12 undeniable signs you’re a woman of real substance

What gives a woman substance? Is it money, power, and influence?

These may come as a consequence, but her real substance is found in her admirable qualities that bring her strength.

Being principled, considerate, and steadfast make her a well-rounded individual with plenty to offer the world.

Wondering if you’re a woman of real substance?

Check out these signs that you most definitely are!

1. You’ve got a strong moral compass

It’s impossible to have substance without having values.

That’s why the first sign on our list is that you know your core values and you govern your life by them.

You have a conscience and it steers you.

These help you stay true to who you are and never sell out. It also means you are principled enough to do the right thing.

Sometimes it can be easier to keep your mouth shut but to the detriment of others.But women of substance won’t step on others just to get to the top.

2. You’re not image obsessed

It’s ok to want to be well-presented.

Let’s be honest, how we choose to show ourselves to the outside world does matter.

It is also an indication of strong self-esteem when you can look in the mirror and like the reflection staring back at you.

A woman who is happy in her own skin is incredibly powerful. But a woman of substance also knows she is so much more than the way she looks.

So whilst she can take pride in her appearance, she’s never consumed by it.

She wears the things that she likes, regardless of whether they’re on trend or the height of fashion.

She’s not afraid to let people see behind the mask. She understands that beauty is only skin deep.

In fact, rather than just looking at the surface, she prefers to dig much deeper — not only within herself but also in others.

3. You don’t judge a book by its cover

As we’ve just seen, a woman of substance knows that looks can be deceiving. They’re only a snapshot of someone rather than the full picture.

It takes time to get to know anyone. So we should avoid making hasty judgments.

Women with substance would rather reserve their opinions on someone until they have had the chance to peel back those layers.

This fairer approach affords people the benefit of the doubt. It also demands that she stay open-minded.

Luckily, for a woman of substance, this isn’t so difficult.

4. You have an inquiring mind

You always have questions. You’re always curious.

Rather than assume or take anything for face value, you prefer to find out for yourself.

That may mean doing some research. It can mean approaching things from a fresh perspective.

Inquiring minds are responsible for so much progress and evolution.

Because it takes this spark of creativity in order to push boundaries and make new discoveries.

But as we’ll see next, exploration can feel like a risky business and takes lots of guts.

5. You won’t let a fear of failure hold you back

We all get scared. Every single one of us.

There’s really no such thing as fearless. It’s a natural part of human nature. It helps keep us safe and stay risk-averse to the most dangerous things.

But fear also needs to be kept in check.

When it’s not, we can end up catastrophizing. We may shirk away from opportunities for growth.

Because failure is always a part of any success. Trial and error demands we have slip-ups as part of the learning process.

And if there’s one thing a woman of substance wants in her life, it’s to blossom into a better version of herself.

6. You’re smart in so many ways

There are all kinds of ways to be clever. It’s not always reflected in how high your IQ is.

Some people are good with their hands and naturally creative. Others are great problem solvers.

Some have been blessed with street smarts. Meanwhile, others have very high emotional intelligence.

But what does so often define a woman of substance is that she is smart, and usually in varied ways.

She knows her strengths and her weaknesses.

She makes the most of the assets and abilities she has been given in life. But she doesn’t stop there either.

She is always learning. She recognizes that far from being fixed, our capacity for knowledge is ever expanding.

7. You can be sassy when required

When I say sassy, all I actually mean is assertive.

Women of substance have confidence. And they use that confidence to stick up for themselves and stand their ground.

This allows you to demand the respect you are owed. Let’s just say that you’re not so easily scared off by a challenge.

Confrontation can be incredibly uncomfortable for all of us. But a woman of substance also knows that sometimes it’s unavoidable.

It’s just about handling yourself in a mature, clear, and respectful way.

Don’t misunderstand me, being assertive is not the same as refusing to back down. Quite the opposite.

If you are a woman of substance, you also have the wisdom to pick your battles and know when you’re in the wrong.

8. You own up to your mistakes

A woman of real substance doesn’t shy away from the word sorry. She can hold her hands up and say “My bad”.

Admitting fault takes a depth of character. Because let’s be honest, it’s not always so easy to do.

Saying we’re wrong can get stuck in our throats. That’s probably because it can easily dent our pride.

We all prefer to be right. But when you have sound enough self-esteem, it doesn’t pain you to accept that’s not always going to happen.

Real women have the self-awareness to reflect on their mistakes.

This inner understanding also means that they are in the driving seat of their own life, as we’ll see next.

9. You take full responsibility for yourself

The only person who will ever save you is you. Women of substance know this, which is why they’ve taught themselves to be self-reliant.

An incredible thing happens when we know that our happiness is down to us:

We see that only we have the power to shape our thoughts, feelings, and actions.

It sounds obvious, but so many people still go around blaming their mood or their circumstances on other people or things.

The most clued-up women recognize that this disempowering move only keeps you stuck and at the mercy of others.

Instead, they take 100% responsibility for themselves.

This helps them roll up their sleeves and get to work shaping their life the way they want it — without the excuses.

10. You’re not one to mindlessly follow the crowd

Women of substance are independent and try to avoid the trappings of people-pleasing habits.

That’s because they see that wanting desperately to be linked above all else is:

Doomed to fail
Ends up putting your own needs and wants constantly at the back of the queue

They have learned the art of saying no. They won’t go along with the general consensus, simply to avoid rocking the boat.

That’s why women of substance are often natural leaders.

They are happy to guide from the front, rather than follow from behind like sheep.

11. You think before you speak

If you think that so far I’m painting a picture of a woman with substance as a bit of a badass, well you’d be right.

But badass never means arrogant or lacking in compassion.

A woman of substance has respect and consideration for people.

Rather than acting like a bull in a china shop, she is mindful of how she communicates.

She realizes that some things can be better left unsaid. And as for the things that do need to be spoken, it matters how they’re delivered.

She shows tact. She thinks about what she wants to say, and how it will be received. This allows her to get her message across clearly, but never bluntly.

12. You give back

Sadly, some people in this world still mistake kindness for weakness.

Yet the very survival and progression of the human race have always relied on cooperation. That’s why acts of altruism are deeply ingrained within us.

Offering a helping hand to those around us shows real substance.

Those who want to hoard and keep things exclusively for themselves often have a lack, as opposed to an abundant, mentality.

Women with substance want to contribute, in whatever way they can.

They use their voice, their skills, their time, and material wealth to try to make the world a better place.

They find purpose and meaning in community, connection, and supporting others.

To conclude:

There are many ways to have substance

I’m sure you’ve seen by now that a woman with substance cannot be so narrowly defined.

In fact, many of her qualities seem to contrast, yet they also complement one another. This is the very thing that builds her depth.

She walks the line between strength and softness, vulnerability and resilience, confidence and compassion, self-care and consideration for others.

That’s no mean feat!

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Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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