We all carry an inner strength, but sometimes, that strength is shrouded by the need for approval and validation from others.
You might look at your life and find yourself constantly seeking affirmation for your actions, thoughts, or decisions. You might even question if your self-worth is determined by your own beliefs or the opinions of those around you.
So, how do you know if you’re truly a strong, independent woman or just someone who’s masquerading as one under the influence of others’ approval?
Let’s find out.
1) They are self-aware
Strong women who operate without the need for external validation have a heightened sense of self-awareness.
This isn’t just about knowing their likes and dislikes, but extends to understanding their strengths, weaknesses, passions, and fears.
They take time to reflect on their thoughts, actions, and feelings, which helps them understand who they truly are. This level of introspection allows them to make informed decisions that align with their values and goals, rather than bending to the whims and opinions of others.
More so, their self-awareness acts as a shield against the pressures of societal conformity, which means they don’t allow others’ perceptions to dictate their self-worth or life choices.
Because for a strong woman, her identity is grounded in her own understanding of self, making her less prone to seeking external validation. By being self-aware, she is able to create a life that is authentic and fulfilling to her.
2) They trust their intuition
Women who don’t seek validation from others have a deep-seated belief in their own intuition. They understand that their inner voice is a powerful guide and trust it to lead them in the right direction.
So, rather than constantly seeking advice or approval from others, they rely on their instinct and gut feelings to make decisions. They acknowledge that nobody knows their life, their situations, or their potential better than they do.
Of course, this doesn’t mean they disregard advice, but they have the discernment to know when to take it into consideration and when to rely on their own judgment.
It simply means their intuition is their compass, steering them away from the need for external validation and towards paths that align with their personal values and aspirations.
3) They set personal boundaries
A significant habit of strong, independent women is their ability to establish and maintain personal boundaries. This means they define what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior from others in their life.
I know this myself, because I have experienced it personally.
I recall an instance from my own life where setting boundaries played a vital role. I had a friend who had a habit of making negative comments about my career choices.
Initially, I shrugged it off, thinking she was just concerned. But when it became a recurring pattern, I realized it was damaging my self-confidence and peace of mind.
So, I decided to set a boundary.
I had a conversation with her, explaining how her comments made me feel and respectfully asked her to refrain from passing judgment on my career choices. This was not an easy conversation to have, but it was necessary for my well-being.
By setting this boundary, I sent a clear message:
While I valued our friendship, her approval or disapproval of my career was not required or appreciated.
This action not only boosted my self-esteem but also helped me distance myself from the need for external validation.
This simply goes to show that strong women understand that setting personal boundaries is an act of self-care and self-respect. They know their worth and refuse to let others overstep their boundaries.
4) They practice self-care
In the hustle and bustle of life, it’s easy to overlook the importance of self-care.
However, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, people who practice regular self-care have better mental health, lower stress levels, and a higher quality of life.
This is why strong women don’t seek validation from others — instead, they make self-care a priority.
They understand that taking care of themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally is not a luxury, but a necessity.
Knowing this, they consciously carve out time for activities that rejuvenate them, which could be something as simple as reading a book, taking a walk in nature, practicing yoga, or even indulging in a spa day.
They do what makes them feel good about themselves and what brings them inner peace.
5) They embrace failure
Women who don’t seek validation from others have a unique perspective on failure — rather than viewing it as a setback or an embarrassment, they see it as a stepping stone towards success.
And as a strong woman myself, I hold the same view.
I remember a time when I was working on a major project at work. I had put in countless hours and immense effort, only for the project to fall through at the last minute. I felt like I had failed miserably and started questioning my abilities.
But instead of wallowing in self-pity or seeking validation from others to reassure me, I decided to embrace this failure. I analyzed what went wrong and identified areas where I could improve.
This experience taught me valuable lessons that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise.
I realized that failure wasn’t the end of the world. Instead, it was an opportunity for growth and learning. This shift in perspective boosted my self-confidence and helped me detach from the need for external validation.
Just like my experience, strong women view failure as an essential part of their journey. They don’t let fear of failure or others’ opinions hold them back. They are not afraid to take risks, make mistakes, and most importantly, learn from them.
6) They celebrate their successes
Genuinely strong women have a wonderful habit of celebrating their own accomplishments. They don’t need applause or recognition from the outside world to feel proud of their achievements.
Whether it’s a small win like completing a difficult task at work or a significant achievement like buying their first home, they take time to acknowledge and celebrate their triumphs.
These celebrations are personal and meaningful – they serve as a reminder of their capabilities and the progress they’ve made.
What this shows is that their self-worth isn’t dependent on others’ approval. Instead, it comes from recognizing their own efforts and accomplishments. By celebrating their successes, they reinforce their independence and diminish the need for external validation.
7) They are lifelong learners
You know a woman is genuinely strong minded when they are committed to continuous learning. They are curious, open-minded, and always seeking ways to broaden their knowledge and skills.
They understand that learning extends beyond just academic or professional development – it’s about personal growth as well. They read books, attend seminars, take courses, or engage in any activity that enriches their understanding of the world and themselves.
This thirst for learning isn’t driven by the need to impress others or gain approval; it’s about self-empowerment, personal development, and a genuine curiosity about the world.
Their commitment to lifelong learning contributes to their independence and reduces their reliance on external validation.
8) They practice gratitude
Lastly, strong women who don’t seek validation from others have a deep sense of gratitude. They appreciate what they have and where they are in life, rather than constantly striving for more or comparing themselves with others.
This means they focus on the positives in their lives and express gratitude for them regularly. By practicing gratitude, they stay grounded, content, and less influenced by external validation.
That’s why their self-worth isn’t based on what they don’t have but on appreciating what they do have. This attitude of gratitude helps them maintain a positive outlook on life, strengthens their resilience, and minimizes their dependence on others’ approval.
Ultimately, strong women’s commitment to themselves isn’t dependent on others’ approval or validation. They do it for themselves because they recognize its impact on their overall well-being.
They know they deserve it, and they don’t need anyone else’s permission to prioritize their own happiness.