Women are exposed to statements and clichés, concealed as advice, dictating how we should live to be accepted. We are often halted from following our dreams, from aiming higher than our boundaries, and from voicing out our opinions. There is always someone telling us what to do with our lives.
Ever noticed a man feeling bad about choosing himself in a common scenario? Absolutely NOT! Because we are entitled to feel guilty for choosing ourselves. We are tagged to be empathetic. As much as it is our strength, it is the biggest weakness we own. We often put ourselves ahead of any compromises to protect the people we love. Ironically, it grew up to be a “toxic culture”
The judgments often come from both men and women in our society who assume, they are ‘perfect’ and ‘holy’, to judge others. These are the same people who say, “You have to prioritize your family over your career” and also devalue a stay-at-home mom. From comparing women to goddesses to harassing and assaulting, we’ve seen it all. I call it a ‘generational curse’, especially in our South Asian culture.
There are few things women should stop doing to break this chain. If not, this culture will drain more and more generations after us. Honestly, not many people will like you for choosing yourself, but you’ll respect yourself for the rest of your life.
1) Stop saying YES to EVERYTHING
Girl, you really need to ask yourself why do you say ‘yes’ to anything that is not meant for you? I know you are a kind person and just can’t say no to someone but at least be wise with it. Learn to say NO to things that impact your wellbeing, your mental and physical health, something that really discomforts you.
No, I don’t want to get married now, I’m not ready.
No, I don’t want to wear a saree all the time as I don’t feel comfortable.
No, I cannot cook.
No, I don’t want to have sex
No, I don’t want to gossip about another woman, let’s talk about something useful.
No, I cannot do your work as I have my own things to take care of.
No, I cannot attend the party, I don’t feel comfortable around strangers.
No is powerful. You don’t have to shy away from expressing your choices. When you learn to say NO, you are choosing yourself, your mental and physical health. Do it guilt-free.
2. STOP comparing yourself with other women
As women, we’re always scrutinizing ourselves and each other. We compare our bodies, our looks, our clothes, our lifestyle, our financial status, our jobs, and nearly everything else. But what you may not realize is that if you constantly compare, you’ll never be satisfied with what you have and you’ll just grow resentful. There will ALWAYS be someone who seems to have it better than you.
When you compare your real life to someone’s perfect-looking picture and everything they do to keep going, you feel awful and think about everything you don’t own. You just glanced at someone and assumed they have it all. Is your judgment even fair?
Embrace what you got and work on things you really crave for. Maybe things work for you differently. You need to trust your journey. Always remember, you are here to be your own self and there is no one else like you in this entire world. Do you realize how unique you are??
3) Stop trying to Fit IN WHERE YOU DON’T BELONG
Don’t Fit In Where You Don’t Belong
You are often expected to fit into predefined entitlements. Society defines you based on how much of a giver you can be. Sometimes it feels there is no escape and you tend to compromise a bigger, much happier side of you to get accepted and liked by everyone. You try to fit in to make people around you happy. But, is it worth all the sacrifice?
Honestly, people who care about you will never expect you to fit in. They instead would love to see you fly high living on your terms and achieving your dreams. Stop trying to fit in where you don’t belong or accepted the way you are. Choose your crowd wisely, create your own space where you can grow and not shrink.
4) Stop disrespecting other women
I need to say this out loud –
STOP DISRESPECTING OTHER WOMEN!
When you devalue a woman, you are bringing down the whole women community. Stop bashing other women for self-validation. Stop disrespecting a woman for doing things differently than you. She may be better than you or not, but you have to learn acceptance and appreciation for other women.
Whether you know them or not, for who they date or what they wear, stop laughing at her for your joy. Women have enough bullsh*t to deal with when it comes to defying sexist norms; we should be on the defense for our own gender.
5) Stop finding someone who “completes YOU”
I know relationships are great, finding love is magical but you are meant to be happy and complete by yourself despite any strings attached. Stop finding it elsewhere. There is no one out there who will complete you, except Yourself. Fix your sh*t. Be capable enough to understand your process and do what’s needed to keep you happy and going.
When someone comes into your life, they are meant to add-on to your happiness, not be a source of yours. You should be able to define your worth with no attachments. Let me say this out loud again – there is no one out there who completeS you, except Yourself.
6) Stop seeking VALIDATION
“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.” ~ Lao Tzu
One biggest fear that drains your energy is “what do people think about you?” Who are these people you worry about so much?? The ones on social media who don’t know you enough? Or the ones in your society who gonna judge you no matter what you do?? what they think about you doesn’t have anything to do with you. Not everyone likes you, neither you like everyone. So, it’s obvious you cannot keep everyone happy or do everything to please them.
When you seek approval, you are shifting energy to the wrong side. You are giving out power to the wrong people. Don’t let these signs out because people love to take control over someone vulnerable.
You already know what’s right for you. Why do you need the approval to make your choices? Don’t let someone’s opinion about you outshine your uniqueness. Be confident enough to keep your head high. Their opinion is their business, none of your business.
7) STOP LETTING SOMEONE DEFINE YOU
You are often told to act like a girl (shy, sensitive, scared, weak) and anything beyond this is considered manly. I was always told, “I’m the man of the house” for being bold and independent, for being able to speak up, for choosing what’s right for me, for being strong and carefree. I used to feel superior when my emotional strength was compared to a man. It did take some time to realize why can’t I still do the same things and be respected as a woman??
Say it loud, you are the WOMAN of the house. A strong woman! Home is not a home without you, humans don’t exist without you, the world isn’t beautiful without you, life isn’t easier without you. Independent woman is not breaking toxicity to match shoulders with man, but to have a better, less compromised life for herself. Ask yourself this, is there anything in the world that you cannot do? You master every field, you master every job, you master multitasking, you master humanity.
Woman are constantly told; you cannot win and are always outsmarted and outmuscled. Let me tell you this “You are a Queen”. There is nothing in the world that matches your strength. Know your worth! Know you are unique and powerful!
8) Stop OUTSHINING YOUR REAL BEAUTY WITH FILTERS
Have you realized how beautiful you are in reality? Have you tried embracing your curves, complexion, natural hair, textured skin, bulgy stomach? It’s what we all are behind a perfect-looking picture. The sooner you realize you are beautiful in your own skin, the closer you get to your self-love journey.
You compare yourself to millions of unrealistic photos, spend time clicking that one flawless-looking picture, edit the shot, and post it on social media to let 1000s others rate you. The more fashionable, the more likes and comments. it’s definitely fun and creative. But it is also dangerous when you let it enter your emotion. You begin to believe the unrealistic beauty defines you. Study shows this led people, especially women to depression, body-image anxiety, lack confidence in facing people in real. These ideas of creating share-worthy set-ups and augmented selfies, edited to impossible standards, can’t be doing you any good.
9) STOP relying on men for financES
Ladies, you really need to work on your finances. Yes, for sure you can depend on your family or spouse until you figure out a job, a course that supports you to have a career, or a side hustle for passive income but make sure your financial dependency is temporary and make it less of a burden for others.
You should be financially independent for two reasons – One, you’ll be in charge of your life, which is HUGE(I’ll cover this in my next blog post in detail). Second, you are not making someone pay your bills and fulfill your wants out of their hard work and hard-earned money. No one is responsible to fulfill your wants. It’s different when two people mutually decide to share responsibilities, where one manages finances and the other looks after the house and family, but it is also true that it doesn’t work for everyone in long term.
If you are told “Your husband will look after you” RUNNNNN… Do you realize how toxic this sounds? When someone looks after you, they also control you, they also disrespect you at some point. You have to work to earn your bread for self-respect, if not anything.
Imagine you being financially independent and buying everything you need without asking for it, helping your partner share expenses, support your elderly parents to pay bills, help your siblings and friends in need and most importantly secure your own life. living a debt-free, happy life comes with a lot of self-confidence, the realization of self-worth in yourself. Be financially independent
10) Stop tolerating toxic relationships
Don’t stay in a toxic relationship where you are constantly disrespected, humiliated, and emotionally harmed and call it “Love”. Abuse isn’t always about physical harm. If you are not valued, treated equally, have to be “allowed” to do certain things in a relationship, You already know you don’t belong there. It takes two people to make it a successful journey in a marriage or any kinda relationship for that matter.
I know, you cannot just give up on someone for having small fights or differences of opinion. Every relationship has differences and you BOTH have to work on it together. It does take a lot of effort, also some extent of tolerance to reach common grounds. But remember there is a boundary to how much you tolerate. It is not a women’s job to understand, adjust and feel sorry for something she is not responsible for.
So, When do you know if you have to move on or to stay??
When someone in your life making you more unhappy then they make you happy! It doesn’t matter how much you love them, you need to let them go! The person who respects your presence in their life will always stand by your side and figure out the best way to make life better with you. In situations where you put constant effort to understand your partner and he/she is repeated making the mistakes, it is not accidental anymore. It is a behavior! Behavior that you have to deal with for the rest of your life. Now you can either stay and tolerate it forever or move on to something you deserve.