bodies.
- Manage your finances. If you want to be truly independent, you must learn how to pay for your own life so that you don’t have to rely on other people. Spend your money wisely, and avoid wasteful or frivolous expenditures. Prioritize your spending. Your top priorities should be on your basic necessities like food, shelter, and clothing. Things like expensive clothes, concerts, and vacations are luxuries. Learn how to differentiate between necessities and luxuries.Check your bank statements regularly, and be sure to keep your own records as well so that you can catch errors.
- Protect your sexuality. Every woman, at one point or another, encounters a man who wants to take advantage of her sexually. It is important to learn both how and when to say no to a man who is making unwelcome advances on you.
- Don’t base your happiness on being in a relationship. Having a man (or woman) to love should enhance your life, not define it. No matter how bad you may think you need a relationship, you must first learn to love yourself before you can even begin to love somebody else.If you are already in a relationship, be sure you have other things going on in your life outside of the relationship, whether it is school, work, friends, a fitness routine, or your family.
- Don’t feel obligated to follow fashion trends. Being an independent woman means dressing the way you want, regardless of what people around you are telling you to wear. Use fashion as a way to express your mood, your taste, and your creativity.
- Give to others. One of the best ways you can exert your strength is to give back to those who are less fortunate than you. You don’t have to be rich or affluent to make a positive impact in your community, so start small.