Strong women who have nothing to prove often display these 7 behaviors

We’ve all come across women who seem to scream for attention. Their actions and words cry for validation and recognition. 

But truly strong women have no need to shout. 

They have a quiet strength and nothing to prove. Their sense of worth is intrinsic, and their power is self-sustained.

Over the years, I’ve been lucky to have more than a few of these rare and inspiring women as friends and colleagues. 

But if their strength is so understated, how can we spot them?

Well, usually, in the subtle behaviors these women exhibit. Today, we dive into seven of the most telling of them. 

Let’s get to it. 

1) They embrace failure

“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.”

Oprah Winfrey

This powerful quote encapsulates a pivotal trait of strong women: their ability to embrace failure not as a setback but as a vital component of their journey toward excellence. 

Rather than allowing failure to get them down, they analyze what went wrong, extract insights, and apply newfound knowledge to their future endeavors. This process of learning from mistakes fosters a mindset of continuous improvement and innovation.

Not only that, in embracing failure, these women set an example for others, illustrating that the road to greatness is paved with lessons learned from every fall and that true strength lies in the courage to rise and try again. 

2) They don’t boast

I’ve been very fortunate to know and work with more than my fair share of exceptionally successful people who happen to be women: company directors, investment managers, and not one but a few hyper-successful entrepreneurs. My own mother is one of them. 

Now, I am not saying only successful women are strong, but let’s be frank: strength and success go hand in hand. Anyway, you know what they all have in common?

They never shout about their successes. 

Strong women understand that accomplishments speak for themselves; they feel no need to broadcast every success or achievement for validation. 

This quiet confidence is far more impactful than any boastful declaration could ever be. 

This stems from a deep-seated security in their abilities and worth. They recognize that true validation comes from within and that the most profound respect is earned through deeds, not words. 

When they do share their successes, it’s with a purpose—to motivate, inspire, or pave the way for meaningful conversations and connections, not to seek admiration.

This next one is a big one that most women and men could do with taking note of. Strong women already live by it.  

3) They compare themselves to themselves

We’ve all been there: endlessly scrolling through social media, each post showcasing another’s triumph or seemingly perfect life, leading us down the rabbit hole of comparison. 

This habit, as research suggests, can be a fast track to diminished self-esteem and well-being, fostering an endless cycle of comparison and discontent.

What sets strong women apart is their inward focus. Rather than pitting their own journey against someone else’s curated highlight reel, they benchmark their progress on their own terms. 

This mindset is also backed up by experts like clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson, who, in his book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, dedicates an entire chapter to this. He highlights the transformative power of measuring one’s progress by one’s own yardstick, advocating for self-improvement as the most meaningful metric.

This approach fosters a healthy growth mindset, replacing envy and self-doubt with self-acknowledgment and motivation.

4) They trust their own judgment

A colleague of mine embodied this perfectly when I worked in venture capital. I am guessing she wouldn’t want to be named, so let’s call her Sarah. 

Despite the high-stakes environment, Sarah navigated complex decisions with a calm certainty. When faced with a particularly challenging investment decision(which most are in that world), rather than canvassing the office for validation, she gathered data, analyzed trends, and made her call. 

I can’t help but think that the success she has gone on to achieve isn’t just due to her skill with numbers but to her unwavering confidence in her own expertise and the decisiveness that comes with it. 

The point is strong women don’t seek constant reassurance for every decision they make. As put by Sheryl Sandberg, “Being confident and believing in your own self-worth is necessary to achieving your potential.”

Instead of asking, “Do you think I made the right choice?” they’re more likely to share their decisions with confidence, knowing they’ve considered their options carefully.

Don’t get me wrong, though; this self-assurance doesn’t mean they’re closed off to advice or feedback. 

My colleague certainly wasn’t. Rather, when she did seek input, it was with the intention of gathering diverse perspectives, not just to hear affirmations of her views. 

Strong women like her ask questions that are deliberate, aimed at deepening their understanding or refining their approach, such as, “What’s your take on this strategy from your experience?” 

They value the insights of others as a means to enrich their knowledge and perspectives, not as a crutch for their self-esteem. 

5) They buy things for themselves, not others

zodiac signs that are surprisingly good at managing their finances Strong women who have nothing to prove often display these 7 behaviors

This is a big one. 

These days, with the influence of social media and ever more persuasive advertising, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of equating material possessions with success. So many of us, both men and women, as put by Dave Ramsey, “buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.”. 

But strong women refuse to partake in this relentless competition of “keeping up with the Joneses.” They understand that true respect cannot be purchased through lavish items. 

Instead, their purchases are thoughtful reflections of their personal taste, interests, and values, not a bid for attention or approval. They invest in what matters to them personally, whether it’s art, literature, travel, or simple pleasures that enrich their lives on a deeper level.

The distinction is not in the absence of quality or luxury in their choices but in the intent behind them. 

A piece of jewelry, for example, is treasured not for its price tag or the envy it might evoke but for its craftsmanship, beauty, or the joy it brings. 

Like many of the behaviors on this list, their approach is defined by a sense of self-worth that is intrinsically motivated, not externally influenced.

6) They say “no” often (and without guilt)

I have a friend from college who is not only one of the strongest women I’ve ever known but also one of the most inspiring individuals in my life. 

Throughout our years of friendship, one of her most admirable qualities has been her ability to say “no” more frequently than most, a behavior common to almost all strong women (and men, for that matter). 

It isn’t out of indifference or a lack of desire to be involved but rather a reflection of her deep understanding of her own values and priorities. She has always had a clear vision for her life, guided by her core principles and goals. 

Whether it’s a social event that doesn’t interest her, a project that doesn’t align with her passions, or a request that would overextend her, she is never afraid to decline. Her ability to do so gracefully, without succumbing to the fear of missing out or worrying about others’ opinions, is empowering and inspiring. 

By prioritizing what truly matters to her, she not only preserves her integrity but also inspires those around her to consider what they genuinely value in life.

7) They genuinely celebrate others’ successes

In our world, where achievements are often seen through the lens of competition, it’s always refreshing to encounter those who view success as a shared celebration rather than a personal threat. 

Strong women exemplify this beautifully. They understand that another person’s triumph doesn’t eclipse their own. 

It’s because they are secure in their journey and accomplishments that they can genuinely celebrate the victories of others.

More than that, they see these successes as sources of inspiration and motivation. This mindset fosters an environment of support and empowerment, where successes, big and small, are collectively celebrated.

The bottom line 

To recognize a genuinely strong woman, we shouldn’t look for the one who’s trying to be the center of attention. Strong women usually have no desire to be in the limelight. 

Rather, the most telling signs of true strength are subtle, reflected more in what these women choose not to do as much as what they choose to do. 

So, keep an eye out for these behaviors. 

When you see a woman embodying many of these qualities, she’s likely the kind of strong, confident individual we all can learn from and be inspired by.

Until next time. 

Picture of Mal James

Mal James

Originally from Ireland, Mal is a content writer, entrepreneur, and teacher with a passion for self-development, productivity, relationships, and business. As an avid reader, Mal delves into a diverse range of genres, expanding his knowledge and honing his writing skills to empower readers to embark on their own transformative journeys. In his downtime, Mal can be found on the golf course or exploring the beautiful landscapes and diverse culture of Vietnam, where he is now based.

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